Whether you are buying your first, third, or eighth home, it will always be exciting. The most important decision you can make is choosing a realtor that will represent you from beginning to end. Choosing the right realtor will reduce anxiety, stress-levels, and confusion associated with all aspects of buying a home. There are countless facets that make up the home buying process, but with the right realtor, you should only have to think about
1) Having Sufficient Financing and 2) Choosing the Right Home.
If you feel "pressured", "stressed" or "confused" with your current realtor, you will want to think about choosing another realtor who will exhibit "patience", "helpfulness", "insight", and "compassion". After all, this will be the biggest purchase you have made in your life up until this point.
A Proper Client/Customer-Agent Relationship Should Develop in This Way:
1. Initial meeting - At my office or at your residence. I will help you gather important information about your requirements (such as location, price range, motivation, financing, etc...). Also, the various costs associated with buying a home, and home ownership, are discussed. Since this will be your first home purchase, we will also discuss the RRSP First Time Home Buyer's Plan, and other incentives associated with buying a first home.
2. Buyer Representation - Once you have decided that I am patient, competent, and excited about representing you in a real estate transaction (and once the agent has decided that he/she can work well with you), the next step is Buyer Representation.
The Buyer Representation agreement ensures that I am working entirely for you (not the sellers). Without this agreement, when I am showing you homes I am essentially working for the vendors of those homes. You will not gain proper insight into vendor motivation, pricing, and comparative values under non-buyer representation.
3. Home Viewings - By far, the most exciting aspect of buying a home. I will will set up appointments to view houses (to fit your schedule). A typical day out could consist of 1 viewing or 10 viewings. Usually, 5 viewings per appointment represent a wise amount (otherwise, you will be rushing, and you will be more concerned with making it to the next appointment rather than feeling what each house has to offer).
4. Putting In An Offer - Often times, first-time home buyers will not grasp the importance of timing with regards to putting in a reasonable offer on a property they love. This, unfortunately, is most often learned through trial and error. Losing out on a home you were ready to purchase is a terrible feeling.
There is a fine line between an agent gently reminding a buyer that time is of the essence when deciding to put in an offer on a home they love, and an agent aggressively insisting that they put in an offer. The reason it is a fine line is that they both sound like sales pitches, even though the first example has the buyer' best interests in mind. Ultimately, if it is the home for you - put in an offer.
5. Negotiating The Offer - In most cases, your initial offer will be different from the asking price. This discrepancy requires "negotiation" to arrive at a mutually agreeable price. Negotiation also extends to other facets of the offer including closing dates, clauses, and deposits.
This is where I will shine. My training as a well-trained sales assassin, 20 plus years of negotiation, and being a full-time real estate professional who will represent your interests 110% during the negotiation process.
Just as a note, despite my experience and competency, be prepared for unreasonable sellers who might simply be "testing" the market (or testing you). It is not frowned upon to walk away from an unreasonable vendor.
6. Conditional Period - After we have concluded negotiations and an accepted agreement is activated, the conditional period starts. This conditional period allows you the buyer time to arrange financing for the purchase, and also allows time for a home inspection.
Once the financing has been finalized and the home inspection has been completed without a hitch, waivers are signed to delete the "conditions" from the agreement. What is left is a "firm" agreement of purchase and sale.
7. Preparing For The Move - I will guide you through the moving process by answering all your specific questions, offering you preparation and moving checklists, and keeping the lines of communication open.
8. After Closing - Finally, you are in your home, enjoying the benefits of home ownership. I will ensure that everything is as it should be with the home, based on the safeguards included in the agreement of purchase and sale.
Hopefully by this time, we have forced a great relationship based on trust, patience, guidance, and friendship. Don't be surprised if you receive some calls, emails, or drops by "just to say hello" after the sale too!
So, if you are thinking of selling and buying a homes this year, should you buy or sell first? I've had many clients purchase before they sell. I just want you to have all the information so you can make the best decision for yourself and your family. You may read more about buying or selling first here
Read about what happened in real estate last month.
I wish you much success, good health and happiness today and always!
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