Buying a Home

Buying a home is a very tedious process that can lead to stressful situations if the right people are not there to guide you through the process. There are many decisions that will have to be made and there are many steps that will have to be taken before you finally get the keys to your new home. There are several things you have to consider when buying a house:

What can you afford?

You want to be able to buy the nicest house you can afford. You will also need to have enough money to buy the things you need and live the lifestyle you choose. You can achieve both of these goals by planning carefully and getting the right advice. Talk to me or to your accountant to get an estimate on the mortgage that you can afford.

Pre-approval

Having a rough idea of what you can afford, the next step is to get your mortgage pre-approved. You can get this done through your bank, or you can talk to me and I will guide you through this process. When you have your mortgage pre-approved, you can shop with confidence, knowing how much you can spend for the home of your choice.

Choosing the right home

House vs. Condominium

House
Pros Cons
  • You only pay for the amenities and utilities that you use. In a condominium you usually pay a preset fee for services that you may or may not use.
  • You have freedom to renovate your home in any way you wish.
  • You are responsible for all the repairs, maintenance, and upkeep.
  • Expenses vary by month, making your budget more difficult to manage.
Condominium
Pros Cons
  • Usually includes amenities such as fitness facilities, pools and game rooms.
  • Maintenance and amenity fees can be paid in one lump-sum monthly, making budgeting easy.
  • You don't have to do any yard work and other outdoor chores.
  • You have to follow the rules of your condominium, which may mean that you can't renovate your apartment in any way you wish.
  • You have little control over the monthly fees you pay.
  • Condo fees are subject to increase.

New Home vs. Resale Home

New Home
Pros Cons
  • You have a lot of freedom when it comes to customizing your home.
  • There is usually a warranty for major household systems.
  • New homes are built to meet modern comfort and safety codes, using the latest building materials and technologies - the result is often greater cost and energy efficiency.
  • Usually amenities such as schools and shopping centers are not available when you move into your newly built home.
  • When you just move in, construction noises from nearby sites may be distracting.
  • New homes often don't come with fencing and landscaping, which can cost quite a lot for new homeowners.
Resale Home
Pros Cons
  • You are most likely moving into an established neighborhood, so you can see which amenities and services are already available.
  • Your property most likely has landscaping, fencing, and mature trees.
  • It may have some upgraded features such as a finished basement.
  • May require a lot of maintenance.
  • Added expenses to changing interior design elements that do not suit your taste.

Other Considerations

Some other lifestyle and financial considerations that you might want to think about before choosing your new home:

  • Real Estate Taxes
  • Planning and zoning laws that may limit your long-term plans
  • Proximity to schools and public transportation
  • Recreational facilities
  • Distance of commute to and from work
  • Traffic flow and availability of parking

Advantages of Buyer Representation

The level of service provided to a buyer-client vs. a buyer-customer.

A) During the qualification process.

Buyer-client

Buyer-customer

Confidentiality: Under buyer representation, the buyer can feel secure to divulge information without the fear of harming their negotiations.

If the buyer is a customer, all information gained about that buyer will be shared with the seller to enhance the negotiating position of the seller.

Buyer’s needs: Under buyer representation, a salesperson is obligated to pay full attention to all of the buyer’s needs. This can include, but is not limited to, financial, timing, motivation, familial, etc. This representation will come without an obligation to match the buyer to a seller-client’s property.

If the buyer is a customer, then the salesperson is not obligated to satisfy any particular needs other than dealing fairly, honestly and with integrity with the buyer-customer.

B) During the home selection process.

Buyer-client

Buyer-customer

Full Access: Under buyer representation, it is the responsibility of the salesperson to ensure that the buyer has access to the entire market. This includes private sales, expired listings, properties listed exclusively etc.

As a buyer-customer, the salesperson is acting as a sub-representative and has no such obligation to the buyer.

First opportunity: Under buyer representation, a buyer-client should know that he/she will have first access to any new opportunity that comes up. Be it via MLS, or any other means at his broker’s disposal.

A buyer-customer may have access to all potential properties, but only after the buyer-client has been given first opportunity, and not if it conflicts with the buyer-client’s desire for a property.

C) During the home showing process.

Buyer-client

Buyer-customer

Educating the buyer: under buyer representation, the salesperson is obligated to assist the buyer in making an objective comparison of all competing properties, comprehensive enough for the buyer to make an informed decision as to the value of the property in question, and to make an offer accordingly.

As a buyer-customer, it is the obligation of the salesperson to present comparable facts that protect and enhance the value of the property in question.

D) During the negotiating process.

Buyer-client

Buyer-customer

Price: Under buyer representation, the salesperson is obligated to present all sales statistics in order for the buyer to make the most informed pricing decision, irrespective of the seller’s asking price.

Provide price information to the buyer that supports seller’s listing price.

Clauses: Under buyer representation, the salesperson is obligated to provide counseling on protective clauses for the buyer. – Some examples may include, but are not limited to financing and the time needed to get financing or an appropriate home inspection clause.

Negotiate clauses that are in the best interest of the seller, which may include, but are not limited to closing dates, chattels, or a condition on the seller being able to purchase another home.

Financing: Under buyer representation, the salesperson is obligated to assist the buyer in finding the most suitable, or best financing available for the buyer. This may include such details as rate, amortization, terms (institution), Vendor take backs, or any one of many scenarios available to the buyer.

As a buyer-customer, the salesperson is obligated to negotiate the best financing clause in the interest of the seller. This may include, but is not limited to:
1) The time it takes the buyer to get financing
2) Removing the financing condition from the offer
3) Negotiating the VTB in the best interest of the seller

Negotiating: Under buyer representation, the salesperson is obligated to provide negotiating strategies and techniques that are in the best interest of the buyer.

As a buyer-customer, the salesperson is obligated to provide the seller with strategies and techniques that are in the best interest of the seller.

Previous Offers: Must share all known details of previous unsuccessful offers, or any other information that strengthens the buyer’s negotiating position.

Must share knowledge of previous negotiations the buyer has been in, enhancing the negotiating position of the seller.

Personal Information: Knowledge of any personal information about the seller must be shared with the buyer, including but not limited to the price seller is willing to accept, a price that has already been accepted or rejected, as the case may be, and the seller’s motivation.

Must share information about the buyer which may include but is not limited to; financial information and ability and/or willingness to pay more, motivation, and ability and/or willingness to change closing date.