8 Steps For Your Next Purchase
Decide to buy a home
So many of us are really "just looking" rather than seriously considering changing the location of our home. Why is it that you want to find a new home? Has your lifestyle changed enough to warrant this type of investment? Until you identify your NEEDS and your WANTS, you'll find it very hard to find the right home for you.
Find a great real estate consultant
Once you've decided to buy a home, find a great real estate consultant. What you're looking for is a Buyer's Agent. This means that the consultant represents YOU as the buyer, rather than the person selling the home. They will have YOUR best interests at heart. Really good consultants know their markets, and will help you find the best match for your needs and wants. They can also recommend mortgage consultants with whom they've worked in the past.
Get a full unconditional pre-approval for a mortgage in the amount you're willing to borrow. With this pre-approval, you are in a stronger position to buy a home when you're ready rather than finding your dream home, only to lose it to another buyer, because you didn't have all your financial "ducks in a row."
Find your dream home
Now that you have your wish list, your consultant, and your full pre-approval in hand, go forth and find yourself a home. As you go through homes, make sure to keep the listing, notes of your impressions of the house, and a photo (if possible) in a notebook, so that you can remember all the homes you've seen.
Make a written offer & negotiate the price
Once you find your home, work through your buyer consultant to make an offer. Typically your first offer is going to be lower than the listing price unless you're going into a multiple offer situation! Listen to your consultant - he or she is representing you and will show you what homes have sold for in that neighbourhood. Rarely will the seller accept your first offer, so they'll counter with another price. Back and forth you'll go until you settle on a price. (This is where the consultant is really using their negotiating expertise).
Give A Deposit With The Offer
Once you and the seller have agreed on a price, through your consultant, you'll pay a deposit to the listing broker. What this does is put a good faith deposit in a third party's hands, to demonstrate that you are serious about buying this home. In Toronto, buyers commonly offer $5,000 for a purchase up to $200,000 and increasing by approximately $2,500 for every $50,000 of purchase price above $200,000.
Have a Home inspection
The home inspection is to protect you from buying a property that may have serious hidden structural problems or defects. It's not necessary when buying a high-rise condo but is recommended for condo townhouses.
Sign final documents, get the key & move into your new home
Sign final documents, get the key & move into your new home. Finally! The home has been inspected, your lawyer has done his work, and you've closed on the deal.