As your personal Real Estate Consultant, I strive to give you the best of the best. In the years that I’ve spent in the industry, homebuyers have always asked me “What do I need to do when I buy a house?”. I’ve composed a step-by-step guide that organizes the buying process to make buying a house a less stressful and more enjoyable experience than you you can imagine.
Step 1: Decide to Buy - What is Important to You?
Before you even go looking for a home, you have to understand your wants, needs and determine what is importang to you.. Think about the type of place you’re looking for. Are you looking for a lot of bedrooms and washrooms for your family? Do you want a pool in the backyard? Do you want to live close to a school or a mall? These are just some of the things you have to consider before start looking for a new home. Together we can determine what it is that you really want in your new home.
As we go through this process I will explain the different types of home ownership. Freehold is when the land and the house is all yours. A condo apartment or towhnouse is when you take care of the inside and pay your fees to an association. You can read about the different types of home ownership in full detail in my blog.
Step 2: Please Interview or at least talk to an Agent
Did you know that there are over 50,000 licenced members of The Toronto Real Estate Board? How could anyone possibly know the right agent to choose given the mind boggling number of licenced agents? Simple, they can't. Again, it comes down to what is important to you.
I am going to make a disclaimer, the statistics I am going to go into are:
This data is not coming from TREB. It’s coming from a third-party company that tracks the data. The third-party only tracks agents who have performed a transaction (sales, not leases) in the past 12 months. It does not include commercial, farm or exclusive sales. There were 50,010 Realtors licensed through TREB at the end of December 2017. This data is for the entirety of 2017. These statistics are not 100 per cent accurate. This data has to be taken with a rounding error.
Did you know that 34% of agents did not make one real estate transaction(sale or list) in 2017?
To me that is a scary.
The first question I would ask is how many years have you been in the real estate industry?
The reason I would ask that question is that, in order for an agent to stay in 'Business' they have to be Professional, Ethical, Knowledgeable, and they have to be active(producing) in the market. You have to pick carefully. They will be acting as your representative and you will need someone to look out for your best interests. You will need someone that you can trust and someone who understands what you want and what is important to you. I would then ask them for some references. Past clients that have actually dealt with the agent and can speak of their strengths and even weaknesses.
If they are not willing to provide some references, names and phone numbers and show the house or houses their client has bought or sold through them, doesn't that tell you something?
Step 3: Find your Home
There are many ways of finding that dream home! First, before you go shopping you have to make sure you are also financially ready. Make sure to have a budget when you go shopping. You can use my very handy affordability calculator by clicking here.
One thing to keep in mind is your down payments. This is a percentage of the total cost of a home that you’ll need to pay. Also there is the Deposit to consider. Often this is confused with Down Payment. The Deposit is the amount of 'Cash' you have to submit once your offer is accepted. It is in the form of a Certified Cheque of Bank Draft. So make sure you have easy access to the funds to avoid stress.
The more money you put down, the more you’ll save on monthly payments and cost of borrowing. Another important aspect is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. When the lender approves you for a mortgage, it gives you an idea of how much you can afford to buy your new house. Then there is the decision to go to your Bank for pre-approval or to seek out the help of Mortgage Broker. Check out my blog to learn the differences.
Keeping these things in mind, you are free to go window shopping! You can go searching for houses according to the different neighbourhood surrounding you, check newspaper listings, websites, or even drop by any open houses that are being held in your area. Looking for houses can be really fun and exciting! You can browse listings using the smart listings search on my website, here.
Step 4: Make an Offer Now. I am Your Negotiator.
Now that you’ve found the house that you are set on, it’s time to make an offer. Not all offers are the same and here’s where your real estate agent comes in. They will help you with specific terms and conditions that will be specified in the offer like the price you want to pay, financing conditions, or other things like inclusions and exclusions.
Not only is it about the price of the house but you have to carefully look at the other details included in this sale.
Appliances, chandeliers, or even minor renovations can also be part of the deal. Shorter or longer closing dates can also be specified in the offer.
If there is something in the offer that doesn’t satisfy the seller, counter offers or negotiations can also be presented to help get a price that you think is fair.
Step 5: Close the Sale. I am the overseer of all the Transaction Details.
There will be closing costs associated with the sale that need to be paid either by or on the closing date. It can include mortgage application fees, inspections, and legal fees. But once that’s taken care of, you get your new house.
Congrats, welcome to your new home! You’re all ready to move in!