You've gotten your finances sorted and you've now been pre-approved with a budget in mind, what should you do? Well, now comes the fun part. Searching for the house that's right for you.
Wants. vs. Needs - First I recommend to sit down and determine your wants vs. needs. This is a big one that will help you determine what is important to you and what you are willing to negotiate on. In an ideal world, you will be able to find a home with all of your wants and needs under budget, however, realistically, you may have to decide what you're willing to give on. Use my Wants vs. Needs checklist found here to help you and come up with a better picture of what it is you are looking for.
Research - After we've determined what it is you are looking for, I will go through the current listings and see what is available that meets your criteria and email the possibilities to you. Do some research on your own as well, I recommend using Realtor.ca for a complete list of all current listings. Online searching is definitely the best way to search in today's market. Maybe something catches your eye that you didn't necessarily think would.
Going to see - Once we've narrowed down the list to some possibilities, we'll go and have a look at the properties. Sometimes is hard to get an idea of floor plan and sometimes the pictures don't do the home justice online so it's best to have a look for yourself. I find that you usually can tell shortly after seeing the home if it's something you can envision yourself in or not. More often than not I've found, you walk in and you will just know that it's the one for you.
The offer process
Writing - Once you have found the place you'd like to call home, it's now time to put in an offer. After deciding on things like possession date, the conditions you want placed on the purchase, what you'd like included with the house, and a price you are willing to pay for the home, I will take your deposit and submit the offer to the other agent. Once I've heard back if the offer has been accepted or not will determine what is to come next in the process. If it's rejected or countered, we will handle the situation as it comes. If it's been accepted, then we get to move on to the next step.
Conditions - Typically we have about 7 days to remove all of the conditions we've placed on the offer. Usually, we will have a financing condition, a home inspection condition, and reviewing the property condition disclosure statement. This statement is what the seller fills out when they list their home and they answer a number of questions as to their honest opinion of the condition of the home. It just gives us a better idea of the history of the home. Because you've already been pre-approved, the financing should be no problem. I will submit the accepted offer to your banker and if they require any other paperwork from you for your pre-approval to become approved, now is the time to get it to them. Lastly, the home inspection condition is an important one. I will arrange a home inspection through a trusted and certified home inspector to go and give you a better understanding of the condition of the home. He won't say if the home passes or fails an inspection, that's up for you to decide, he'll just give us a clearer picture as to the issues and things that need to be addressed.
Condos - If you have purchased a condo, there is another, automatic condition that gets placed on the offer. This is called the Schedule C or the estoppel package request. This condition allows you to review the contents of the estoppel package given by the condominium corporation specifically for the unit you are interested in purchasing. In the package contains items such as the financials for the condo corporation, the insurance policy, bylaws, reserve fund study, information on parking, and any other pertinent information related to the unit. You will have 5 days to review the information package once it's received, and once the time has elapsed, it is assumed that you are in agreeance and is automatically removed.
If you do not wish to proceed at this stage before the condition removal date, your deposit is refunded or my office will hang on to it and we can apply it to the next house we find. If you do wish to proceed with the purchase, then we remove conditions and congratulations are in order. You just bought a house!