Purchasing a home without having your own real estate representative can be a very risky and costly decision. Contracting with a skilled buyer representative will certainly make it easier and less stressful on you when it comes to avoiding the pitfalls and minimizing the risks that can be associated with buying a home. A buyer representative will work with you to select homes that meet your specific wants and needs and will arrange for you to visit those properties that you would like to view. Your representative will walk you through the entire process step by step until you have finalized the buying transaction.
Once you have concluded the actual purchase requirements, you will then work with your lawyer to complete the final steps of closing on your new home. How are buyers supposed to know what happens during the transaction and what are the duties of their buyer representative in the whole process? Not all agents/brokers are the same, and they may employ different strategies, but every buyer representative should always have your best interests at the forefront and that means covering basic functions and duties.
The First Meeting
The initial meeting that you have with your buyer representative will be mainly focused on your speaking and the representative listening. You need to feel comfortable in sharing all of your ideas, your needs/wants and your “like to haves”. If a big yard is a must-have, then make that known so that you don’t end up viewing houses that don’t match that criteria. Once you and your representative are both happy with your list of what would be the ideal house for you, you should spend time discussing how the current market is reacting, the level of inventory available for your specific searches and what you can expect during the entire buying process.
How Much House Can You Afford?
One of the challenging tasks is to bring in line your budget and what you can afford that match best with your wants and needs. In order to ensure that you don’t become “house poor” or that you spend time and emotion viewing houses that are not within your means, you should have a mortgage pre-approval before beginning the buying process. This means meeting with a mortgage lender who will determine how much you can afford to spend on a monthly mortgage based on your income and current debt load.
Once you have a qualified pre-approval amount, the whole searching dynamic becomes so much more relaxed because you and your representative know exactly the maximum amount that you are able to spend. Being armed with this mortgage spending information, allows your buyer representative to search for criteria-matching homes that fall within your pre-approval limitation. There is no point in having a representative who is going to waste your time, gas money, etc. by taking you to see houses that you can’t possibly afford to purchase.
Is It The Right Neighbourhood For You?
Location can be one of the critical factors when it comes to deciding on the purchase of a home. Your buyer representative should be equipped with the necessary information to fill you in on all of the aspects related to each community. They should be able to tell you where you can find the nearest and the best schools, or daycare facilities, how far it is to the nearest public transit point, inform you on nearby shopping areas and a host of other amenities (health clubs, walk-in clinics, etc.).
Let’s Go Look At Some Houses!
Once you start actively looking for houses, your buyer representative will take care of booking showing times. Your representative will, and must, always accompany you to all homes that you’d like to view. Touring the home gives you the opportunity to ask questions of your representative that might not be noticeable by just looking. These would be items like “how long ago was the roof redone?”, “how old is the furnace?”, “is the hot water tank a rental?”, etc.
You Found The One. Now Let’s Prepare An Offer!
After viewing a number of homes, you will likely find one that meets your needs and stands out above all the rest that you visited. You’ve picked the one you want. Next step?..your buyer representative, with your assistance and input, will put together an offer to purchase. Remember, you are the buyer and you do not have to pay exactly what the seller is asking, you also have the right to request a home inspection before you finalize your offer and firm up the sale. You have an opportunity to ask for the inclusion of appliances, or other items in the home that you require or would like to have. Of course, the seller also has the right to not approve all of your requests.
When it comes to the price that you want to pay, you will find that you might have to go back and forth with the seller to get an agreement in place that is acceptable to both parties. Your buyer representative should be skilled at knowing how to negotiate on your behalf for the best deal possible.
Don’t Fall Off The Tracks!
Your offer has been accepted and you are now in what is known as “sold firm” status. This means your financing has been approved, and if you requested a home inspection, the results were acceptable to you. Your buyer representative will stay on top of things for you to make sure that all is moving smoothly. It is very important for you to understand the impact your spending can have on your approved financing. Your approval was based on your income and debts. Do NOT start buying new furniture on credit cards, or applying for new credit cards, or financing a new vehicle, or anything of that nature. Should you do so, when it comes to the final stage of closing on your deal, the lender may determine that you’ve increased your debt load to a level where they can no longer provide the same total amount for your purchase.
Do You Like Free?
Hiring a buyer representative means that you will pay nothing for the services that they provide to you. Their compensation is arranged with the selling parties. So you have someone who understands what you want, helps find the house of your dreams, completes all the necessary paperwork, monitors the deal every step of the way, and makes sure that at closing date there are no surprises. And it’s FREE???...you betcha! That’s pretty hard to beat, isn’t it?
*Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract.*