I am free yet priceless, you can’t own me but you can use me, you can’t keep me but you can spend me. Once you’ve lost me you can never have me back. What am I?

Time… our most precious resource… and when you’re making one of the biggest purchases of your life, it’s usually the one thing we have the least  of..

Think about it for a second (or more if you can)

You’re about to make the biggest purchase you’ve ever made. What’s the first thing you do? Look online, see a listing and if you’re like most people- call the listing Realtor and ask for a viewing immediately.

So let’s talk about this. The Realtor you choose to work with will have a huge impact on the entire process and the order of your next steps. So, in an ideal world, given that you’re about to make a rather large investment and a decision that will impact your quality of life and financial status on so many levels, it’s probably worth your time to sit down with a few potential Realtors and look for the best fit. Think about the questions you’d like to ask them, write them down. You’ll be spending a lot of time with this person and entrusting them to work on your behalf and act in your best interest. The person you choose to work with will be helping you to understand the process and the legalities involved. From falling in love with a home, to noticing finer details or red flags, to finally negotiating the deal for you. We think it’s so worth the extra time and effort to “shop” for a Realtor. Not everyone is the right fit, regardless of their accolades. We’d love the opportunity to see if you feel we’re the right fit for you, and we’re willing to take the time to sit and chat with you (no pressure or sales gimmicks – we promise!). Ultimately, before you hop in the car, perhaps you might want to take the time to decide which Realtor you feel comfortable working with.

Next time crunch? Pre-approval process! So many people again, hop in the car before they’ve even talked to their bank or mortgage broker. This can lead to heartbreak when you realize you’ve set your sights on a home that simply is not in your budget. Our advice is to make the time to sit with a mortgage broker or bank well before you get to the offer process. You may think you won’t be purchasing for another year, and that you’re well ahead of the game, but in our experience, it’s never too early to get pre-approved and start making a plan. In hindsight, most of our clients have all agreed that when they take the time to discuss their options with a mortgage advisor, things are just simpler, with fewer surprises. It is also particularly useful in a hot market, to decide whether or not you’re comfortable with potentially removing financing clauses from the offer to beat out competing bids. So take the time to go over your finances and speak to your bank or mortgage broker before you start the process. And take the time to ask questions and be sure you understand what they need from you to complete the process (if you need some names of great mortgage brokers we trust, give us a call!)

So you’ve found a Realtor you trust and you’ve got yourself all set for the mortgage approval process. It’s time to sit down with your Realtor and take a few more moments to go over the types of homes in your budget. Do you like older or newer homes? Do you need a bungalow for special needs or aging parents? Are schools and commute a consideration? Do certain upgrades have to be in place before you’ll even consider viewing a property or can you handle some small fix ups? Perhaps you’re a “do it yourself” kind of person and you’re looking for that hidden opportunity. These are all things your Realtor needs to know. They are also things that may be on your mind but that you haven’t quite figured out yet until you’ve had the chance to vocalize them. Is it worth the time to talk about these considerations? We certainly think so!

Finally… before you even get to the offer process and have found “the one”- the house you’re ready to jump on- are you buying on your own or with a partner? If you’re buying on your own, it’s worth it to take a deep breath and revisit that list of considerations we just talked about. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, definitely enlist your Realtor or a good friend who can listen to your concerns and help make sure you’re on the right track. If you’re buying with a partner- same applies, except this time ask yourself if you’re on the same page and if the home you’ve fallen for meets both of your needs!

Time is our most valuable resource- so often we find ourselves brushing the important conversations aside due to time constraints. If you’re considering a home or investment property purchase, we highly recommend taking a pause and making time throughout every step of the process. We’ve all heard it said: your home purchase is one of the biggest investments you make and will affect so many elements of your life. Take the time! We’re here to help!