DECIDING TO BUY
Purchasing a property is most likely the biggest financial decision you will ever make. Whether this is your first purchase or you are an experienced buyer, this decision must be made carefully. Agents can make this transaction a simple one.
Why Do You Want To Buy?
Are you tired of paying rent? Have you decided to pay your own mortgage and not your landlord’s? Have you outgrown your current home? Are you looking for an investment portfolio? Are you looking for a rental property? Would you like a larger yard? Would you rather live in a different area? Do you want to shorten your commute? Having a clear sense of your reasons for buying will help you choose the right property.
PREPARING TO BUY
Check Your Credit Rating.
Your credit score will have a huge impact on what type of property you can buy, and at what price. It is first recommended to check your credit rating with an experienced lending institution so that we can determine what you can afford. The lender will research your credit ratings from the three credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. We will be happy to recommend experienced, knowledgeable lenders in the residential, construction, and commercial and investment real estate fields.
Make an appointment with a mortgage broker to help you have a clearer idea of what you can afford. This allows you to narrow the search and help set parameters on the options. A good mortgage broker is worth their weight in gold, we have some we work closely with and would be happy to share them with you.
Be Careful With Your Finances.
Now is not a good time to make sudden career changes or large purchases. You want to approach your property purchase from a position of financial stability.
FINDING AN AGENT
Buying a property requires making many important financial decisions, understanding complex issues and completing a lot of paperwork. It helps to have an expert in your corner when undertaking such a large purchase. We can guide you through this process, and also provide you with access to property listings before they hit the general market.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing your real estate professional:
- Look for a full-time agent – one who has experience completing transactions similar to yours.
- Pick an agent you connect with, Relationships, Relationships, Relationships.
- Ask how much time the agent will have for you, and if they are available at night and on weekends.
- Ask about their credentials and education: A good agent will continually strive to improve and gain knowledge of the latest real estate trends and hold the highest designations in their respective fields of expertise.
- Does the agent return your calls promptly? Time is money when attempting to buy a property.
- Ask for a list of properties they have sold or a list of references.
Get Out and Look.
Get to know the neighbourhoods, complexes, or subdivisions, which interest you. Drive around and get a feel for what it would be like to own a property in the area. Start getting a sense of the properties available in those areas.
Narrow Your Search (Wants vs. Needs).
Select a few properties that interest you the most and have your real estate agent make appointments to visit them. Ask your real estate agent about the potential long term resale value of the properties you are considering.
Once you have picked out the property you want to purchase, your real estate agent can help you make an offer that the seller will accept. A good agent will investigate the potential costs and expenses associated with the new property. An agent can also help you draft your offer in a way that gives you the advantage over another offer.
Decide on the Terms of the Sale (price, conditions, timeline, items included)
- Your agent will construct a CMA (comparative market analysis) and determine a reasonable price
- You will have to begin to think of a closing date that works, it will also be time to think of some conditions that will be added to your offer. (Do you need financing? Can you get insurance? Is there and Oil Tank? Have you searched title? Is there anything obscure with the PDS(property disclosure statement)?) These will all be satisfied with the help of your agent before condition removal.
- Conditions in basic terms are; we will buy this property “IF” these things check out. The conditions are the “IF’s” in this scenario.
Prepare the Offer and Supporting Documents
- Your agent will formulate a CPS (contract of purchase and sale) with the discussed terms and conditions.
- Your agent might be paperless and ask for your signatures via a electronic signing platform ie. docusign, authentisign… It is a secure way of getting your signatures without having to meet up in person, saving time!
Go Through the Offer
- Your agent will go through the offer and all other documents before needing your signatures. They will explain any outstanding questions you may have before presentation.
Your agent will begin negotiation and tirelessly work to keep your best interests a priority.
A) Accepted or Rejected Offer
- Accepted – Congrats, now time to start fulfilling those conditions you described in the offer.
- Rejected – Your agent will find out why and if there was a reason to it being rejected (This doesn’t happen often)
B) Counter Offer
- The sellers come back to you with slightly different terms (price, dates, conditions, inclusions). Your agent will work with you to negotiate on your behalf to come to an agreement by both parties. If no agreement can be made it will be time to walk away. Remember everything happens for a reason, you will find your perfect fit!
Inspections, Financing, and those “Conditions”
- Now it is time for you to fulfill those conditions in the CPS.
- Often times your agent will recommend professionals to help satisfy these conditions.
Time until Completion (when you get your keys)
- On average completion is around 1-3 months from the contract date, which is negotiated by you and the sellers.
- During this time the paperwork will be sent back and fourth from brokerages, lawyers, and banker. Basically you will need to provide you lawyer/notary information to your agent and they will forward the necessary documents onward.
- Closing – just as a reminder it is important to establish some moving arrangements, and also inform (utilities, schools, job, etc) of your new address. It is also important to make sure you arrange for home insurance before closing and request a proof of insurance at your financial institution in advance. Once completion happens and title is transferred it is YOUR home. This can come into play when completion is one day and possession (getting your keys) is a couple days after.
- Now that you have purchased the perfect home, remember you take responsibility of your new property on the Completion Date. Therefore, it is important that your property insurance is in place on Completion Date, even if you have not taken Possession of the property yet.
- One of the most important things to do before moving is to change your address. This will include having your mail forwards, and notifying credit card company, family doctor, insurance company, Revenue Canada, your bank, any service provider (BC Hydro and Fortis) and any other organizations you have dealings with.
- Contact your current service provider and have your utilities in your old home disconnected on the day of your move. Arrange for water, gas and electricity at your new home for move-in-day. Keep in mind utility companies will sometimes ask for a deposit to set up a new account.