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As your personal advisor and trustworthy agent, I bring years of experience helping you find the perfect home and navigate the buying process. Here is a step-by-step guide that answers many of the questions buyers face.
Step 1: Identify your Needs
Before you start looking at homes you have to understand your needs. Are you looking for a lot of bedrooms and bathrooms for your family? Do you want a pool in the backyard? Do you want to live close to a school or mall?
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Different types of ownership will suit different needs. Familiarize yourself with them so you can narrow down the perfect home. Freehold is when it’s all yours, a condo is when you take care of the interior and pay fees to an association to care for the exterior, and a co-op is similar to a condo but you rent a unit in the building and pay maintenance and repair fees.
Once you’ve identified your needs, it’s time for the next step!
Step 2: Hire an Agent
There are thousands of real estate agents out there—how do you choose the one that’s right for you? You need someone who will look out for your best interests. Someone you can trust, who understands what you want. They’ll be acting as your representative for the entire process.
Here are some tips:
- Jot down some names and numbers on ‘For Sale’ signs on the type of property you are looking for
- Ask friends and family for recommendations
- Visit one of the local offices in your area
- Only work with a licensed Realtor
- Ask for references from any Realtor you’re interested in working with
- Look for someone with local expertise
Step 3: Find your Home
Once you’ve found your Realtor, establish what your budget is. This is essential to finding the right home for your needs. You can use my very handy affordability calculator by clicking here. Most homebuyers get mortgage preapproval before viewing houses so they can confidently select good options.
Looking for houses can be fun and exciting! Your agent will identify a variety of potential listings, but don’t be afraid to do your own searching online, in newspaper listings, by driving through neighbourhoods you like, and dropping by any open houses being held in your area. You can also browse using the smart listings search here.
Step 4: Make an Offer Now
Now that you’ve found the house you want, it’s time to make an offer. No two offers are the same, and here’s where an experienced real estate agent makes the difference. They will help with specific terms and conditions in the offer for everything from price and financing options to inclusions and exclusions.
An offer is about more than the price of the house. It includes many details like appliances, lighting fixtures, and even minor renovations. Shorter or longer closing dates can also be specified. If there’s something in the offer that doesn’t satisfy the seller, your agent will proceed with counter offers and negotiations to get you a fair price and a deal that is in your best interests.
Step 5: Close the Sale
This final step includes closing costs associated with the sale that need to be paid before/on the closing date. It can include mortgage application fees, inspections, and legal fees. Once that’s taken care of, the house is yours!
Congratulations, and welcome to your new home! You’re all ready to move in!