Step 1 -- Pre-Approval is Paramount
It's important to be pre-approved by a mortgage expert prior to starting your property search. This step is where you’ll discover:
- What purchase price you’re qualified for and the corresponding mortgage payment amount.
- The different mortgage programs available to you.
- The amount of down payment needed and if mortgage insurance is required.
- The maximum purchase price that comfortably falls within your desired budget.
Additionally, you'll be viewed more favourably by Sellers (a pre-approval indicates financial readiness and strength), providing you with negotiating advantages over those not pre-approved. Pre-approval also streamlines the mortgage process, making it quicker to secure financing and close on your chosen property.
Step 2 -- Define Your Needs, Wants, & Neighbourhoods
Clearly outline your priorities!
- Decide ahead of time what's important to you -- factors such as style of dwelling (condo, loft, house), location, proximity to work, school, and public transportation.
- Determine the size, age, number of beds & baths, and specific features you desire.
- Create a bare bones minimum list of attributes that needs be met before viewing a property.
- AND don't forget to wander around, eat in, and explore various Toronto neighborhoods, finding ones that align with your lifestyle, personality, and desired environment.
And since your home is also an investment, make sure to consider:
- The choice of neighborhood significantly impacts the future value of your home.
- Investing in a desirable area with a strong real estate market and easily accessible amenities may lead to property appreciation, ensuring a better return on your investment.
- Highly sought out neighbourhoods, buildings, and floor plans often sell quicker and for more money, providing you greater flexibility and financial gain.
- Step 3 -- Find an Experienced, Knowledgeable, and Proven Real Estate Agent
When choosing a real estate agent, consider the following factors:
- Look for an agent with extensive knowledge, years of experience, and a proven track record in the neighbourhoods and buildings you are most interested in.
- Effective communication is key. Choose an agent who is responsive, listens well, and pledges to keep you informed throughout the buying process and beyond. Being available and prompt to answer your questions and address concerns is a key factor.
- Research the agent's track record, ask for references from past clients, and speak to people with firsthand experience who can offer insights into their professionalism, attitude, and work ethic.
The long and short of it is: you want to know, like, and trust your agent. (It also helps if they have a good sense of humour. The path isn’t always smooth.)
Step 4 – Go House, Condo, or Loft Shopping
Now that you're pre-approved for a mortgage, have defined your needs and wants, found an agent (Perry, right?), it’s time to go shopping. Here’s where the fun starts:
- You and your agent will create parameters and search criteria to identify all MLS properties that meet your requirements in realtime. Choose the ones you want to see, your agent will set up the showings, and off you go to view the properties.
- Whether it's your first or your twentieth, each property you view will give a better understanding as to what your money will and won't buy. It's an eduction. The more you see, the better educated you become.
- You may find that perfect home on your first time out or it may take weeks and even months, but eventually you will find "the one". It will speak to you.
Step 5 – Make an Offer and Negotiate
Now that you’ve found “the one”, your agent will assist in drafting a competitive offer taking into account comparably sold neighbourhood properties, current market conditions, and whether you're competing against other purchasers or not. Offers are never the same, nor the situation, nor the strategy. Each is unique and demands specificity, allowing your real estate agent’s knowledge and experience to come wholly into play:
Each offer requires a different battle plan. (Again…know, like, and trust your agent.)
Once the conditions of your accepted purchase agreement have been met, your lawyer will take over and close the transaction. The closing process from start to finish, normally 30-90 days, concludes with the physical closing taking place in your lawyer's office (or online), where you’ll sign closing and mortgage documents, provide your down payment, and wait to collect your keys. All closing costs and land transfer taxes associated with the purchase are paid at closing. Once all the documents are signed and the money changes hands, you’ve purchased your new home and can move in immediately.
With over 28 years of professional, full-time experience in the real estate industry, Perry offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Specializing in urban Toronto properties (lofts, condos, and unique residences), Perry's in-depth understanding of the city is undeniable. He navigates the real estate market with precision, helping Buyers find their dream properties while ensuring they make informed decisions. Perry's commitment to providing full-service support and his extensive local network make him the ideal choice for anyone seeking to purchase property in this dynamic and diverse city.
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