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Buying Process



So, you're thinking about buying a home?

Buying a home, whether it is your first home, your fifth or an investment, one thing remains the same–it is a complex process involving a great deal of time, energy and of course money.

Our step-by-step guide will bring clarity and peace of mind during your home buying process.

Step 1: Deciding What You Want

Logically, the first step to finding the right home is to determine what you're actually looking for. There are typically a variety of homes on the market at any one time and looking at them all is not the best strategy.

To narrow your focus somewhat, first ask yourself these three questions:

  • 01Where do i want to buy or live?

    What communities or specific neighbourhoods/streets do you want to consider? Is it important to be near schools, shopping centres, hospitals, places of worship, or other amenities? Will you require public transportation?

  • 02What type of home do I want?

    What style is best for you: split level detached, semi-detached, bungalow, two-storey, duplex, townhouse, condo–the options are endless! Also consider your ideal lot size and the age of your home.

  • 03What are my must haves and deal breakers?

    What are the most important things (must-haves)? How many bedrooms? Bathrooms? Do I want a basement? Garage? Pool? Fireplace? Do you have a family member with special needs? It is equally important to know what you do not want.

5 Tips for Buyers in a Highly Competitive Market

Depending on where you're looking, you may be shopping for a home or property in an area where the market is highly competitive. The good new is, there is plenty you can do to increase your chances of getting the home you love - and can afford.

  • 01Know Exactly What You Want

    Get crystal clear on the type of home you’re looking for, including size, location, old, new, number of bedrooms, garage, etc. This will help narrow your focus on listings that are a good fit.

  • 02Get Financing Pre-Approved

    In a competitive market, getting your financing pre-approved will give you an advantage at offer time. Don’t leave this to the last minute, do it now.

  • 03What Are My Must Haves and Deal Breakers?

    When the market is busy, good listings don’t last long. You don’t want to miss out! When you see a listing your like, review everything available online first, then schedule a viewing right away if you feel it could be the one.

  • 04Know Your "No Regrets" Price

    Great home in a seller’s market will often get multiple offers and sell over the asking price. Ask yourself this – what is the highest amount you are willing to pay for this property with no regrets? Losing out on a home for an amount you would have been comfortable with is disappointing. Be sure to run any numbers by your banker/lender.

  • 05Consider Writing a Letter Telling the Sellers How Much You Love Their House

    Homeowners are emotionally attached to their homes. They take great pride in every room, every upgrade and feature and want their home to go to someone who will love it just as much as they do.

Step 2: Get Pre-approved for a mortgage

When it comes to buying a home, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a key step. Not only does it help you understand exactly how much you can afford, it often allows you to lock in an interest rate for a period of time which could potentially save you thousands of dollars for years to come.

Here are 3 simple steps to get a mortgage pre-approval:
  • 01Talk to a mortgage specialist

    A bank mortgage specialist or an independent mortgage broker, someone with expertise who can help you compare rates and terms. Not sure who to use? Ask us for a recommendation.

  • 02How Much Do You Qualify For?

    Your mortgage specialist will complete an application to determine how much you can afford. They will use your income versus your debt and payment obligations to calculate your GDS (Gross Debt Service) and TDS (Total Debt Service) ratios. Be prepared to provide income and down payment verification to finalize the pre-approval process.

  • 03Request a Copy of Your Pre-Approval

    This is a powerful negotiation tool. A pre-approved buyer means the seller has one less thing to be concerned about.

Step 3: Choosing the best agent for you

A great Realtor will provide key market insights, sound advice and save you time and money.

Top 4 Reasons Buyers Work With a Realtor:
  • 01To Avoid Overpaying

    You want to know, with certainty, that you are paying a fair price. Often, sellers overprice their homes to “see what happens”. A competent Realtor will educate you on similar current listings and recently sold homes to compare and make an informed decision on how much to offer.

  • 02To Negotiate the Best Possible Price & Terms

    Negotiating requires expertise and skill. A Realtor who is a masterful communicator and a savvy negotiator will help you decide what to offer, what to include, what to give up and most importantly, when to walk away if reasonable terms cannot be reached.

