Phase 1 – the beginning
- Check your finances and set up the budget. Remember to put aside enough money for the closing costs and don’t consider them as the down payment amount. Consult with your bank or your mortgage broker when you calculate the budget. Figure out how much money you can borrow and if you can make the payments on time. This will save you headaches, time and disappointment in the future.
- Choose a realtor. The one who is dedicated to your interest knows the city or area, professional, approachable and trustworthy. You should feel comfortable with your choice. Remember to update your agent about your decisions and priorities.
- Decide the city and area for your hunt. Some clients would like to live close to a lake or woods, some are looking for a family-friendly residential area with well-rated schools, some would like access to the highways or public transportation.
- Make a list of your priorities. Some people are not ready for an unfinished basement. Some people will not compromise on less than 4 parking spots. Some people want granite counters and ceramic floors. Choose your top 3 and look for those.
- When you enter a house for the first time, let yourself soak it all in. Have fun, wander around, see if the home “speaks” to you and if you can visualize yourself living there.
- Make notes for the properties. Create your comparison chart for the properties of interest. In addition to the basics (bedrooms and bathrooms) include notes on landscaping, the condition of the interior and exterior, natural light, storage space e.t.c.
After you have seen some properties and done your market research, you’re now ready for phase two.
Phase 2 – the investigation
Now that you have seen a lot of properties, you have a pretty good understanding of what you can afford and how it’s supposed to look. You feel like you’re ready for the next phase.
- Prepare a list of the properties that might have potential using your notes from phase one. The average number for further investigation is around 3 but don’t worry if you have more or less. It depends on the market and your unique situation.
- Visit all of the homes from your ” might have a chance” list again. Follow paragraphs 3-6 of phase one.
- Check out those interesting properties at different times of the day. If you come back for a second or third showing, make it during a different time of a day than the first tour. In the evening, notice not only the changes in light but the atmosphere in the neighbourhood. Are people out sitting on porches? Are kids playing outside? You are bound to learn and discover different things about the house each time. Take your time and approach the home as if you were an inspector rather then a potential buyer.
- Take a moment to envision how you would use the space.
- Look high and look low. It is important to get a good look at the house that could be your new home, so make a point of focusing on things outside your usual line of vision. Check out the ceilings, walls, basement, floors, trims, windows, roof, under the sinks and water supply.
- Lift the rugs. If you are back for a second look and are considering making an offer, it is important to know what you are getting into. Rugs (and even furniture) can be used to conceal damaged flooring.
- Open the closets and cupboards.
- Choose the winner.
You’re ready for phase three
Phase 3 – the decision
You’ve chosen a winner from phase 2 and now you’re ready to sign an offer.
- Wait for a second, don’t sign anything yet. Think of the amount. You know your budget, you’ve seen properties in your range. Have your realtor dig up the comparable houses in the area which were sold in the last few months. Is the list price reasonable? What is your negotiation room?
This is a “sold” market analysis, our We Sell Richmond Hill team prepares this analysis for sellers and buyers.
- Be ready to put down a payment for the offer.3. Make sure your agent put all the clauses necessary for your protection, such as financing and home inspection. Read the offer and make sure you understand every word. Our job as realtors is to explain.
- Don’t be upset if your offer is declined or comes with a sign back. It’s rare the sellers accept the first offer. Often people buy the desirable property after the second or third attempt or move on to another choice.
- No one promised it would be easy. House hunting takes time and effort. Keep going!
Phase 4 – home, sweet home
- The offer is accepted, you have a deal. Now it’s a time to make it firm. You should immediately arrange your financing. Do not change your job, do not make any major purchases and do not take additional loans until after the closing day. Even if you’re qualified and your mortgage is a sure deal, any change in the status quo might harm your closing. Our team We Sell Richmond Hill team is happy to recommend a mortgage professional for you to work with.
- Do A Home Inspection. Again, it’s our job as your realtors to make sure specific clauses were indicated in the contract. Our team can recommend a certified home inspector for you to work with. Remember, you have to be comfortable with your home inspection. The inspector can inspect only what he can see. It’s your responsibility as a homeowner to consider the results of the inspection and make the decision if you’d like to proceed with the deal. If you have any doubts regarding the property after the inspection – think twice. Sometimes it’s better to lose the money for inspection and start the process of home hunting all over rather than purchase a property with damages where a remedy might cost tens of thousands of dollars.
- During the home inspection, the inspector might find some minor issues. If they are not a deal-breaker for you then you might want to ask the seller to remedy these before closing. Our job as your realtors is to satisfy you and to negotiate those with the seller’s realtor.
- Contact your Real Estate Lawyer and provide Lawyer’s details to your realtor. If you don’t have a lawyer, our We Sell Richmond Hill team will be happy to recommend one.
- Follow your lawyer’s recommendation regarding utilities, taxes e.t.c.
- Arrange Home Insurance. Our team will be happy to recommend an Insurance Broker.
- Make sure the mortgage money will be ready to be transferred to the seller’s lawyer on the closing date.
Our next series would be tips for home disposition. Stay tuned and thank you for reading the tips by
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