8 Initial Steps to Get Your Best Buying Deal

Want to make sure you get the best home for you?

Here are 8 steps to help you get the best deal on your next home purchase:

1. Have your lender of mortgage agent pull your credit score. You will need a minimum Credit (Beacon Score) of 650 for most mortgage options. Do this early because if you find mistakes, you'll need time to correct the record before you apply for financing.

2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage. This means your income; debts, credit and other factors have been checked and verified. This step will help you narrow the field to only those homes you can truly afford and allow you to negotiate with confidence.

3. Feel comfortable with your mortgage payment. Consider what you want to pay, not what you can pay. That way, if life throws you a curve, like a job loss or family illness, it is doable.

4. Zero in on the individual features. Which do you really need, which do you merely want and which don't matter? If buying with a spouse, integrate your lists. With a unified approach, you're more likely to get what you want.

5. Choose your neighbourhood 1st. Buyer's rank this as the most important factor in buying a home. Consider your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice. This will help you narrow your search, given your price range.

6. Hire a buyer's agent. A good REALTOR® can help you focus your search and avoid pricing pitfalls. You want someone patient and focused on what you are interested in, someone you feel comfortable with, who will listen and who will also give you the straight goods.

8. Study comparable Sales. Do this before making a first offer. What's the difference between list price and sale price? You’ll get a good idea of how much room you have to bargain. In today's market, "you need a buyer's agent to explain the nuances of the market. It will help you determine a real value for the property.

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