Property ownership is an excellent investment whether you’re looking for your dream home, a rental property, or to expand your investment portfolio. Owning real estate is one of the least risky ways to build equity or to obtain a greater return on your initial investment. Aligning yourself with the right Real Estate Broker to guide you through the process is one of the key aspects of your transaction. Here is some information to get you ready:
PREPARING TO BUY
Get your Credit in shape – If you’re planning on financing your home, review your credit history, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer. Take necessary steps to boost your credit score and remedy any possible unforeseen financial hurdles. You can order your free credit score on Equifax Canada and Transunion
Get pre-approved. I’ll get you in touch with a superstar broker to find out how much you can actually afford to spend. Set aside a minimum of 5%, of the purchase price, for a down payment. Remember to decide on a budget within your means. The economy is unpredictable and a great mortgage broker will present you with your best financial blueprint. There a few pieces of information you will need to have handy the first time you meet with a lender:
• Your personal information including identification such as your drivers license.
• Details on your job, including confirmation of salary in the form of a letter from your employer.
• Your sources of income.
• Information and details on all bank accounts, loans and other debts.
• Proof of financial assets.
• Source and amount of down payment and deposit.
Interview and decide on a Realtor. Buyer’s brokers are paid for by the seller, so it’s no cost to you. Anyone can show a home but it takes a great listener with their finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the neighbourhood, as well as a fierce negotiator, to facilitate a great purchase transaction. That’s where I come in!
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A REALTOR®
The following are some key values to keep in mind when looking for a Buyer’s Agent:
• How can I help you?: Buying home can be a complicated process that is constantly evolving. Make sure that you choose to work with someone experienced who clearly understands your needs. Your broker should take any burdens off your shoulders and deliver the results you’re after – finding your dream home for the best price!
• Up-to-date Education: Consistent education, about the ever-changing real estate industry, is one of the most important ways that Realtors remain cutting-edge. Continuously updating my training and education to provide my clients curated service and vital information, that will affect their decision making process, is part of my mission statement!
• Experience and Expertise: Select a REALTOR® who is familiar with the area you’re looking in and with the type of property you intend to buy.
• Availability and Dedication: Your agent should be available for prompt and decisive action during your home search. They should be able to keep in touch with you via phone, email, and text message and be readily available in case of emergencies or even for the simplest questions. My phone is available 24/7 to you to address any questions or concerns that you may have: text, email, over the phone or in person – prompt communication and attention to my clients is delivered in whichever format makes them feel most comfortable!
• Rapport: You want an agent to take the time to listen to your goals and clarify your needs. Your Buyer’s Agent will be your guide and partner in this crucial decision, so it is important to find one with whom you are comfortable, can get along with and trust.
Visualize your dream home
Once you’re ready to hit the ground running, it’s time to find the property that’s right for you. Finding the right home and making important considerations to your personal situation is imperative when shopping the market.
Take a Drive
Get to know the neighborhoods, as well as the surrounding areas, which interest you. Drive around and get a feel for what it would be like to own a property in the area. Start getting a sense of the properties available in those areas.
Narrow Your Search
Make sure to fully evaluate all the features you’ll need now and in the future, and of course – “location, location, location”. Select properties, within your budget, that your broker will arrange for you to view. Don’t see properties that you can’t afford. Falling for a property outside of your financial means is disappointing and frustrating to the buying process. Consider the long-term value and resale effects of the property.
Make an Offer
Once you have picked out the property you want to purchase a good agent will investigate the potential costs and expenses associated with the new property. Your real estate agent can then help you make an offer that the seller will accept along with important conditions, refered to as “subjects,” that might be necessary or recommended for your situation. The offer might include a personalized letter or video to the seller to create personalized rapport with the seller. An agent should also draft your offer in a way that gives you the advantage over other prospective buyers.
THE OFFER PROCESS
When you come across the home or property that’s right for you then the next step is to put in an offer. Your REALTOR® will discuss with you the best way to make your offer outstanding and what fair market value for the home you’d like to buy is.
Typically offers will go back and forth a few times between the buyers and the sellers as you try to agree on price and terms. This is where your REALTORS® negotiation skills and experience really go to work for you!
The deposit is delivered to your Realtor’s brokerage once subjects have been removed. The deposit will be held in trust until completion and then applied to your purchase price. For example if the purchase price is $500,000 and the deposit is $10,000 then $490,000 will be owed at completion.
THE SUBJECT REMOVAL PERIOD
Once your offer is accepted, if there are subjects, you’ll have the decided-upon time to remove these conditions. All of the conditions in your offer must be met before it can become firm and the deal finalized. Most offers contain the following conditions:
• Finance – Mortgage approval for the purchase will need to be obtained to meet this condition. I would be happy to connect you to a mortgage specialist. Your mortgage provider may also order an appraisal on the home to make sure the home is worth what they are lending you to purchase it.
• Inspection – A professional home inspector will thoroughly check the home and let you know if there is anything you should be concerned about. We can recommend an experienced home inspector for you.
• Insurance – If you are obtaining a mortgage, you will be required by your lender to purchase insurance on the property.
• Subject to Sale – If you are purchasing a property and still need to sell your current property you might make this subject part of your offer. Your agent will discuss with you whether this will be an important condition to include.
When all of the conditions have been met and the appropriate paperwork is signed and submitted the offer is considered firm.
A FIRM OFFER
Now that all of the conditions have been met your offer is firm, congratulations you just bought a new home!
The biggest misconception when it comes to closing is that come closing the new owners get the keys right away and can start moving in, although this would be ideal it’s simply not the way things work.
In order for the keys to be passed from the seller to the buyer you have to wait for the title to be transferred. The title transfer is handled by your notary or lawyer. Your lawyer or I will notify you after the title has transferred. At this point I will meet you at your new home to present you with your keys. This generally happens in the late afternoon. As a result, I recommend scheduling movers in the afternoon, or the day after completion, so you don’t end up paying movers to sit around and wait for your keys to be available.
Once you do get possession of your new home it’s a good idea to do a quick check of the house to make sure everything is as you agreed i.e. appliances are in good working order. If something isn’t right contact your lawyer right away.
Every home purchase should be handled with the utmost responsibility and care. I believe that the buying process should be exciting, comfortable, informative and stress-free.