At the start of the New Year, many real estate agents’ phones start ringing with calls from potential homebuyers. If buying a home is on your agenda for 2015, now’s the time to work towards that goal. Here’s a guide to the home buying process that will help you get started:
The dreaming phase: has no definitive start time or length—which means thinking about what you want in a home and exploring neighbourhoods. This phase includes looking at photos of homes online, comparing and contrasting listings or prices per square foot and understanding the price differential between two school districts. Dreaming happens on your terms and your timing. It’s a good time for you to explore the market, start to get the real estate bug and develop a feel for what could be a reality in the future. Don’t rush, and don’t feel pressured.
Search & discovery mode: when you feel ready to make a reality out of the dreaming phase, it’s time to move the process along. Search and discovery allows you to get the facts, build your team and begin to push ahead on the home buying process. Connect with a local real estate agent and a mortgage lender to get started. Typically potential buyers meet with a real estate agent first, who then refers them to a good local mortgage professional. Connecting with an agent means you should be asking lots of questions about how the real estate market works, school districts and the general home buying process. During the search and discovery process, you’ll start gathering solid information. A mortgage professional will run some numbers and complete a full review of your finances, including pulling your credit. They will connect that data with available loans in the market and teach you about different loan options.
Full steam ahead: after weeks or months (or sometimes years) of dreaming, searching and discovering, you will know the ins and outs of the real estate market. You will have seen enough homes to know what you like and don’t like, and you’ll have prioritized your criteria based on what you’ve learned. You’ll have seen many homes come on the market, go pending and close, which will help you understand list price vs. sale price and why some homes sell faster than others. When you are full steam ahead, you’ll be online 24/7 and being a homebuyer becomes a part-time job. You’ll be in constant contact with your real estate agent, who may be texting or emailing you throughout the day. When a home that matches your criteria comes on the market, get out and see the home in person. Don’t wait for an open house—go and view the home ASAP with your agent. At this stage, you’ll be read to make offers, and you may miss out on one or two homes before getting the home you want. Or you may move forward on a home, only to find out there are inspection issues. You might even experience a little buyer’s remorse. All of this is to be expected. When the right home comes along, it will work out because you’ve done all the prep work and have your team in place.
CENTURY 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd.
Brokerage Independently Owned and Operated
#4 Office in Canada
By Production CENTURY 21 Canada 2013
467 Speers Road, Oakville, ON L6K 3S4