Navigating the world of real estate can be confusing, to say the least. In order to make the best purchase and ensure a smooth transaction, a buyer needs to make a lot of important, informed decisions and pay a fair few costs that they may have been unaware of.
Choosing the right realtor is a large step in the right direction, as they can use their expertise and years of experience to your advantage. Unsurprisingly, realtors find that they see people making the same mistakes over and over again.
To help you to avoid making these mistakes when you’re buying a home, here are five things your realtor wishes you knew.
1. Make your best and highest offer straight away
Of course everyone wants the best deal possible; however, in a hot market, it's not uncommon for a house to get multiple offers.
Many buyers assume that they will get the opportunity to raise their offer later if necessary, but often this isn't the case and they risk missing out on the property they want because they went in with a lower offer.
2. Homes don’t stay on the market for as long as you might think
Many buyers make the mistake of assuming that a property they have their eye on will be on the market for a few weeks or even months. However, in Toronto, many homes are only on the market for around three weeks or less before being sold.
Unfortunately, this does mean that buyers must make a decision quickly and if they like a home they need to make an offer as soon as possible.
3. Make sure that you can afford the true cost of ownership
If you think that once you’ve saved up enough money for your 20% deposit and know that you can afford mortgage payments then you’re financially ready to buy a home, you’re wrong. A number of taxes, fees and costs must be paid before closing and this can add up to thousands of dollars.
Even once you have closed the deal, you need to budget for costs such as insurance, repairs, and maintenance that you wouldn't have had to think about when you were renting.
4. The impact of your credit score
Credit scores have a huge impact on whether or not you can take out a mortgage on a home. Those looking to buy property should speak to lenders and find out what their credit score is, what credit score they need to buy a house, and what factors influences their credit score.
The best way to gain a good understanding of this is to speak to lenders and your realtor.
5. Don’t change your financial situation before closing
Once you have been qualified for a mortgage, it’s important to understand that your loan amount may chance if your financial circumstances change.
Avoid making large purchases or opening new lines of credit to ensure that you can still borrow the amount of money offered and purchase the property that you want.