Spring is in the air, and the real-estate market is ramping up for the beginning of buyers’ season. Things tend to move faster in the spring and houses for sale are often sold shortly after they are listed. As a potential home buyer, it is important to be prepared as possible before you start looking at potential homes – that way, the chance of losing your “dream home” to another buyer is greatly decreased. You may be wondering … “What are some of the important things that can help you stay on-top of, and ahead of this year’s spring market?” Have no fear, in this toolkit we have everything you need to know, and do, to make the buying experience go smoothly for you!
Your “Tools”-What you want to be prepared with ahead of time:
MORTGAGE INFORMATION & PRE-APPROVAL
Find out what mortgage you qualify for, and get your mortgage pre-qualification. By taking this step you’ll know exactly what you can afford to buy and when you’re ready to make an offer, you can be confident knowing you are staying within your financial boundaries. A financing condition is pretty standard in an agreement of purchase and sale; after your offer is accepted by the seller the time you have to meet the conditions is best spent finalizing your financing on a specific property rather than starting the approval process.
Although that seems like a no-brainer, making sure you have hired the realtor who is right for you is very important when it comes to purchasing a home. Do some research, ask questions, interview a few realtors, check online profiles and reviews. You’ll be spending a lot of time with your real estate agent; make sure you trust them, that they’re knowledgeable and that you’re comfortable with them. Quick and easy contact with your agent is another key piece when it comes to signing and sealing a deal.
YOUR LIST OF NEEDS VS. WANTS
Knowing what you’ll need in your future home, and things that you want (your wish-list) is one of the most important aspects when it comes to looking for a new home. Needs are things that you must have in your new home (e.g. minimum number of bedrooms, a yard for the dog, a safe neighbourhood) whereas the wants’ or your “wish-list” are things you don’t necessarily need, but you’d like to have (Example: Granite countertops). Your “must-have” list will help you rule out homes for sale that aren’t suited for your needs rather than spending valuable time on those that don’t. This process can also open up your search options if some of the things on your need list actually turn out to be wants.
It’s important to keep a list of the pros’ and cons’ of each property that you visit, in order to have a better recollection of the home that is best suited for your family. Remember to check small details in each home, like testing the lights, and plumbing, and make note of the neighbourhood characteristics.
TRUST YOUR GUT
When it comes to knowing what home is the right choice for you, you can use the simple tools listed above to help make an informed decision, however the most important aspect of home-buying is knowing when to trust your gut. The spring market moves quickly, and sometimes being prepared, and trusting your instincts are the two key factors standing between you, and successfully making an offer on your future home in time. If the potential home is in your price range, and has the combination of needs and wants you desire – don’t take the time to sleep on it, or you may lose the opportunity to make an offer. Trust your intuition and keep in close contact with your realtor to have the best support and knowledge while making these decisions.
There are many different aspects that are key elements to finding the right home. Working with your realtor to negotiate for a fair price, finding the neighbourhood you’re comfortable with, and ensuring you have the right credit and down-payment for the home you’re interested in are just some of these factors. The home buying process doesn’t need to be complicated – tool kit in hand, and realtor by your side, will make this spring market a piece of cake for you.