Buying the Right Home With the Right Realtor

Finding and buying the ideal property can be a dream come true. There is something special about walking up to the front door on moving day, sliding in your key and entering your very own home for the first time. However, getting to that point can be a nightmare unless you have the right real estate agent working with you throughout the buying process. A good Realtor should ensure that he or she will do two obvious but important things for you:

• Help you get organized so that you know what, when, where and how much home you can buy

• Help you buy a home that matches your requirements and is well within your budget;

The right Realtor should take the time to learn what you really want in a home. This may sound obvious but many don’t. They should look at your needs and desires, and help you determine the price range within which you should shop. Then show you properties that meet that criteria – including new listings the moment they come on the market.

An experienced and professional real estate agent can help you find and buy your ideal home, quickly, and make the entire process go smoothly for you. During a viewing, your real estate agent will (or should) give you the inside scoop on that property, so you know the full story. Your real estate agent will also point out desirable features, and potential issues, that you might otherwise miss.

When it comes time to make an offer, your real estate agent will present and negotiate it on your behalf. If you don’t have your own real estate agent, you would have to deal directly with the seller’s agent, who is legally obliged to work in the seller’s best interests – not a good idea!

What to Look for in a Real Estate Agent
When buying a home, you want a real estate agent who…

• Takes the time to understand your needs and goals, so you have a true partner in your home buying journey.
• Explains everything clearly and answers your questions, often more than once, so you’re never in the dark.
• Has expertise and a track record of success in the local market.
• Knows how to find great properties in your price range.
• Will alert you to new listings, quickly, so you get the jump on those opportunities.
• Will advise you on the best price to offer for the home you want.
• Will prepare and present the offer, and skillfully negotiate such things as price, conditions, closing dates, etc. so you get the best deal.
• Will save you potentially thousands of dollars by ensuring you don’t overpay for the property you want.
• Will recommend reputable home inspectors, movers and other professionals you may need.

The best way to select the right real estate agent, is to meet with him or her in person. Ask questions. See if there is a good fit…then you go to the bank!

How Much Home Can You Afford?
An important ingredient in a successful home search is knowing how much you can afford. That is why getting a Mortgage Pre-Approval should be your first step. This is a document from your lender stating how much of a mortgage they are willing to give you. By knowing what you can afford, you can confidently shop within that price range. There are two advantages to getting this pre-approval:

• It gives you the peace-of-mind of knowing you can afford homes you view on the market, and won’t have problems arranging financing.

• It’s a sign to sellers that you are a serious, prepared buyer – which gives you the edge when making an offer.

Banks and lenders use specific criteria to determine how much of a mortgage they’re willing to offer you. They look at your income, expenses, credit history and employment status, as well as the down payment you plan to make on a home. It may seem like a scary process, but it is actually
straightforward. You can usually get a Mortgage Pre-Approval in a day.

You’ll be glad that you did.

Time to Get Serious…
You have visited several homes, gone through many open houses, viewed countless listings and then, one day, you find it! The one you’ve been searching for…your next home. What now???

When you find a home that you really want, you can hardly wait to be handed the keys. In fact, you may worry that the property will somehow slip through your fingers. Don’t be. You have an expert by your side. Your real estate agent’s goal now, is to ensure you get that home at a price that works for you.

The first step is preparing “the Offer”. This is the document presented to the seller that basically states the price you’re offering, as well as any conditions. The price you go in with is critical. You want it to reflect the true market value of the property so the seller will take your offer seriously. On the other hand, you don’t want to go in too high and risk overpaying for the home.

Making an offer can seem like the nail-biting part of the process. It doesn’t have to be. That’s the advantage of selecting a real estate agent who puts clients first. When you go after a property you really want, you can take comfort in knowing you have an expert on your side… someone who knows how to get that home for you.

Just because the purchase has been made doesn’t mean your Realtor’s work stops. On the contrary.

There are a myriad of other steps to ensure the process goes smoothly. Realtors take care of many of the administrative details on your behalf and then work with the seller’s agent, your lawyer, and your mortgage lender to ensure that all the necessary paperwork has been completed and submitted. An experienced real estate agent should be well-connected in the local real estate scene and can personally recommend reputable professionals and companies to help you.

The process of finding your next home can be filled with challenges and risks. When you go after a property you really want with a true professional representing you, take comfort in knowing you have
an expert on your side… someone who knows how to get that home for you.

Stephen McDermott

Sales Agent Royal Lepage