#1 Shopping before getting pre-approved ~
I know it’s very exciting when you start thinking about buying a new home, especially when it’s your 1st but it’s very important to know what your price range is for several reasons.
~ You don’t want to fall in love with a home that you are ultimately not going to be able to buy. Ugh!
~ You want to be respectful of other people’s time. Whenever a seller has a scheduled appointment they have to clean up the house and then go somewhere for at least an hour. It can be quite disappointing when the seller is informed by their realtor that the people who looked at their property couldn’t actually afford it in the first place. Wouldn’t you feel the same?
~ You will be in a better negotiating position if you have already been pre-approved.
#2 No List ~
Put together a precise list of needs and wants. Without it you’re a swaying reed. Your needs are critical based on your lifestyle but your wants are non essentials. Needs can’t be bargained with but wants are icing on the cake. Having this list will help to keep the “wants” in their proper place. You don’t want to end up buying a home because you fall in love with thoughts of basking in the sun beside your swimming pool while you need 4 bedrooms and 2,000 sqft of living space and you settled for 2 beds, a small den and 1,300 sqft of living space.
#3 No Realtor® ~
Now why in the world would anyone buy a home without proper representation from a professional? With such a large purchase that doesn’t seem to make any sense. Here in BC it’s almost always the seller who pays the commission anyways.
Your Realtor® can…
~ Give you valuable advice on the market value of the property you’re looking at.
~ Protect your interests as a buyer by writing contracts in your favor.
~ Negotiate on your behalf.
~ Check the title and charges against title
~ Recommend professional reputable inspectors, mortgage brokers, lawyers/notaries etc.
"Dan, Mike & I just wanted to thank you for all your hard work in helping us with the sale of our home and the purchase of a new home. We never thought we’d ever consider using a realtor to help us with buying a “for sale by owner” but we sure are glad we had you represent us with that. It felt great to know that we weren’t overpaying and that we were so well protected against the unforseeables. This has been a real eye opener for us. We could both also tell right from the start that you cared more about making sure we were happy than you did about earning a commission! We also REALLY appreciated you keeping us up to speed with what was happening every step of the way and returning our calls promptly. We will definitely be sending all our friends and family your way! Thanks again, Mike & Joanne Van Giesen”
#4 No Inspection ~
Please don’t do that! You’ll give me heart failure! It is crazy not to do an inspection all for the sake of saving $400 on a $300,000+ purchase! As a Realtor® representing buyers, there have been numerous cases where I have negotiated a lower price due to a problem discovered through an inspection. A new roof could cost you $5,000 - $10,000 or a failed septic system could end up costing you $5,000 – $25,000. It makes good business sense to spend a few hundred dollars so that you know exactly what you’re buying. People will think nothing of spending hundreds of dollars protecting their furniture with warranties. A home is a far greater investment… protect yourself!
#5 Unexpected Costs ~
Make sure you know what all the costs are with buying a home. Your Realtor® and your mortgage broker can help you with that too. A few to consider are…
~ Property Transfer Tax (1% on the 1st $200k and 2% of the balance of the purchase price)
~ Possible GST (Particularly on new construction)
~ Legal fees
~ Surveys or title insurance
~ Strata fees (If you’re in a condo or townhouse or strata complex)
~ Property Insurance & Mortgage Insurance Premiums
#6 Losing out on your Dream Property ~
This can really hurt and give you a bad case of the “woulda, coulda, shouldas”. It is important to make sure you communicate clearly with your Realtor® what your objectives are. If your Realtor® is worth their salt, they will be more interested in helping you get what you want than anything else. When you come across your dream property, timing is everything. Don’t doddle...if the property is as good as you think it is, you can bet your bottom dollar that someone else is likely to feel the same. Make your offer promptly, and use every ounce of your Realtor’s® negotiating skills to get an accepted offer as soon as possible. Why is it important to get an accepted offer on the table right away? Because once an accepted offer is in place, you get 1st dibs. In other words, a seller can only entertain one accepted offer at a time, and it contractually binds the seller until such time as you choose whether to do what the offer states or collapse it.