THINKING OF BUYING OR LEASING?
At some point in our lives most of us will decide to purchase a home, whether it be a house, townhome or condominium. When you have made that decision, there are many questions that will come to mind as you begin to go through the process of searching and finally buying that special place you will call home.
Even if you have bought before, many things have changed over the years or you may have forgotten. In order to make this a smooth, informed and enjoyable process, in my initial meeting with my clients, I like to go through and expand on the information which follows.
Qualifying You Financially
As a first step we typically advise our clients to determine their price range before we set out to look at properties. The mortgage broker or banker will take a look at your total income and your total expenses in order to determine what you can afford to spend. If you have not already been to your bank or would like an alternative, we can often assist you with my mortgage sources who usually offer a better interest rate on most mortgages.
Determining what kind of property you are looking for
We will ask you what features you absolutely need and cannot live without, and what features are preferences that you would like to have in your home? The needs are must haves but some of your preferences may or may not be attainable depending on your price range and desired area. During the process of searching for a home, we will continue to ask you questions in order to qualify that we are looking at the right properties. This will help us to find exactly the right home for you.
Another important question is “When would you like to move into the your new home.” What is the ideal date? In addition, if you already own a home, and will be selling it, do you require the closing of one home to coincide with your new purchase?
Other questions that are of concern very often involve schools and transportation. Are you moving to be closer to a particular school for your children? Do you need to be close to the subway or other public transit? Do you want to be in proximity to your place of work?
If you have not bought a property for a while or are a first time buyer, you will find that there are different ways you can now be represented by your Agent. You can be a Client, in which case you will sign a Buyer’s Agency Agreement, or you can be a Customer, in which case , there is a different document you will sign which specifies you have a Customer relationship with the Agent. Lastly there is Dual Agency; a situation where the Brokerage carries the listing and is also representing you as a Buyer. We'll explain these different scenarios to you in detail and the advantages of being represented as a Client under a Buyer Agency Agreement.
New federal government legislation was just introduced in order to track and eliminate money laundering in Canada. This legislation requires that a form be filled out for every real estate transaction executed in Canada. You will need to provide personal information and identification for each transaction. Our office is required to keep this information on file for the Federal Government. For example, if you are selling, we will fill in one form and when you are buying we are required to fill in an additional form. If you were to sell and to buy again next week or in 6 months or 2 years, we would need to fill out the form again for each transaction.
Familiarity with offers
The first time you look at an Agreement of Purchase and Sale, it may be a little daunting. We like to take you through the standard clauses of a simple Agreement in advance to allow you to become somewhat familiar with it. There are standard clauses and clauses printed on the Agreement of Purchase and Sale form. However, we often need to create custom clauses for your particular situation. Finally there can be any number of conditions included in an offer such as financing, a home inspection, sale of the Buyers’ house, status certificate, etc. We like to explainall of this to you in order to give you all the information you need to feel comfortable in going forward with your purchase.
Negotiating the offer
Negotiating the offer is of paramount importance. We explain the process of presenting and negotiating offers. Typically, there is only one offer (yours) however, recently it has become more common for multiple offers (more than one offer at a time for the same property) to be presented. We will explain the differences between these kinds of offers, how each of these are handled and the implications of each situation.
Why you need to have a home inspection, when to get one and what do they involve? We will give you a list of a few Home Inspectors to choose from and outline the advantages to having the process take place prior to submitting an offer.
It is important to realise that there are additional costs to your purchase and that you will need to have these funds available the day you close with your lawyer. There are the lawyer’s legal fees, fees for the instruments which the lawyer must register on title, Ontario Land Transfer Tax and Toronto Land Transfer Tax, as well as the cost of movers. There may be other incidental costs as well.
What important details will you need to consider between the day you bought and the date of your closing? We provide you with a checklist of tasks you will likely need to complete during that time. For example, you will need to make sure that you have obtained Home Insurance before a Financial Institution will advance the funds for your mortgage.
Our relationship does not end after you have bought. I am available to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Sometimes we have Buyer visits scheduled to go revisit the home you have purchased in order to have contractors go through or to take measurements. Sometimes there are other concerns you may need to have answered. You may have a logistical problem that we can solve, or a closing date needs to be amended. Regardless, my goal is to always help make it a smooth and happy event for you.