The information below is meant to give you an overall picture of the steps involved in purchasing a home. For more detailed information, please contact me – I will be happy to answer any of your questions.
Before your search for a home starts, you should have an idea of how much money you are able to spend on the investment.
The three major issues to consider in this calculation are:
-The amount of your down payment
-The total of your closing costs
-The total mortgage amount required and what your payments will be
There are mortgage specialists who can help you calculate this information. Remember to shop around to get the best rate and the right terms for your situation. Many financial institutions offer incentives in this competitive market.
Working with a dedicated agent will save you time and money and will ensure that you see properties as soon as they come on the market.
You will likely be spending a lot of time and making a lot of decisions with me, so it is important for me to listen and understand your concerns. I should be able to advise you on local market conditions, characteristics and amenities of various neighborhoods, pinpoint homes which fit your needs and caution you about potential problem areas. I will help you find a home and become your negotiator when you make an offer or receive a counter offer. I will advise you on fair market values based on other sales in the area.
After you have decided what you are looking for in a home and what you want to spend, I will assist you by advising you of properties as they come on the market. I may find properties on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service, a database of properties maintained by co-operating brokerages), through contact with other agents, or through private sales. A licensed agent, I can show you any properties listed on the MLS, regardless of which brokerage has them listed. Once I become your dedicated agent, you can call me if you see a property you think you might be interested in.
I will arrange viewings and accompany you to properties of interest to you. I can also help you by getting information on heating costs, property taxes, lease arrangements, material condition, and the sales history of a property. An agent can also provide you with information on comparable properties so that you can make an informed decision on the fair market value of any property you may want to purchase.
Many agents require that their clients sign a Buyer Agency Agreement. This is a contract between the buyer and the agent outlining their relationship and duties.
Once you have found a home that you are interested in, I can provide you with information on comparable properties so that you can make an informed decision on the fair market value.
I will assist you in the writing of the offer and will present your offer to the listing agent. In some cases, an agent or brokerage may represent both the buyer and the seller – this is called dual agency and must be acknowledged by both the buyer and the seller.
The main elements of an offer are the price, the deposit, conditional clauses (regarding financing, house inspection) and the possession date. There may be more than one offer presented on a property – I can offer advice on the best course of action if this is the case.
An offer is open for acceptance by the seller for a limited time. The seller may accept the offer as it is written, counter any element of the offer with a written counter offer, or reject the offer. If there is a counter offer, I will help you consider your options and negotiate on your behalf.
Once an offer is accepted, you will be asked for a deposit as a show of good faith; the deposit will eventually form part of the purchase price and will be credited to your down payment at closing. A deposit is made out to the listing broker in trust and is held by the brokerage.
Bring in the Experts
When your offer is accepted, it is important that you arrange to complete all of the conditions in the offer. These conditions usually involve confirmation of your ability to: obtain a mortgage for the property, arrange a property inspection with which you are satisfied.
I can assist you by providing you with information on mortgage companies, insurance companies, home inspectors, lawyers, and any other professionals you may need to ensure that the property is suitable for you.
I will help you to arrange an appointment for the home inspection (usually within 5 days of acceptance of the offer) and will accompany you to the inspection. Should any problems arise from the inspection; I will help you consider your options.
I will also co-operate with the other professionals working with you by providing lawyers, insurers and financial institutions with any information they may require. Because time is of the essence, this will be done in a timely manner.
Finalizing your mortgage
Once you’ve found the home you want to buy, you’ll need to finalize your financing. You’ll need to provide your lender with the following documents:
- A copy of the real estate listing of the property and details on lot size and location.
- A copy of the offer to purchase agreement.
- Documents to confirm employment, income and source of pre-approval.
- If you have a pre-approved mortgage, it’s a simple matter of finalizing a few details with your mortgage specialist.
The length of time between your offer being accepted and moving day may be anywhere from two weeks to several months.
During this period, you may have questions or concerns – I may be able to help you through this time with advice on everything from moving companies, “to do” checklists, or referrals to any number of services a home owner may need.
As closing day approaches, you will want to meet with your lawyer to ensure all closing costs are calculated and paid and that your mortgage is in place. A meeting with your lawyer usually takes place a day or two before you take possession.
On the day of closing, I will accompany you on a pre-closing viewing of the property. This is to ensure the property is in the same state of repair as it was when you made the offer and that everything requested in your offer has been fulfilled. If you are satisfied with the property, your lawyer is informed and the transfer of money and keys takes place between your lawyer and the seller’s lawyer. You will then be given the keys and can move into your new home.