  • 03To represent and protect your interests as a buyer

    The seller’s Realtor is working in their best interest. As a buyer, you need representation to work exclusively in your best interest and provide you with:

    • Confidential advices that addresses your needs
    • Loyal, diligent, full disclosure service, free from any conflict of interest
    • Expert advice on market value, location, useful clauses such as home inspection and financing
    • Discovery and disclosure of all information about the property including, liens, warranties, market and planning activity in the area, previous purchase price
  • 04To manage the countless details

    Ensuring the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. The buying process can be complex, an accomplished Realtor will have the tools and resources you need to complete the transaction to your satisfaction.


Step 4: Finding Your Perfect Property

Over 90% of buyers start their search online. You get a sense of what is available through online searches, however, it is not a complete picture of the market or potential properties available. An efficient Realtor will do an in-depth analysis to find all properties in your scope and set-up a time to view them and guide you through the selection process.

Here's what you typically can't see online
  • Properties that haven’t made it online yet

  • Expired listings or private sales

  • Key insights and an insider’s edge


Step 5: Making an offer & negotiations

When you find your dream home, you need a confident Realtor to present and negotiate the price, terms and conditions in a strategic and efficient manner.

  • Decide on price, terms and conditions

    You know how much you can afford and your Realtor has determined what the market value of the property is. Together, you will decide what price to offer, a closing date and if there will be any conditions such as home inspection, appraisal, water tests, etc.

  • Preparing & Review the offer

    Your Realtor will prepare the documentation ensuring your interests are protected and your instructions are followed. A competent Realtor will also review the offer documents with you to be sure you understand exactly what you are agreeing to and your legal obligations.

  • Presenting the offer

    Once your Realtor presents the offer, the seller must respond within the allotted time frame.

What Happens Next?
  • 01The seller accepts your offer


  • 02The seller rejects your offer

    This isn’t common and your Realtor will find out why.

  • 03The seller countersigns

    The terms of the offer are changed and presented back to you. A savvy and well prepared Realtor will continue to negotiate on your behalf and will also advise you if reasonable terms are not possible and it is time to walk away.

  • To ensure you are confident in every step of the buying process, we will review our negotiating strategy including, counter offers, buyer approvals, conditions and deposit prior to.

Step 6: Inspection & Removing Conditions

Once an offer is accepted, it is time to satisfy any conditions within the time frame allotted.

  • Condition Removal

    You may have one or more conditions to work through including but not limited to: home inspection, bank appraisal, surveys, water tests and confirming your mortgage approval. A detail oriented Realtor will have the resources available to guide you through the process and ensure you have satisfied all conditions and deadlines.

  • Home Inspections

    A thorough inspection will take approximately three hours and the inspector will go through all systems and if there are issues. They can also give you maintenance tips and easy fixes if necessary. You will receive a detailed report and summary of the inspector’s findings.


Step 7: Preparing for closing day

Being organized well in advance will assist in a smooth and less stressful day. Typically you will have 30 to 90 days before closing. The date can be the same as your move in date however, that is not always possible. The exchange of funds and title must be complete before the keys will be released and often this occurs later in the day.

Here are a few details to take care of before your closing date:
  • Legal Obligations

    • Purchase documents, provided by Realtor
    • Mortgage documents, provided by mortgage provider
    • Insurance
    • Down payment information
    • Adjustment payments
    • Other signed documents assigned by your lawyer
  • Downpayment and closing costs

    Funding should be confirmed one week prior to closing date

  • Moving arrangements

    Whether you are using professional movers, renting a truck or getting help from friends, plan and organize early to alleviate stress.

  • Property Insurance

    Purchase home insurance well in advance of your closing date and request confirmation for your mortgage provider.

  • Utilities

    Often your lawyer will request the coordination of utilities, however, it is always beneficial to contact each utility company on your own to be sure you are set up prior to the closing date. Be sure to cancel the services at your previous address.

  • Schools

    Inform children’s schools as soon as possible to ensure a smooth transition at the new school.

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