When you first decide to purchase a home, things can feel exciting and sometimes a bit overwhelming… Here are some great tips on things to consider when going through the buying process.

Here are the top mistakes we see with Buyers..

Not using a Realtor or not taking the time to find the right Realtor for you. While we all have ambitious moments thinking we can do it ourselves, there are so many mistakes that can be made when purchasing a home – It’s always best to hire a professional!

Hopping in the car to look at homes before getting pre-approved for financing. It’s important to decide if you’re going to be working with a Mortgage broker or your bank for the pre-approval process. A good mortgage broker will help you go over the costs to purchase/sell etc, and also help make sure that you stay in a budget that you’re not only approved for, but also comfortable living with.

Not taking the time to sit down with your Realtor to discuss the process, go over forms to sign, legalities etc. Your Realtor is there to help! It’s our job to educate you throughout the process so that there are minimal surprises. There are so many forms to sign when you find the right property- it’s nice to know what you’re signing when the time comes and a quick meeting before the process begins will help ensure you’ve answered all your questions before you get to the actual buying stage. We do our best work for you when we have better insight as to what you’re looking for, your short and long-term goals, your comfort level in terms of timing, location and must haves, etc… It’s so important that you establish a direct line of open communication with your Realtor so we can help give you the best advice possible. It makes the whole process so much easier when we are involved to  help make sure you’re making the right move both financially and in terms of your quality of life. So often, we find clients don’t take the time for these first crucial meetings, but when they do, the feedback we receive is that the experience is much smoother and positive!

Not making time to figure out your wants and needs. If you’re buying with a partner, it’s so important to make sure you’re on the same page in terms of area/commute/budget/age of home etc. Likewise, if purchasing on your own, it may be good to engage a friend or member of your family as well as your Realtor to bounce ideas off of, to help make the experience a little less overwhelming. The last thing we want is for you to have buyer remorse, so we think it’s an excellent idea to sit down and take the time to have that discussion (or two or three) to make sure you really know what you want!

Not Considering the whole picture… What are your long and short-term plans? Have you considered resale value, commute, schools?  If this is a starter home or a home that you plan to step up from, will the things you love, be qualities that also help you in terms of resale value? Will you be there long enough to gain equity before next move?

Not making your home search a priority. If something comes on the market, and you wait too long to see it, we can’t guarantee it will be there when you do decide to book a showing. We often get asked how the market conditions are and the truth is, even with stats and general market forecasts, we can’t guarantee what buyers are out there at the exact time as you and which ones are looking for that pool sized lot, or 4th bedroom. So, in general, our advice is to check your searches often and if you see something you like, to book it as soon as you’re able so there’s no heartbreak with miss opportunities.

Falling in love with the furnishings. Staging can be helpful in visualizing options for your new home but it won’t be there when you move in. Looks deeper. does the layout work for you? Have updates or renovations that look good on the surface, been done properly? Is the home on a busier road? Is the lot size what you’re looking for (too big/too small)?

Paying too much for upgrades and neglecting homes that on surface look like they need work, but in actual fact, just need a few simple fixes (you can often get a better value if you are willing to take on some of these yourself). Sometimes it’s difficult to see past an older kitchen that has great bones and is actually on a better lot and street and offers far better value than a smaller, more updated home on a busier road. Ultimately, the choice is yours, but we’re always here to share our expertise and give you our opinions on long term value and potential work needed on a home! Ultimately, we are here to help in any way possible!

Assuming you know the market value for an area: It’s good to be aware of numbers and educate yourself, however, it’s also equally important to listen to the advice and input of your team- they are working for you and in your interest. Just because you don’t like the flooring of a home for example, doesn’t mean it’s something that affects the home’s overall value. Looking at comparable sales in the area and comparing apples to apples is an important part of the pricing process for both buying and selling. Equally, putting in low ball offers on several homes thinking you can score a deal, and losing the home you love when it sells for market value is a tough lesson to learn- especially if you end up paying more for less home in the long run. As local experts, we’ll be able to help guide you in terms of pricing and offer strategies.

Buyer Exhaustion: at the start, it’s great to see lots of homes to get the layout of the land and narrow down areas, lots sizes and features. Long Term however, seeing too many homes and putting yourself in marathon mode may not be the best approach. Take a moment to look through the listings and discuss your options with your team so that you don’t end up becoming overwhelmed and purchasing the wrong house!

With all this in mind, we strongly suggest that you take your time to hire a Realtor you feel you comfortable with. Educate yourself, but also listen! Take advice! Get second opinions! The journey of buying and selling a home is often a bumpy road but when handled professionally it can be very rewarding. Good luck and we are always available to chat, no matter what stage of buying and selling you are at.