Tips for buyers are the first thing on any realtor’s website. A lot of the same information seems to be repeated over and over, so we’ve thrown in some additional information that’s not found elsewhere – we hope you find it candid and most importantly, helpful!
Use a mortgage broker for budget advice: it’s free.
Knowing what you can spend on a home is important. Not only the sales price of a home, but your monthly mortgage payments too. A mortgage broker can help you figure out your budget.
A mortgage broker is not a lender, but they have access to all of the local rates (as well as unadvertised rates) and can help you find the best one. They aren’t working for a lender who wants to only sell you their rate. They are working for you, but you’re not paying them: they’re paid by the lender you choose.
A mortgage pre-approval is essential. The lender will run a full credit check on you (rather, they should – make sure they do) and provide – in writing – the amount you are approved for. It’s important to do this before you start shopping, because:
You’ll know how much you can afford, and you won’t end up looking at homes you can’t afford – and being disappointed.
You might be able to afford more, allowing you to find a great home you didn’t think was in your budget – preventing you from merely “settling.”
You’ll avoid making a purchase that you may regret down the road. Nobody wants to be house poor… make sure you know your financial “comfort zone” and stay within it.
Work with a realtor that you can trust: it’s free.
As a buyer, working with a realtor is free. The seller pays your realtor’s fees. However despite that, the realtors’ best interests and “fiduciary duties” are owed to you, the buyer.
And honestly, if you can’t trust them, find someone you can, and that specializes in what you’re looking for.
How to handle an offer situation
Information is abundant on how to prepare for buying a home and whether you can afford a home. But what about when you’re knee-deep in the home buying process? The time has come to make an offer! Make sure you:
Stay calm and keep your emotions in check. You’re about to make one of the biggest investments of your life, and mixing emotions and investments is always a bad idea. If you ever feel overwhelmed during the offer process, your realtor is there to help and a good one will ensure that you are always informed and therefore in control.
Know the strengths and weaknesses of your offer. It’s obvious you want the house for less money, and of course, the seller wants more. Finding a middle ground can be challenging, but with a strong negotiating strategy, you will be happy with the outcome.
If you follow these tips, you’ll already be ahead of most home buyers. And if you want any assistance navigating the sometimes tricky waters of first-time condo or loft buying, feel free to contact us!
- Paul Stavro-Beauchamp &Robert Van Rhijn