Buying Real Estate

Buying a Home – What to Expect

Whether you’re buying for the first or the last time, most buyers go through a similar process. In my client’s experience, having an idea of what to expect makes any home purchase less stressful.

Initial Meeting

Our first meeting can be by phone, but in person is the best option (when possible). It allows each of us to get a sense of the other and determine whether we would work well together. It is also my first opportunity to learn about your needs and wants for your future home, and any concerns you might have. We will discuss current real estate market conditions, your budget, areas and neighbourhoods of interest, answer your initial questions and also get your home search set up and activated.

Pre-Approval

After our first meeting, if you haven’t done so already, I will ask you to meet with a mortgage broker, or arrange a pre-approval with your bank or the lender of your choice. Being pre-approved is key. Not only does it help set the parameters for your search but it gives you peace of mind knowing you can afford the properties you are going to see.

The next step is to get out and start looking at properties, and here is where things may begin to change.

Pre-Approval

After our first meeting, if you haven’t done so already, I will ask you to meet with a mortgage broker, or arrange a pre-approval with your bank or the lender of your choice. Being pre-approved is key. Not only does it help set the parameters for your search but it gives you peace of mind knowing you can afford the properties you are going to see.

The next step is to get out and start looking at properties, and here is where things may begin to change.

House-Hunting

Once a buyer starts looking at what is available, their list of needs and wants goes through a refining process that is sometimes subtle, sometimes drastic. Some features may be added to the list, while others are removed. Timelines may change if you find a home sooner than expected, or not as quickly as hoped. Neighbourhoods being considered may change. The bottom line: this evolution in your thinking is normal.

Making an Offer

When you find a home that is right for you, we write an offer that takes into consideration other comparable sales, the condition of the property and many other factors. The offer is presented to the sellers and negotiations begin.

Making an Offer

When you find a home that is right for you, we write an offer that takes into consideration other comparable sales, the condition of the property and many other factors. The offer is presented to the sellers and negotiations begin.

Handling the Paperwork

Once we successfully reach an agreement, I send a copy of the fully signed offer to your lawyer and mortgage professional, and we get to work fulfilling any conditions (such as a building inspection) within the time frame laid out in the offer.

When all conditions have been fulfilled to your satisfaction, we notify the sellers and their representative and make the deal firm.

And then, of course, we celebrate!

After the offer is firmed up, my work continues as I communicate with your lawyer, mortgage professional, insurer and anyone else involved in completing your purchase. Meanwhile, as you prepare to move, I support you with resources and guidance, including movers, decluttering/downsizing experts, skilled trades or others, to smooth the transition to your new home.

And then, of course, we celebrate!

After the offer is firmed up, my work continues as I communicate with your lawyer, mortgage professional, insurer and anyone else involved in completing your purchase. Meanwhile, as you prepare to move, I support you with resources and guidance, including movers, decluttering/downsizing experts, skilled trades or others, to smooth the transition to your new home.

What to Expect – Working with Me

I don’t believe it is my job to sell you on anything. I do believe that, as a REALTOR® it is my role and responsibility to provide you with:

  • facts and knowledge to help you make informed choices and decisions as educated buyers
  • advice and perspective based on many years of experience buying and selling homes
  • resources and specialists to help your decision-making with knowledge outside of my own expertise

You can rely on me to be truthful, respectful of your time, knowledgeable about Ottawa real estate, and attentive to your needs. I am an experienced negotiator, flexible when needs/wants/timing/plans change, and ethical as well as conscientious.

Who Pays Me?

Not you! When you hire me to represent you in the purchase of a property, my commission is usually paid by the listing brokerage. There are specific circumstances where commission may be handled differently (such as a private sale where commission would be paid by the private seller) but it is rare a buyer would pay my commission directly.

There is great value in this for any buyer. When you work with me you benefit by having an experienced real estate professional look out for your best interests – and your interests alone. A confident and skilled negotiator, I have a wide network of resources at your disposal, including lawyers, building inspectors, skilled trades and mortgage representatives (among others).

Please note: I do not accept referral fees. I ask those offering referral fees to make a donation to the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. It is important my clients know that when I refer a person or company it is solely because I believe in their product or service, not because I will benefit in some way.

Financing – My Recommendations

  • Work with a mortgage broker, not a bank: I believe clients are usually best-served by working with a mortgage broker rather than a bank. A mortgage broker can run a credit report and then shop your business to a larger number of lenders to help you find the best mortgage, rate and options. A bank can only offer you their own product(s).
  • Don’t “shop around” for mortgages on your own: Avoid going from one big bank or financial institution to another. This can negatively affect your credit rating.

Key Documents for Buyers

There is plenty of paperwork in any real estate transaction. Understanding each document is key to being a knowledgeable, confident buyer. Too much information all at once can be overwhelming though, so each time we get together I will go over another piece or two in the paperwork puzzle until you have a clear overview and understanding of each document.

When buying property with the help of a licenced REALTOR® in Ontario, the following are plain language versions of some of the most commonly used documents.

Working with a REALTOR®(PDF)

Buyer Representation Agreement (PDF)

Agreement of Purchase and Sale (PDF)

Agreement of Purchase and Sale (Condo) (PDF)

Confirmation of Cooperation and Representation (PDF)

Help Me Understand Your Needs

If you would like help buying, please complete the form below and I’ll get in touch.

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