Buyer's Guide

What to expect from us

When you use us for your real estate needs, we will ensure the process creates value for you and your family. We do not take it for granted that you know all the ins and outs of the buying/selling process. Instead, we provide you with a full explanation of what to expect so you're not faced with unpleasant surprises along the way.

We are experienced in arranging fair deals and we will you assist in negotiating an offer, acting as a mediator to head off potential conflicts between you and the seller, and draw up a legally binding agreement. One of the first questions we will ask is, Why are you moving? We will also explore any time constraints you might have, your financial situation and any future plans.

We have extensive knowledge of the financing choices available to home buyers and the options to obtaining financing at the most attractive prevailing rates and terms.

Understanding the process

If you haven't already gone through the mortgage pre-qualification process, you will need to meet with a lender or mortgage broker. They will establish how much of a mortgage you will qualify for. Mortgage rates vary considerably and it is paramount that you shop around for the best rate, terms and options.

A Mortgage Calculator can help you determine what monthly mortgage payment and the maximum mortgage you can manage. Note: if you are buying a condo, the amount of your monthly assessment has a direct impact on how much you can afford to spend on your mortgage.

First time homebuyers may want to take advantage of the federal government’s Home Buyers’ Plan. Under this plan, you may use up to $25,000 of your RRSP towards the purchase of a home. The money is tax-free as long as you pay it back in the next 15 years. Ask us for details.

There are 3 basic types of offers:

  1. Firm Offer: this means the buyer agrees to buy the property with no conditions
  2. Conditional Offer: this means the property has certain conditions—the most common is subject to financing—and the conditions must be met before the contract is legally binding.
  3. Acceptance Offer: Offers are negotiated and conditions revised until both parties agree to the final contract, at which time, the acceptance offer is done.

Closing costs are a list of charges your lawyer presents to you on the closing date of your home. Many people are surprised at the additional costs over and above the price of the home. According to the CMHC and Genworth Financial you should have at least 1.5% of the purchase price for closing costs in addition to the down payment (have around 2.5% to be on the safe side). The costs vary among provinces and cities. Closing costs include appraisal fees, home inspection fees, land survey and title insurance fees, legal disbursements, GST on new homes, and insurance requirements.

There are six key components to the elements of an offer. These are: price, deposit, terms, conditions, inclusions/exclusions and closing or possessions date. These factors are influenced by the market conditions and equally important, the negotiating skills of your realtor®. It is very important to ensure that each of these components are dealt with to ensure that the transaction proceeds smoothly and without any unforeseen or undesirable consequences. For instances, having a possession date too early could result in one paying 2 mortgages at the same time reducing cash reserves.