Whether you are buying or selling a house, we bet that you feel a lot of stress. If it is your first time doing either, that stress can be through the roof. Buying your first Toronto condo means you are about to spend a significant amount of money, and you want to make sure it is an investment which pays off in the long run.

On the other hand, if you are selling property, such as houses, for the first time, you are trying to make that purchase finally pay off for you. How do you make sure you get the most out of the sale? How should you approach the negotiating process? Wouldn't it be great if there was a guide which could make the whole real estate process go a bit better?

Well, there's good news; that book is here in the form of A Guide to Buying and Selling a Home by author Shelley O'Hara. Here is all you ever needed to know at the beginning of your real estate journey, with principles that can help you if you're looking at condos or trying to offload a second home.

The book is part of the Idiot's Guide franchise, but don't take offense at the label. Basically, all it means is that we all have to start somewhere. The real idiots are the people who sit through meetings with real estate agents, lawyers (see Scarfone Hawkins LLP, bankers, home renovators and pretend they understand the lingo and terms which are being thrown around.

Well, with the information here you won't have to worry about that part, and that is what will really make the real estate transactions you undergo less stressful for you. If you're too shy to ask your real estate agent what subjects are, or what interest rates really mean, then you have this informative book to fall back on. Just write the information down and consult the appendix or chapters when you get home. What is an appendix you ask?

The book is really that easy to follow. It takes you from start to finish through all aspects of purchasing a home. Particularly helpful to first time home buyers are the sections on choosing a mortgage, one of the areas which if done wrong could cost you thousands of dollars (literally) as a home owner.

One minor complaint we have is that while this book sells itself as a guide to buying and selling, the buying part receives much more emphasis. Don't look to this guide if you are thinking of making a living selling vacation cottages, home plans for the rich, and other real estate endeavours. Even first time sellers will find the small section of the book devoted to selling a bit thin on the ground.

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