It is so important to get educated on the real estate process and industry. We are talking about one of the biggest investments of most people’s lives; a little time to empower yourself will go a very long way. Here’s our easy to follow, Step by Step Guide to Buying Real Estate.

Guide to Buying Real Estate - CIR Realty - Smith & Griffith Real Estate Team

This article is adapted from the Step by Step Guide to Buying by Lindsey Smith, CIR REALTY Professional Development Manager.

Step 1: Get Educated

The internet is truly the information super highway. If it isn’t on the internet, it probably doesn’t exist…yet. If you are still hungry for knowledge, stop by your library or favourite bookstore. But remember to stick to something that is pertaining to the area you reside in, as the laws and procedures can be dramatically different.

Book a Meeting with your REALTOR® – It is so important that you understand how the current real estate market will affect your particular situation.

The Smith & Griffith Real Estate Team can help you navigate your real estate journey. Residential, Acreage, Farm and Ranch, contact Rees Smith or Kari Griffith to find out how we can help.

Step 2: Initial Meeting or Consultation

After selecting your REALTOR®, you will want to schedule a sit down, face-to-face meeting. You don’t want to skip this step. It will be virtually impossible to properly represent you, without having actually sat down to discuss things, as they fit your unique situation. The real estate market is constantly changing, and you must be aware of where you stand. Once you have assessed your situation, next you will express your goals and determine an appropriate action plan so you can confidently move toward them.

Step 3: Determine How I Will Pay

There is nothing but options when it comes to financing, but you should have a good idea of how you will purchase your next home before you get too committed to looking. There are three main sources of financing.

Traditional Banks – If you already have a great rapport with your current bank, this is a good option. Usually you will be able to get pretty good terms on your mortgage.

Mortgage Brokers – They have the most options. They can use most of the major banks, plus many other lenders. They will be your best bet to truly finding the best option for your particular situation and needs.

Creative Financing – The options here are endless and are great for investing, or if you cannot access a mortgage through the banks or mortgage brokers.

Step 4: Start the Search

Now this is when most of the excitement really starts to happen. You already know the type of home you’re looking for and the price you can afford. A property search will have to be set up to notify you (typically via email) when a new property is listed on the market that matches your criteria. Once you have identified some potential properties, it’s time to hit the pavement. This is where you really want to keep the goal you set, during the initial meeting, top of mind; it will make this process a whole lot easier, not to mention less stressful.

The Smith & Griffith Real Estate Team can help you throughout the real estate process, including financing options, home search and writing offers. Contact Rees Smith or Kari Griffith to find out how we can help.

Step 5: Write the Offer

Once you have found a home that will suit your needs, the next step is to prepare and present an offer. There are several steps that have to be taken when you write your offer.

Property Research – This is where you investigate the selling history of the home and also where the price is relative to the market. To do this, an assessment of the current homes on the market and properties which have recently sold will have to be done.

Terms – Terms are the clauses that make up the contract. These are the items that are agreed to and will be upheld, otherwise there is a breach of contract.

Conditions – Conditions, on the other hand, are clauses in the contract that must be fulfilled in order for the transaction to even proceed. Typical conditions are for a home inspection, or for the buyer to be approved for financing.

Deposits – In order to write an offer, you will need a cheque and some available money for a deposit.

Price – There are only two things that are negotiable in a real estate transaction, price and terms. Once you know what terms and conditions you would like in the contract, and have completed your property research, you can now effectively determine the appropriate offer price.

The offer price will be determined based on all variables affecting this specific property. What terms do we need? How many offers are there? How long has the property been on the market? … and many, many more. Once the offer is written and signed, it is the REALTORS® job to present the offer to the seller.

Step 6: Satisfy Conditions

Once the offer is accepted, it is time to proceed with satisfying your conditions. This process usually involves arranging and performing a home inspection, getting all of your personal information and the property information to your mortgage broker or bank, or simply doing research to gather whatever information is required. As your REALTOR®, we play a huge role in gathering this information and making the necessary arrangements to ensure the process continues smoothly.

Buying Real Estate? The Smith & Griffith Real Estate Team can help you through your entire real estate experience; from search to possession. Contact Rees Smith or Kari Griffith to find out how we can help.

Step 7: Preparing for Possession

Typical possessions are 30 – 60 days, however they may be quicker… much quicker. Get the following items completed as fast as possible, as this will alleviate a large amount of stress. Lawyers – You may have already chosen your lawyer at this point, however, if you haven’t, it is now mandatory that we know who will be handling the transaction. Once you have chosen a lawyer, they will need all of the required paperwork prior to you meeting with them.

You will be meeting with the lawyer about a week before you take possession, and will need to provide your insurance information, the balance of your down payment, payment of fees, payment of any adjustments or taxes, sign documents, and finalize anything else that is required before you can own the home.

Movers – If you are using professional movers, book early. Possession dates commonly fall on the 1st, 30th, or 15th of the month. Movers fill up their schedule very fast, so call ahead and make the arrangements early.

Insurance – When you actually meet with the lawyer they will ask to see a copy (proof) of insurance, as it is a requirement of the mortgage. Have a copy of the listing available, with all of the specifications of the home on it.

Utilities – When you take possession of your new home it is very important to change your utilities over to your name & address, in advance. This includes your phone, cable, internet, power, water, and gas services. Also, don’t forget to cancel the utilities at your previous residence.

Mailing Address – This is the least favourite of all of the steps, but it is a necessary evil.

Step 8: Possession Day

Typically, possession happens at 12:00pm (noon) on the agreed upon day. The seller’s lawyer will contact your REALTOR® to notify them when keys can be released to you, and will provide permission to access the property. This day can be very exciting and very stressful, so proper planning of your move, well in advance, is critical. Congratulations, you are officially the owner of a new home!

Step 9: Follow Up

After you take possession, the transaction is complete. But, questions may still arise after the fact. Who should I contact about this? Or what should I do about that? After a few days in the property, you will receive a follow up call to ensure things are in order. Write down your questions, so you will be prepared for the follow up call.

This article is adapted from the Step by Step Guide to Buying by Lindsey Smith, CIR REALTY Professional Development Manager.


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