Step-by-Step: Buying a Home
Step 1: Hire a Great Real Estate Sales Representative
It just makes sense to be represented by someone who is experienced and professionally trained in the industry. The same way you’d go to your lawyer if you needed help, go to Christopher for your Real Estate needs!
Step 2: Get Pre-approved
See our “mortgages” page HERE. Figuring out how much you can spend and how much banks are willing to lend you will give you an accurate idea of what you can spend on your new home. When deciding how much you can afford, think in terms of your mortgage monthly payment rather than the price of the home. This way you are thinking more realistically and can maybe surprise yourself by realizing you can afford more – or less – than you thought.
We work with excellent loan and mortgage specialists and would be happy to refer you to one of them… Just ask!
Step 3: Determine Where and What You Need, Visit Properties and Choose a Home
This is by far the most labour-intensive step but it can also be the most enjoyable. When we meet for the first time we will determine what you need in your future home and determine your priorities. Questions to ask yourself are “what can you live with and without”? With your criteria we will narrow down our search and visit only the best properties according to your requirements. Your time is valuable!
Step 4: Negotiations, i.e. Offers and Counter-offers
Price is not the only consideration in contract negotiations. Are you looking to buy a condo? When would you like to move in? How about home inspections? What condition(s) would you like as part of the sales agreement? Christopher will guide you as you dictate what you want in your offer and counter-offer.
Step 5: Home Inspection.
A reliable home inspection is an absolute MUST when buying a home. You need to know what you are getting into and the inspector will give you a professional assessment of the condition of the home you are making an offer on. We will take care of scheduling the home, termite and radon inspections as required and negotiate the best terms for your needs afterwards. Please ask us to refer you to one of our preferred home inspectors.
Step 6: Finalize Financing and Appraisal
Once the inspections are completed and free of any major issues you are set to finalize your financing details. Together with your mortgage specialist you can determine which financing options best suit your needs.
Your mortgage specialist will require an independent appraisal of your home in order to confirm your mortgage amount. The lender you are going with till hire an appraiser independently and the fees vary depending on your closing costs.
Step 7: Obtain Homeowner Insurance
Homeowner insurance will protect you in the unfortunate case of catastrophe and is required by your lender.
Step 8: Title Search
Before finalizing the sale, you must make sure the home you are buying does not still belong to anyone else. The title company will do a search to confirm the validity, insurability and marketability of your future home for sale.
Title insurance* is necessary because even though a search was done it is minutely possible that there are errors in records or un recorded claims. This is to protect you in the purchase of the property and the title company will take you through your insurance options.
Step 9: Transfer Utilities
You will need to contact the utility company that services your new home and set up your account. Make sure you let them know you are purchasing the home and all services should be transferred to you in order to avoid any disruptions in service.
Shamir usually negotiates a final walk-through of the property a day or two before closing to ensure the condition of the home has not materially changed since the signing of the contract. Don’t worry, you won’t be alone! Shamir will guide you during the walk-through with a checklist in hand.
Step 10: Signing the Deal – Settlement
The typical closing delay is 30-45 days from contract signing. The final settlement and closing will be a short meeting at an office where you will sign all necessary paperwork to complete the transaction. For this meeting you are required to bring:
- Valid government issued photo ID
- Certified cashier’s cheque payable to the title company for your down payment and estimated closing costs.
What’s left after closing?
Put your paperwork in a safe place, change your address with all your creditors and service providers and most importantly… Enjoy your new home!