Steps To Buying a Property
Set a Budget
The first step is to determine how much you want to spend as well as how much you can afford. Consult a mortgage specialist or bank. We have strong relationships with major banking institutions if you require a recommendation.
Obtain a pre-qualification letter indicating how much the bank is willing to loan you, this will also help in a bidding situation later to show the sellers we are qualified and serious. This might also be a good time to select a real estate lawyer who will represent you in the purchase process (consult me for recommendations on lawyers that are extremely knowledgeable of real estate law in Ontario and Toronto specifically.
Select Your Realtor
Choose one professional Realtor you would like to work with. If you commit to one agent, he will know you’re committed and will be more inclined to go the extra mile for you. Choose someone with experience and knowledge of today’s market, who will keep your needs and wishes in mind when searching for your perfect home.
Create a Wishlist
Create a list of your needs and your wants such as: living space, location, size, specifics, school ratings, etc.
Work with an experienced, knowledgeable agent to save yourself a substantial amount of time and potential heartache. They will show you properties that meet your criteria and can answer many questions such as location, comparables on the market, last 3-6 month price statistics and much more. They will also be sure not to lose a property you are genuinely interested in, it happens more often that you think.
There's an art to negotiating an offer and quite a bit at stake honestly. No two properties are alike, nore sellers and their representing agents. Your agent should have up to date knowledge of the current market conditions and handle your concerns professionally. He/She should advise you and document which fixtures are included in the purchase, which are negotiable, and which are not; as well as items that are rented and being assumed.
Remember! Even if negotiations are successful the property is not yours ... yet.
Signing a Conditional Contract
After a negotiated offer is signed (and deposit is delivered within 24 hours), most contracts will have conditions which the buyer(s) set, such as financing and home inspection. These conditions vary from 3-5 business days (not including holidays or Saturday / Sunday).
In Condominium transactions, a status certificate condition is highly recommended which outlines the current position of the building in terms of reserve funds, pet restrictions, lawsuits, etc. This will avoid any 'special assessment' type situations which can become cost prohibitive.
If the offer includes a financing condition, this is your time to submit the offer and property details to the lending institute and make sure the property approves for the amount required. This is important because during the pre-approval, the lender may have approved you for an amount, however the property itself might not be worth the same amount.
An extensive home inspection should examine the roof, foundation, and every major system and area in between, including structure, exterior, electrical system, heating and air conditioning system, plumbing system, insulation and vapour barriers, interior, mechanical and natural ventilation systems.
The home inspector can estimate the installation age of the major systems in your home, like plumbing, heating and cooling, and water heaters. Because all appliances and systems in your home have a “shelf life,” it is important to know when they’ll require replacement, so you can budget accordingly.
Once all conditions are met and satisfactory to the buyer(s), waivers or amendments are signed "firming" the transaction and locking the deposit funds to be applied towards closing costs and down-payment.
Before Closing Day
Arrange for moving company or truck booking for the date of closing.
A good agent will work closely with the buyers' lawyer and financial agent to co-ordinate and have the buyer(s) informed of where to be, when and with what.
On Closing Day
On the day or a day in advance, the Buyer(s) will pay the additional down-payment, closing costs (including land transfer tax and lawyer fees), etc.
Buyer(s) will aso sign various documents obtaining title insurance, and transfer of Ownership/Title. This is the time when you will receive the keys to your new home!