Ten Steps to Buying Your Home
Why Use a Realtor?
In dealing with buying your own home it is important to consider the following:
- Do you have the time, energy, experience and resources to find the right home?
- Do you have access to all of the relevant information concerning one of the largest purchases you will make?
- Are you confident in your ability to draft and execute a legally binding Contract of Purchase and Sale?
- Are you comfortable and capable of negotiating the best price for yourself?
- Do you have a firm understanding of all of the stages involved in buying a home?
Read on, and find out about the steps involved in buying a home and how I can help you with this process.
1) Determining Location & Type - The first step involves taking your dreams (and a good dosage of reality) and deciding the location, size, and type of home you want and need.
2) Finding a Real Estate Agent - Buying a home is one of the largest financial investments you will be making, so it is important that you have a real estate professional working for you. When you buy a home you will be entering into a legally binding contract, and a Realtor is professionally trained to create this contract for you, and ensure that your interests are protected. Look for someone who will be comfortable working with, who will answer your questions and help you find a property that meets for specifications.
3) Getting Pre-qualified - It is also important at the beginning of the process that you evaluate what price range you can afford and determine the amount of financing you will require. I can help you with this process by getting some basic information about your income, debts and credit. Finding out how much of a loan you qualify for will also help in determining the type of property to look for. Some lenders will pre-qualify you and guarantee a rate and terms for a set period of time - a great idea to do when rates are on the rise.
4) House Hunting - This is where the fun begins! However, you might find that your initial optimism of finding the right place quickly fading if you do not have access to all of the available information about the current market. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by Myself to find all available properties.
5) Selecting Your Home - Your main job in this whole process is to make the final selection of the right property for you. Emotions run high during this time, and your Realtor can offer you informed objective information about the properties that you are considering. Your Realtor spends their day dealing with all aspects of property and their advice can be invaluable. For instance, information concerning zoning, schools, and the local community can help in your decision making process.
6) Finding a Lawyer/ Notary - It is also important to find a Lawyer or Notary to help in the closing and conveyance of the property. Having a professional lined up ahead of time will help in making the buying process as smooth as possible. I can recommend several Lawyers or Notaries to use.
7) Making an Offer & Negotiating the Deal - Once you have found the right home now is the time to make an Offer to Purchase. There are many aspects involved in making your offer including, but not limited to price, financing, terms, possession date, inclusion and/or exclusion of repairs and fixtures or equipment. You will also want to provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase.
8) Professional Inspection - Once you have negotiated an agreement it is time to complete the evaluation of the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for leaks, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, heating systems, oil tanks... just to name a few. I can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. You will also want to see a preliminary report on the title of the property, which your I can provide. The title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities.
9) Setting up Your Mortgage - If you have already pre-qualified with a lender for a mortgage the step will be fairly painless! Remember mortgage interest rates, fees and other terms vary widely and are often open for negotiation. Research what is available by calling several mortgage lenders or using the Internet. I can help you in finding the appropriate lender.
10) Closing - The last step is the closing. Closing involves:
- Transfer of title - arranged by your lawyer and the seller's lawyer
- Transfer of money - deposited to your lawyer's trust account
- Verification of the offer-to-purchase
- Pre-possession walk-through of your new home
10 steps for selling your home
- Decide when to sell In real estate, timing can influence your home’s selling price. Factors like how quickly you need to sell, whether it’s a buyers or sellers market and seasonality all play a role in your home’s final selling price.
- Find a REALTOR® who is right for you The REALTOR® who helped you buy your home is a good place to start. They already know your home and they know you, so you’ll be saving time right from the start. Or look for names on “For Sale” signs in your neighbourhood or ask your friends and family. Make sure to interview two or three candidates and choose the one you like best.
- Sign a Listing Agreement This authorizes your REALTOR® and their brokerage to market and sell your home. It will define the legal relationship between you and the real estate brokerage and also set a time limit for your REALTOR® to sell your home.
- Determine your home’s asking price The right asking price will attract buyers and pay you a maximum return. Setting too low a price means you could miss out on thousands of dollars. Setting too high a price will scare away buyers. Your goal is to find fair market value.
- Add some specialists to your team Similar to when you bought your home, it’s essential to have a notary public or a lawyer handle all the various documents that change hands and make sure your best interests are being protected at all times.
- Prepare your home for sale First impressions matter. Now is the time to see your home through a buyer’s eyes: get ride of the clutter, clean and repair as much as you can, within reason. Remember, weigh the cost of all your improvements versus the potential financial return.
- Let your REALTOR® do what they do best Your home has never looked so good and now it’s time for your REALTOR® to market it to potential buyers. This happens with a “For Sale” sign, open houses, newspaper ads, a listing on the MLS®, the internet, and, of course, through your REALTORS®’ relationship with other REALTORS®.
- Prepare your finances Will the buyer “assume” your mortgage or are you “discharging” it? If you’re buying a new home, is your mortgage “portable”? What taxes are involved? These are important questions to ask your REALTOR®, your mortgage lender and your notary public or lawyer.
- Receive an offer Although your REALTOR® will walk you through the process, be prepared for some stress. You will see every offer since it’s required that your REALTOR® show you every offer that’s submitted. You will have three options: you can accept, you can reject or you can “sign back” or “counter”. Ask your REALTOR® what these terms mean. Happy negotiating!
- Close the deal You were successful and have drafted a legally binding agreement. Are you done? Not quite yet. Contact your lawyer or notary public, contact your lending institution and consult your REALTOR®. Immediately start satisfying any conditions of the agreement that require action on your part. On closing day, your lawyer or notary public will finalize all the details and give you a cheque for the net proceeds.