There are 8 steps to buying a home. If followed, home buyers will be successful in finding what they are looking for in their next purchase. In today’s age of technology and quick access to information it is easy to skip over steps. It has been my experience that this can result in more stress and possibly buying a home that is not a good fit.
Here are the 8 steps to follow:
1. Prepare to Buy
This is where you need to ask yourself and answer important questions. For renters it is details like knowing when the lease is up and for owners it may be an understanding the question, "should we buy first or should we sell first?" What is the deadline for making the purchase? How will work be affected by the move?
2. Meet with an Agent
Find an agent who has experience with both buyers and sellers and understands both sides of the market. Learn about how that agent represents you ( Buyers’ Agency) and sign a contract that outlines your and his/her rights and responsibilities. Have the agent define and explain the buying process, then ask lots of questions.
3. Establish Price Range and Financing
Get a pre-approval from your lender or mortgage broker. Research and understand financing options and risks. Ask the lender to explain fixed rate, variable rate and insured mortgages. Read through the CMHC Home Buyer's Roadmap.
4. Determine what you Want and Need
What is motivating the purchase? How will this home affect your lifestyle? Look for a home with features and benefits that help support your answers to these questions. Is having a big yard important? A garage? The number of bedrooms, bathrooms? A finished basement? Make sure your agent understands all of this. He/She is working for you to help you find the perfect fit.
5. Start the Search
Use technology to help narrow down selections. Develop search criteria. Ask your agent to show you the homes that fit your criteria. Imagine yourself living in these homes, where will the furniture go? How will life be? Discuss these thoughts with your agent so they get to know more about what you want in a home. Focus on the permanent features and characteristics of the house. Let the children in on the selection. Once you find the house you want, don’t hesitate to make an offer.
6. Complete a Purchase Agreement
You agent will be your adviser, but you will ultimately make the final decisions. Your goal is to reach an agreement with the seller. In most cases that will be a win-win for both the buyer and the seller. Remember that quality real estate always demands market value. Understand the deposit money, down payment, unattached goods, the price you are offering, the conditions you have put on the offer, any terms toy wish to add and the deadline for negotiations.
7. Negotiate the Offer
In every step of the process, you or the seller can either reject, accept or counter any offer. If there are multiple offers, the seller may select a competing offer. Negotiate only the items that are most important to you.
8. Close the Deal
Work with your agent and lender to provide you with the necessary documents that inform you to your satisfaction that you want to proceed with the purchase by waiving the conditions you set out in the offer to purchase. Your lender will get an approval for the financing and your agent will help you with a property inspection and satisfy any other other conditions you have placed on the purchase.
It has been my experience that families who follow the 8 steps waste little time in finding a house and families who use shortcuts often find themselves in an uphill climb on the perpetual staircase.
Jim Perks is a REALTOR in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He uses his expertise in Internet marketing and real estate experience to service both his buyers and sellers throughout the city of Calgary. He can be reached at RE/MAX Real Estate (Mountain View) 403-247-5178 or by email at email@example.com. His website is www.calgaryrealestateagent.ca
Jim Perks is a Calgary REALTOR who divides his time working with both sellers of houses and buyers of homes. He has been an agent since 2010