There is a lot of contradicting information when going through the real estate buying process. As an educated realtor, I have put together the most important things for you to know when shopping for the perfect location to call Home.

  1. Find a Realtor that you can trust
    There are a couple of key points when it comes to choosing your agent. The most important qualities are:
    • Are they educated? Pick someone who knows the market and is able to weigh out the options to make a smart evaluation of what is best for you.
    • They search for multiple properties. You are not just a number on the screen and shouldn’t be treated like one. If they care about your needs, they will find a variety of options that COULD work, letting you choose the one that resonates with you.
    • They study the past, present, and current value. Whether it’s the value of the neighbourhood, the home itself or amenities nearby it is important that the realtor explores and explains the value to you.
    • There are no conflicts with the seller’s agent. A buyer’s agent should do their best to negotiate the price, work through any issues, and make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
  2. Shop for Mortgage Pre-Approval
    This is one of the most important steps, especially when there are a lot of other potential buyers viewing the property. Things to keep in mind:
    • Know what you can afford
    • Shop with confidence
    • Pre-approvals are valid for 120 days, so this is an opportunity to lock in for a larger purchase and at today’s rates to avoid the new rules coming into effect January 1, 2018
  3. Budget Accordingly
    • Consider that there will be other costs on closing including: land transfer tax, legal fees, pre-paid property taxes and moving costs; your Realtor can help you to quantify these numbers
    • Think through your lifestyle now and for the next 10 years. Things to consider are:
    • Family size now and plan
    • Entertainment needs
    • Pets
    • Work locations
  4. Search for Properties in your Price Range
    • Set limits 3-5% higher than your pre-approval, often you can negotiate price down, especially in the current market this holds true
    • Consider 5-10 minutes of additional drive time, often you can find much better value
    • Have your agent set up an auto-search and jump on showings right away, often the good properties sell quickly, don’t miss out
    • Look at properties that have been on the market more than 30 days, usually a lot more negotiable on price
    • Don’t rule out a place that needs a renovation if the price makes sense and the bones of the house are great and you love the property and location
  5. Think Through Resale Aspects
    • If there are awkward things about the house or it is in a bad location close to power lines, etc. it may be a lot tougher to sell down the road
    • Rank the houses based on pros and cons you have identified – nothing is perfect
  6. Make an Offer
    • Your Realtor will have you sign an agreement of purchase and sale which will include how much deposit you are putting down, your preferred closing date, any inclusions or exclusions to the sale and the amount of commission that is to be paid. Remember when you are purchasing, the full commission is paid by the seller!
    • Include conditions for home inspection and financing as well as a certain number of re-visits to the property prior to closing; specify the amount of time that you want included in your re-visits. I suggest 2 hours if you are planning on doing lots of measuring and planning.
  7. Firm Up
    Once you have completed your home inspection and confirmed with your bank that financing is a go you can firm up by waiving the conditions that you placed in your offer.
  8. Wait for your Closing to Move In!
    • Plan your move thoroughly – have you thought of how you’re going to get the big furniture over?
    • Be sure to contact all of the utilities (hydro, gas, cable, phone) so that all will be switched on when you move in
    • If you are having some work done prior to move in, invite the trades employees to attend your re-visits and you will be right on track for work to commence when you take possession
I hope that this review of the Real Estate Buying Process has been helpful and stay tuned for more video blogs from me in the coming weeks! If there is anything you would like to know more about regarding this blog or anything to do with real estate, give me a call at 905-537-2246. Merry Christmas!