The Buying Process – 8 Easy Steps For First Time Condo Buyers
1. Choosing the right real estate agent to work with is the most important part of the whole process. When looking for a real estate agent you should keep in mind that it does not cost you (the buyer) to have a real estate agent represent you. The selling party is responsible for the compensation of your real estate agent’s commission. The relator you choose to work with should also work hand in hand with a property lawyer. When you make your selection, keep in mind that you want a relator who is experienced and who specializes in (knowing) that neighbourhood. Some questions that you may want to ask could be; What areas do you specialize in? How many buyers have you represented in the area that I am interested in? A common mistake that many first time home buyers make is that they go with a relator who is their friend, instead of the local real estate agent expert, and whom they feel obligated to. Although your friend who is an agent and is considered loyal may not be the right choice in finding you the perfect condo because the agent might lack a good understanding and experience of the area. In the end, you should choose an agent that will save you money and that will look out for your best interests (wants and needs).
2. Getting a mortgage is the next important step. In order to get pre approved, you should go to your bank and sit down with a mortgage broker, have them explain the mortgage process to you, and fit you with the best interest rate and terms. The letter of approval is usually valid between 45 and 90 days.
3. The condo search process is the most exciting step. You and your relator should get together and discuss your wants and needs, then your relator should book you the best listings according to these wants and needs. Some of these might include, price range, number of bedrooms & bathrooms, specific amenities, floor premiums, and certain finishes. Some things that your relator should be advising you on are; appreciation rate of the unit, builder reputation, location of the condo and financial stability of the condo corporation. Once the properties have been booked, you will look at the layouts, get some decorating ideas, view the many amenities and compare what you like the best/least about the properties you have viewed.
4. Finding the perfect unit can prove to be a challenge at times. Sometimes you like everything but the price. Your real estate agent should pull up a comparative market analysis (CMA): recently sold, recently expired and just listed properties in the condo you are wishing to buy. This will allow you to know if you are over paying for your condo, how much you can negotiate the price, and to see how much the unit has appreciated over time.
5. Making an offer is a significant step in bringing you closer to your dream condo. Once you have found your property, made a comparison and found the unit meeting your needs, it’s time to make an offer. Always make it conditional on status certificate. The offer may be also conditional on financing and inspection. During this time period, you should take your conditional offer to your lending institution and your lawyer for revision. They should go over everything and make sure that all is in order. It is important for you to also read over the bi-laws of the condo section and to make yourself familiar with them. This section includes, whether or not you are allowed to have pets, the amenity hours, number of free visitor parking passes you have every month, etc. Once you are satisfied with the status certificate and other clauses, you may wave your conditions and then the deal goes firm.
6. What happens after the deal goes firm? At this point, everything will be reviewed one more time, by the lender, the real estate agent and the lawyer. They will make sure that everything is ready, that no last minute complications arise, that are unnecessary and that you can move in on your closing day. You will sign any outstanding documents, if applicable once the deal goes firm.
7. Prior to closing date – about one week before closing, you should get in touch once more with your agent, the lending institution and your lawyer to make sure that everything is still in good order. This is the time when you should register yourself with the condo management, and book your elevator for the day of moving.
8. On the day of your closing you will meet up with your lawyer, obtain any necessary documentation and get your keys. Now you are ready to move in! Congratulations on your new Home!