Buying a pair of shoes, or a new flat-screen can change your day, but buying a home can change your life, especially when you’re buying one for the first time.  But the thing is, when you know what you’re in for, it doesn’t have to be intimidating. So we put together a short guide to everything - and we mean everything - you need to know before you buy. Maybe you’re tired of throwing money into a rental. Or maybe you’re getting too big for that one-bedroom condominium. Or maybe you’ve always dreamed of owning your own home with a backyard. Or maybe the kids have all gone off to college and you’re thinking about down-sizing. Whatever your situation, whether you’re going into the market for the first time, or whether you’ve bought and sold before, we can help. So let’s get stated by looking over this short Buyer’s guide, then give us a call and we’ll help you with the rest.
1.  don’t just find an agent, find a Buyer Agent
Put simply, buyers need agents who are specialized. A Buyer’s Agent doesn’t get bogged down with all the extra baggage of trying to be an expert in everything. The team’s Buyer Agents are totally dedicated to understanding what buyers need - from the state of the market, to the buying process, to matching you with your perfect home, a Buyer Agent can do this better than anyone. Starting with a team Buyer Agent is a good first step.
2.  seek financial advice
It’s easier than you think. With the advice of a good mortgage broker (you can find one in our Resources page), you can quickly sort out how much you can afford, what the monthly payments will be, and what price range you should be looking in. They’ll help pre-approve you for a certain amount, and also explain the many mortgage options available. Experienced buyers can get help figuring out how to make the most out of their next purchase.
3.  get out there and see some property
We’ll talk about what you’re looking for and show you the options - everything from the neighbourhoods that fit your style to how close the coffee shops are.  It’s all about finding a place that you’ll be proud to call home.  We keep a constant eye on the market for you and set up a daily search for properties on your wish list.  Anything that’s a match will be sent to you automatically.  When you’re ready to see them for yourself, we’ll arrange personal tours of the places you like best and offer insights based on our years of experience selling every kind of real estate in Toronto.
4.  figuring out a property’s value.
After you’ve found a place you love, and before you do a victory dance, we figure out its value. It’s complex, but we’ve got a system. We look at the selling price of similar houses in the area, or in the case of a condo, we check the sales history of the building, and we look at market trends. From this, we produce a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), which is basically an educated estimation of the property’s value.  Once you’re comfortable with the math, we can discuss an offer.
5.  the offer 
Making an offer is all about finding something you and the seller can agree on - after all, you both want the same thing.
When you’ve found a property you like, your team Buyer Agent will help you figure out a reasonable offer, one that has a good shot of being accepted by the seller. Price is obviously the most important part of the offer.
But there are still some factors, beyond price, that can affect whether or not your offer will be accepted. These other factors are the conditions you may choose to place on your offer. Your offer could be conditional on your financing being approved, on a home inspection, or on a lawyer reviewing the condominium documents.
The closing date can also affect whether or not your offer will be accepted. You and the seller will hopefully have a similar date in mind for the deal to close, and for the property to change hands. If you don’t, either the seller or the buyer would be left without a residence for a period of time, which is unattractive to the seller because it can be pretty expensive. So whenever possible, we recommend you pick a closing date that the seller will find convenient.
Once an offer is made, it may be accepted right away. Other times, there’s some back and forth between you and the seller, and we’re there to represent you in these negotiations.
Sometime your offer is the only one, and sometimes you’re competing with other offers. In a situation where multiple offers are anticipated, buyers may not put conditions on their offers, along with an attractive price, to make their offer more competitive. There are a lot of variables in this regard, and your Buyer Agent will help guide you through them.
6.  the deposit
If you’re at this point, the Seller has accepted your offer and you’re almost there. As a part of the Agreement, the buyer normally delivers a deposit with the offer, or within 24 hours of acceptance. This is usually around 5% of the purchase price. The seller’s agent holds the deposit in trust until closing, and should the buyer be unable to fulfill the conditions of the offer (if any) the deposit is returned to them in full.  When the sale closes, the deposit goes toward the purchase of the property. The team will help you through this by organizing the pickup and delivery of your deposit, and making sure you are kept in the loop.
7.  fulfilling the conditions
Now that you’re here, your offer has been accepted, and if all goes well, you could be picking out paint colors in less than two weeks.  If your offer didn’t have any conditions, feel free to skip to the end.
First, the financing conditions need to be addressed. You’ll visit your mortgage broker (check out the list on our Resources page for some good ones) and they’ll begin the final approval process.
If you’re buying a condo, your lawyer will want to review the property’s financial and legal profile from a document produced by the condo corporation called the Status Certificate. The cost for this package is usually $100, which is paid buy either the buyer or seller, depending on what you’ve negotiated. The Status Certificate can take up to 10 days to put together, and about 2-3 days for your lawyer to review.  Check out the Resources page on our website for a list of lawyers who can help you through this process.
If you’re buying a house, we recommend a home inspection. A professional home inspector spends about 3-4 hours thoroughly checking out the home - you can go along, and ask any questions you may have. The inspector will produce a summary of their findings, upon completion, and some of their best recommendations for the home.  Sometimes, especially in situations where there is more than one offer, the buyer may complete these steps before submitting an offer with their agent. This potentially makes the offer more attractive to the Seller. 
If all goes well, you’re planning your move and saving your newspapers for packing. But should something not go according to plan during the conditional period - like if you’re not happy with the home inspection, or you are unable get the financing you expected - you’re protected by your conditions. You’ll get your deposit back and the deal becomes null and void. Should you find yourself in this situation, we’ll help you through it by keeping track of the various professionals involved, and by keeping you apprised.
Once the conditions have been fulfilled, you sign a waiver(s), and the deal is firm. It’s time to send out the housewarming invites, and call your mom so she can get started on that embroidered “Home Sweet Home” disc you’ll hang prominently in the basement. You’ve done it! And after all this hard work, you’ve got a new home.  
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