Buying a home is most likely the biggest purchase you'll ever make in your life. So, arming yourself with the right information before you go on a mission to find your perfect home might save you a lot of stress and keep you from making some house-hunting mistakes.
Lawyer Pat Filice has written a book on 101 tips for new home buyers. Get your complimentary copy.
The first word of advice is to shop around for a realtor with whom you feel comfortable. After all, this person will probably introduce you to the home in which you'll be spending many years. If you feel you can trust your salesperson to act in your best interests, you've probably found the one for you.
Getting pre-approved will save time and possible disappointment
Before you go looking for your dream home, it might be a wise idea to pay a visit to your bank or mortgage company to find out how much of a home you can afford. This way, you won't waste your time looking at places that are out of your price range. When you go mortgage shopping, take into consideration what your total costs will be upon closing. You'll have to shell out money for such things as taxes, appraisal fees, legal fees, insurance and any adjustments.
You're not on the hook for commissions
Some buyers don't realize they won't have to pay commission for their purchase. It's the vendor (the one who's selling his or her home) who pays commission to realtors. The rate of the commission is between the vendor and his or her realtor. The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) makes these kinds of rules for the benefit of all involved in real estate transactions. All Ontario realtors are members of RECO and must adhere to their strict guidelines.
There are some other things of which you might wish to take note prior to making an offer on a home:
- A home inspection is not a legal requirement, but might be money worth spending. An inspection can point out areas that may be a concern with the home, like faulty wiring or plumbing, and it could be a way out of a contract.
- If your offer is on the table with others and you really have your heart set on the home and it's still within your means, be prepared to offer more than the listing price.
- Get ready for lots of signing. There are many documents connected with the purchase of a home. Read your contract because they aren't all standard. If there is something you don't understand, ask your realtor or legal counsel.
There are many issues to consider when you're on a hunt for the perfect home. When purchasers bring a lawyer into the dynamics of the deal prior to closing, it may keep them from experiencing possible losses for issues like fraud, errors in a survey, undisclosed liens, encroachment problems or anything else that could prevent them from getting clear ownership of the property.