Most likely, buying a piece of real estate is going to be one of your biggest investment in your life. You will certainly want to have a team of professionals working with you throughout the buying process. After all, you wouldn’t want to cut your own hair or hire the cheapest doctor when you really need the best… Let’s see who needs to be on the bus.
The Real Estate Agent
Your Realtor will play the most important role in helping you to find the right home. His job is to be the quarterback in the game. Some of the main parts of his responsibilities are:
• Discover what’s important to you. I.e.: price, location, size, upgrades, etc.
• Help you to find the right home.
• Draft up an offer that is favorable to you.
• Negotiate on your behalf to get the best price and terms for you.
• Provided you with important information about the community that may be imperative to your decision making.
• Supervise the home inspection and to save you time where ever he can.
Be sure to ask plenty of questions before settling for a Realtor to represent you. If you can, why not compare one Realtor to another? Find out their previous track records, how long they have been in the business and most importantly, how do their sales number compare to the average Realtor? Once again… I am sure that you wouldn’t want to hire the average brain surgeon if you would need it, look for the best and minimize your risk.
When you are buying real estate, typically it won’t cost you anything to have a Realtor represent you. However, before signing any piece of document, find out or read the print to discover if there are any obligations on your behalf.
The Bank or the Mortgage Broker
One of your initials steps is to get a mortgage pre-qualification in place. This piece of document will assist you a couple of ways. Firstly, you will know how much you can afford exactly and you won’t be wasting anyone’s time, including yours if the bank won’t approve you for the mortgage.
Secondly, you can use it as a negotiation tool once you find the right property. Many home sellers are very skeptical of removing their properties from the market for a period of 1-2 weeks for you to complete your due diligence. If you have proof in your hand that you are very much so pre-qualified, than it helps to ease the edges during the negotiation process, and allows you to focus on things that might be more important to you.
You should definitely shop around a bit to find the best lending institution as there are many of them. As an example, here is a few of them: banks, trust companies, credit unions, pension funds, insurance companies and finance companies. Be on the lookout for the terms and the options they will provide.
Getting in touch with a mortgage broker may be a wise decision for you in order to save a lot of time. Mortgage broker don’t work for a specific bank, rather they work for you and the best part is that the banks pay them. Their job is to find you the best lender with the terms and rates that will best suit the buyer.
Many times there could be legal issues attached to the particular property that you are looking at buying. Your lawyer will make sure that before the purchase is completed that you are not going to have any building or statutory liens or charges or work or clean-up orders associated with it that you may inherit. Having a lawyer to compete the transaction sure gives you a piece of mind.
The Home Inspector
Home inspectors are doing this everyday for a living – identifying problems that may cost you a lot of money in the future. It’s not even a question of you should do a home inspection on the property that you are going to purchase. Just like in any other profession, experience and reputation makes a huge difference when selecting the home inspector.
The home inspector’s job is to point out any defects of the property and inform you of its current condition. He will inspect the following areas:
• Doors and windows
• Roof and exterior walls
• Plumbing and electrical systems
• Heating and air conditioning systems
• Ceilings, walls and floors
• Septic tanks, wells or sewer lines
• Overall opinion of structural integrity of the building
The Insurance Broker
Lenders will insist on having current property insurance in place prior to them advancing the mortgage funds. Your property will be their collateral for their investment or your mortgage. Property insurance will cover the replacement cost of your home, so premium may vary depending on its value.
Quite often your lender will order an independent appraisal report to make sure that their mortgage is well protected. You may also order an appraisal’s report in order to find out how much your property is worth and helps you to ensure that you are not paying too much
I am a licensed member of the Real Estate Council of Alberta since 2005 - proudly representing CIR REALTY, Calgary’s largest real estate brokerage. I enjoy keeping my readers up to date with real estate related information that they can easily understand and use for their own benefit. I welcome feedbacks and comments equally from first-time visitors to my blog, past clients and also from my fellow REALTOR® colleagues. Thanks for stopping by!