ADVICE FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS
Buying your new home is a serious venture. It can be an absolute pleasure or a massive headache. Your house is not just your home, it is a serious investment in the dwelling, the area and your future.
When buying a home – you’re bound to have many questions. For example, “In what area can I find a home that suits my needs?”, “How much money will I need to afford the monthly payments?” and “How long will the home buying process take?”
While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You’ll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the home you’re interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.
List of Needs & Wants:
Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.
Representation by a Professional:
Consider hiring your own real estate agent, one who is working for you, the buyer, not the seller.
Focus & Organization:
In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:
- One or more detailed maps with your areas of interest highlighted.
- A file of the properties that your agent has shown to you, along with ads you have cut out from the newspaper.
- Paper and pen, for taking notes as you search.
- Instant or video camera to help refresh your memory on individual properties, especially if you are attending a series of showings.
- Location: Look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Would a prospective buyer find it attractive based on school district, crime rate, proximity to positive (shopping, parks, freeway access) and negative (abandoned properties, garbage dump, source of noise) features of the area?
Visualize the house empty & with your decor:
Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?
Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so don’t make a hurried decision that you may regret later.
A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don’t forget such essentials as:
- Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
- Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
- Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.
- You want to check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale having been replaced by a cheap ceiling light).
Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.
All the above may seem rather overwhelming. That is why having a professional represent you and keep track of all the details for you is highly recommended. Please email me or call me directly to discuss any of these matters in further detail.
copyright © Agent Image 2011
Danyelle really worked hard to get great results for us with our purchase and our sale. She got us a great price on the house we bought; value for the money. For our sale she exceeded our expectations on all levels; staging and presenting the house, digging for answers for prospective buyers and handling offer night so professionally and with ease. I definitely recommend Danyelle.
Danyelle is professional, personable and a whiz at all things real estate. It’s a pleasure working with her through and I so appreciate her calm during the emotional storms of selling my house.
Danyelle has been super! — prompt, well-informed, enthusiastic, fun to deal with, a true professional. I highly recommend her!
Danyelle exceeded my expectations compared to my prior experiences. She had a calm presence while focusing on how to achieve my sale/purchase in a very stressful and competitive market. I was always confident that Danyelle was 100% honest and I will recommend her to all my friends.
Danyelle listens carefully to find out what kind of a home you are looking for, within your budget, and goes out of her way to help you to find it. She clearly loves what she does and can help you find any other expert help you need (from mortgage brokers to home inspectors to contractors and more) to make the home-buying experience a truly rewarding one.- November 18, 2010 Top qualities: Great Results, High Integrity, Creative
Danyelle did an excellent job at every step of the process, from helping me identify potential properties to all the details involved in completing the purchase of a home.
Danyelle is just the best person to work with to buy or sell your home! I’ve worked with her several times now and can’t say enough great things about her. Professional and reliable? Absolutely! But much more than that: she’s warm and patient and gets that buying and selling a home is way more than a business transaction. It’s a big life event, and she treats that process with the thoughtfulness and generosity of spirit we all need. At the same time, she brings her expert advice and skill on navigating the current market, staging/prepping the house for sale, etc etc. She’s a full service broker and a total pleasure to work with!!
From our first meeting with Danyelle, we knew we had found the right agent. She showed a genuine interest in getting to know us well with the aim of finding us the right home and it was clear that she had an excellent knowledge of the market.Buying a home in Toronto is not easy. Throughout the process, our confidence was maintained by Danyelle’s tenacity and intelligence and our spirits were kept high by her warmth and generosity.
In the end, we successfully purchased a home and feel very good about the decisions Danyelle helped us make. We are grateful to have found her.
Danyelle did an incredible job marketing, listing and selling my house. She followed through on all her promises and provided me with solid advice with respect to the selling process.
We were referred to Danyelle from a friend when we needed to sell our condo on Queen West. From our first introductory meeting it was clear that Danyelle brought a ton of local market knowledge and professional expertise. The condo sold within a day for above asking. We would recommend Danyelle to anyone looking to buy or sell in the west end.
Danyelle is an extremely experienced realtor with an expert feel for the nuances of the volatile GTA market. She is very attuned to the psychology of buyers and sellers, which enables her to work some real magic. She took our beloved but unrenovated home and turned it from ‘meh’ to multiple offers, selling in six days. The business of real estate is stressful, whether you’re a buyer or a seller. Danyelle’s combination of sensitivity and shrewdness helped us get the best possible result with the least amount of upset. We highly recommend her!
NEGOTIATING WITH SELLERS
Buying a home is one of the most important purchases most people will make. In order to make the right decision the first time, potential buyers need to be prepared. Consider the following before starting negotiations:
Research the housing market in the target area. Once you have information about the general area, focus on the particular property and seller. Look for answers to questions such as:
- Why is the homeowner selling? (If they’re moving because they find the area undesirable, you might want to consider this issue.)
- How long has the home been on the market? (If it has been on the market for a long time, perhaps there are negative facts about the property that you need to know.)
- How much did the seller pay for the home compared to the current asking price? (If the seller paid more, find out why. Was it a general real estate trend, or did property values in that particular neighbourhood go down?)
- What is the seller’s time frame for selling and moving? Does it fit within your needs? Are there any defects in the home or problems with the surrounding neighbourhood? (For example, is the roof so old that it will likely leak during the next storm? Is there a new construction project in the area that will lead to major traffic congestion?)
- As the potential buyer, you want the advantage. While you want answers to all your questions to the seller, reveal very little about your circumstances.
Do not give the seller personal information such as your income, the maximum you are able to pay for a down payment or the home, or when you want to move.
Make sure that your agent knows not to reveal any such information to the seller or his/her agent.
Also, do not let the seller see how much you want the property. If you appear desperate or overly enthusiastic, the seller then has the stronger bargaining position. When meeting with the seller or listing agent, keep your emotions in check.
Establish a Timeline. Find out if the seller needs to have the sale closed sooner rather than later. If the seller is feeling pressured to sell, use that to your advantage in negotiating. Even if you, the buyer, are the one with the deadline for purchasing a home, don’t let yourself be rushed into making concessions or a purchase you may regret later.
copyright © Agent Image 2011
5 Sheridan Ave
C01 Brockton Village Neighbourhood
6 days on the market
Sold for 110% of the list price.
1019-35 Saranac Blvd
C04 Lawrence Manor – Englemount Neighbourhood
6 Days on the Market
Sold for 108% of list price.
505-270 Rushton Road
C02 Wychwood Neighbourhood
3 Days on the Market
Sold for 100% of list price.
Bosley Real Estate Ltd.