It's getting to that time where you want to buy a house. Maybe the current home is getting a little too small for a growing family, a change of scenery is needed, or you're downsizing after the kids have finally moved out. You start looking online or in the paper to see what's out there, and to get a handle on how the market is doing.
So, what's the next step? Get serious. There are hundreds of people out there “thinking of buying a house,” but very few are “actively seeking a home to buy.” The two phrases might sound similar, but the different words describe a totally different action plan and end result. Introducing Mr & Mrs Thinking and Mr & Mrs Serious.
Mr & Mrs Thinking might go to a few open houses, look around, ask some questions and talk about how each other liked the property in the car on the way home. They may even call a few agents after looking on REALTOR.ca or CENTURY21.ca to get some more information about a specific property. The summer brings nice weather, and every weekend Mr & Mrs Thinking spend their time driving around town looking at all the homes for sale. After a month of repeating the same routine over and over again, they feel overwhelmed with all the choice and selection on the market. They think they know what they want, but don't really have a firm idea of what they actually need. In the end, Mr & Mrs Thinking decide that their present home, though not ideal, will do for now.
Mr & Mrs Serious are “actively” seeking a property to buy. The first step taken was to find a REALTOR® who knows the area well and all the intricacies of the community. The REALTOR® can then help the couple come up with a realistic expectation of their new home and address any specific needs they may have. As Mr & Mrs Serious have only purchased one home before, they have questions about how the market has changed in the past ten years, and the steps needed to purchase a home. These questions are answered by their agent, giving the couple has a good idea of what is involved in “actively seeking a home to buy.” They then sign a Buyer Representation Agreement with their REALTOR® to ensure that they are getting the best service and that their best interest is always at the forefront of the process.
After speaking with their REALTOR®, the couple is proactive in arranging financing and speaks to their bank or mortgage broker about getting pre-approval for a mortgage. This is a very important step, as it lays out in black and white what is affordable and what is not. There is no point in “looking” in the wrong price range: it is simply a waste of time.
After getting pre-approved, Mr & Mrs Serious again sit down with their REALTOR® and get down to business ironing out details, and creating a “Nice to Have” list of features for their new home to compare to a “Must Have” feature list. The next weekend, the couple goes out with their agent to view a handful of properties, knowing that if they find their dream home that day, they can put in an offer with confidence, as everything up to that point has been taken care of.
After a few weeks of “actively searching,” Mr & Mrs Serious put in an offer on a home, and after some negotiating, the offer is accepted and the happy couple looks forward to the closing date next month.
Isn't it a lot better being serious and getting the end result you want?
| Seth Ferguson is a Sales Representative with CENTURY 21 Future Realty Inc., in Milton, Ontario. He serves Halton Region, including Milton, Georgetown, Oakville, Burlington and Acton. Looking to buy or sell? www.sethferguson.ca. |