How to Conduct Your Home Search
For the majority of people who want to buy a house, this is the most enjoyable part of the whole process. Although it can be overwhelming at times, you can count on us to help you sort through all the options. We respect your time and will show you only homes that meet the criteria we have already set out.
After our initial consultation and fact gathering meeting, we will enter a detailed summary of your wants and needs in a home into a variety of property search programs to begin the property match process . As soon as a property that meets your desirable home criteria is posted on MLS, we will send you an email alert to direct you to that listing. We will not bombard your email with information that is not relevant to you. We will provide daily update emails on all the homes that are new to the market fitting your criteria or have had a recent price change and that match a broadened scope of what you are looking for.
This information is also shared with our vast network of colleagues at Sotheby’s and other agents to inquire if they have any leads of sellers who may have homes fitting your needs and are thinking of selling.
In some neighbourhoods, homes are sold within days, or even within hours, of being listed on MLS. Others are marketed and sold within a real estate company’s network without ever being made available to the public. In some cases, we may be able to arrange for advance access to properties that are represented within their professional and company network.
As market area specialists with a pulse on local and national real estate market trends and changes, we will also ensure you are kept informed of all relevant industry changes that may impact your buying decision including price trends and mortgage rates.
We will assist you on evaluating your options. It can be challenging to determine the fair market value of a home and to assess whether it is “good value” for its listed price or for your budget. Variables that impact the value of a home or property include its location, neighbourhood, community plan, proximity to amenities, lot attributes, views, property size, interior and structural condition, construction type, age, unique features, and the state of the local real estate market.
During the search process you can count on receiving all the relevant information to assist you in making the most informed decision:
- Inform you of the sale prices of the houses we have shown you so you can become educated on market values.
- Make you aware of any issues that may impact your buying decision or cause problems down the road like knob and tube wiring, UFFI, asbestos, poor location, weakness in future resale potential etc.
- Provide you with all details concerning taxes, utility costs, services, and area amenities
- Pre-screen properties before we show them to you to make sure they suit your needs because we respect your time.
- Provide you with the support and advice of highly knowledgeable and experienced professionals such as lawyers, mortgage brokers and home inspectors.
When you find a home that peaks your interest, simply contact us and we will arrange a convenient time to view.
A Few Important Items to Keep in Mind as a Buyer
- Hire a buyer’s agent to represent you. Trying to buy a home without an agent is increasingly complicated today, and it can sometimes end up costing you thousands of dollars. That is why a good team of professionals, such as a real estate agent, a lawyer, and an inspector, can only be an advantage.
- Do not buy a home without an inspection. A home inspection is definitely worth the price because you want to know what you are bidding on to avoid unexpected difficulties. However, bear in mind that inspectors do not report on all potential problems.
- LOCATION. LOCATION. LOCATION. Bear in mind that choosing the right location is one of the most important factors of the home buying process and it should take priority over the price of the house. Do not buy the most expensive house if it is situated in a bad location because in a few years, you might decide to sell the house, and your neighbours’ lower home values will negatively affect yours. You do not want to find yourself in a situation where your selling price is not enough to even cover your mortgage.
- Arrange an accelerated bi-weekly payment plan on your mortgage. This way, you can save a significant amount of money. Another possibility is to double up one payment per year, which will shorten your amortization periods by over six years.
- Never forget that apart from the usual costs, there are always some hidden costs that you should not ignore, such as escrow fees, homeowner’s insurance fees, property taxes, and many others.
Now that you’ve mastered this step of the buying process, read about what still lies ahead in the next chapter on How to Submit Your Offer.