Home Buying Process
Home buying can be confusing, convoluted process but I find that it is much more manageable if it is broken down into a 6-Step Home Buying Process.
If you have any questions regarding any specific step in the process lease contact me for more information:
Determine Your Wants and Needs
One of the keys to making the home-buying process easier and more understandable is planning. In doing so, you will be able to anticipate requests from lenders, lawyers and a host of other professionals. Furthermore, planning will help to make the home buying process more efficient.
Initially there are two primary questions that you will have to answer. “Do you have a general idea of what you are looking for?” and “Do you have the money?” Whatever your answer, the more you know about the Victoria Market or a specific cities real estate marketplace, the more likely you are to effectively define your goals.
These and many questions can be quickly answered by a knowledgeable Real Estate Agent.
Select a Real Estate Professional
More than 1000 people in Victoria have real estate licenses. However, real estate is a tough business with a steep drop out rate, and the result is that only a small percentage of those with licenses actively work with buyers and sellers full time.
Buying and selling real estate is a complex matter. At first it might seem that by checking local real estate magazines or online sites you could quickly find the right home at the right price. But a basic rule in real estate is that all properties are unique. No two properties, even two identical models on the same street are precisely and exactly alike.
Homes differ and so do contract terms, financing options, inspection requirements and closing costs. Also, no two transactions are alike. For example, you may be stopped because of a lack of enough cash. In the maze of forms, financing, inspections, marketing, pricing and negotiating, it makes sense to work with professionals who know and are experienced in Victoria.
With almost 20 years of experience I can guide you through your purchasing decision.
Apply for Mortgage Pre-Approval
“Pre-approval” means that you have met with a mortgage broker, your credit files have been reviewed and the mortgage broker or banker believes that you can readily qualify for a given loan amount. The lender will then provide you with a commitment letter.
Many buyers finance their home purchase, which means that virtually all buyers, especially first time buyers require a loan. A mortgage can be tailored to your specific needs and the best possible terms that are available to you.
To obtain a mortgage you must complete a written loan application with a specific Mortgage broker or banker and provide supporting documentation. Specific documents include recent pay stubs, and tax returns for the past two or three years if you are self-employed. During the prequalification procedure, the broker or banker will request specific documentation.
I suggest that all home buyers begin the mortgage process in advance of making an offer on a home. This will help you determine how much you can afford and put you in a stronger negotiating position once you write an offer
Shop for Homes
There’s no shortage of housing options in Victoria, but with so many choices the challenge becomes finding the property which best meets your needs and price range. The housing market is complicated because the stock of homes for sale in Victoria is always in flux. Lists off homes for sale become obsolete as homes are constantly being bought and sold.
This moving target can be a headache so it is best to shop for homes in partnership with your real estate agent.
Select a Home / Make an Offer
As a Victoria Homebuyer, here’s what actually happens. A home has been placed on the market for which the seller has established an asking price as well as other terms. At this point, you have three choices: accept the seller’s terms and create a writtencontract; reject it and not make an offer; or write an offer with different terms that suit your needs. If you choose the last option, the seller may accept, reject or make a counter –offer.
At this point your offer will contain specific subject conditions such as: obtaining a Title Search, Financing, Inspection, Insurance and reviewing and approving Disclosure Statements etc.
No aspect of the home buying process is more complex, personal or variable than bargaining between buyers and sellers. This is the point where the value of an experienced Realtor is clearly evident because he or she knows the community and the current market, has seen numerous homes for sale, knows local values and has spent years negotiating real estate transactions.
You sometimes hear that the amount of your offer should be X percent below the seller’s asking price or Y percent less than you’re really willing to pay. In practice, the offer depends on the basic laws of supply and demand: If many buyers are competing for the homes, then the sellers will likely get full price offers and sometimes even more. If demand is weak, then offers below the asking price may be common.
If you have chosen your Victoria real estate professional wisely, this process will be straight forward and relatively pain free as the experience and relationships work in your benefit.
Once an Offer is Accepted
Once an offer is accepted your Contract of Purchase and sale will be sent to your Mortgage Broker or Bank. You will work closely with your realtor who will provide you with Title documents, Disclosure Statements and Strata Documents if required. Your realtor will set up appointments for building inspectors, surveyors or appraisers to have access to the property.When all your conditions have been satisfied you will remove Subject Conditions and your lawyer will prepare all the mortgage and Land Title documents for you to sign.