1. Pick a Realtor®
Before you start looking at any homes meet with your Realtor®. Be open. Talk through your hopes, dreams and narrow down where specifically we are going to look etc. In Edmonton the law requires that your Realtor® explains the benefits of working exclusively with one specific Realtor®. Make sure you sign an Exclusive Buyer Agency Brokerage Agreement. (This agreement binds your Realtor® to work with you for a specific period of time. It also deals with how your Realtor® will be compensated. The agreement also provides your Realtor with the authority to assist you in purchasing ‘For Sale by Owners’. They may also go out and find you a non-listed home.
2. Decide where not what
First you must decide where you want to live not what kind of house. Think about things that you like to do, access to work, schools and recreational facilities. You should also consider if you want a mature neighbourhood or something newer in the outlying areas.
3. Know how much you can spend and get pre-approved
There’s no point in going out looking at houses you cannot afford or don’t feel comfortable buying based on the mortgage payments. Equally when you find ‘the one’ you must act quickly. Getting pre-approved for financing is key. We recommend you consult a Mortgage Broker.
4. What kind of home do you want?
Unless you are looking for something really unusual the greater Edmonton market which we consider to include places like Sherwood Park and St. Albert our market always has a steady supply of homes for sale. The trick is in understanding what kind of floor plan will suit, how many bedrooms you really need, the same goes for bathrooms and parking etc. Again, let your lifestyle and personal preferences lead you a little bit.
5. How long does the home search process take?
As a modern buyer we expect you might spend 1 to 2 years passively looking online, 1 to 2 months seriously looking online and perhaps driving around some communities, then only 1 or 2 days looking at homes.
6. How many homes will I see before I buy?
Because buyers these days are so well informed a typical buyer you will normally look at 5 to 10 homes before you ask us to prepare an offer.
7. Why must I do a drive by of homes I am interested in first?
As an extreme example, most buyers would be instantly put off the ‘home of their dreams’ if it has a power line running down one side of the house and a band of Hells Angels living in the house on the other side. As a buyer you must put the house into context. If you don’t like the curb appeal you won’t buy it.
8. Why must I sell before I buy?
Unless you can own 2 homes you really don’t have a choice. Most sellers will not accept an offer to purchase if you make it conditional to the sale of a home. Why would they? There are always buyers that don’t have this hindrance and even if the seller does accept your offer don’t expect them to give you a deep discount. You have no leverage. The only way to truly secure a great deal is to put yourself into a situation where you can enter the market properly and negotiate well. Sell your home first!
9. Why Should I Take Time Off Work To See Homes?
There are a number of advantages. We think you should look at homes during the day. That way you can get see how light enters the home and get a real sense as to what it would be like to live there. In a hot market it’s also important for you to get there first. Many buyers will try and see homes in the evening. If you see the home during the day and get in your offer right away, this could be the difference between your success and failure.
Can we help you buy? To reach our broker owner Stuart Neal, please call him at: 780-760-2014 or look around on our website www.AmbergateHomes.com.
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