Everyone has done it at some point. Made the impulse purchase of new shoes, clothing, decor and even electronics. Homes, on the other hand, should never be an impulse buy. When buying real estate and making one of the most significant investments in life, one should always appropriately consider everything about the purchase, including budget and lifestyle. It is almost impossible to buy real estate on impulse, with several things to consider and steps to take during the process, with a real estate buying checklist to meet before moving on to the next steps.
Know Your Finances
Before approaching a lender for approval or pre-approval, there are a few financial considerations. Take a look at any debt load. There are some debts that lenders will expect buyers to carry, but there are other debts (like CRA debt) that lenders will say the client needs to pay off immediately before they consider a mortgage. Additionally, if the debt load the prospective buyers carry before getting a mortgage is too high, it is not prudent to add to that.
Find A REALTOR®
A professional REALTOR® is more than a person who takes buyers to different houses. The agent is there to help with negotiations and offer services to other industry professionals, like a home inspector. They will work with the buyers to find a property that suits their needs – like the neighbourhood, size and style of real estate, and budget.
Make the Buyer Checklist
Make a list of ideal properties, including size, room number, and nearby amenities. Having a list will help the REALTOR® know exactly where to direct buyers to use everyone’s time effectively. It will also mitigate viewing houses and potentially falling in love with a home outside a buyer’s budget. Knowing specifics will eliminate unnecessary disappointment. A REALTOR® can also help with list-making as they will ask the right questions to identify what the buyers want in a home.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will inform buyers of what kind of budget they can afford. It will take some real estate properties out of the running, but it will also mean they’re closer to buying a home that best suits them. Most pre-approvals are good for 90 days. Pre-approval is also necessary because many sellers will have a condition on the offer based on financing. The more prepared the buyer is to buy, the more prompt a closing period can be. Quick and easy sales are as appealing to the seller as the buyer.
Go to Viewings & Open Houses
Visit open houses and schedule viewings of the homes that check off most, if not all, boxes on the list. Be bold and ask the homeowner questions or the real estate agent working with you. Some questions include:
- What is the house like in the different seasons?
- Why is the seller moving?
- What is the neighbourhood like for age demographic, noise and traffic?
- What is the seller’s favourite part of the house?
- What renovations and repairs have the homeowners done?
- What warranties are remaining?
When going to viewings, buyers see the house at its best. Buyers must consider what the house will be like with their furniture and lifestyle. If a buyer does not have a green thumb and the property has a sprawling lawn, the buyer may wish to consider another property instead. The other option would be to consider contracting a professional for yard upkeep.
There are a few steps potential buyers need to take before they make their offer and before they can move into their new house. A real estate buying checklist is not to discourage buyers or even overwhelm them with what needs to happen; instead, the intention is to give them more agency so they can feel confident when they make the first steps into buying real estate.
Contact a Fully-licensed REALTOR® today!
Looking for an experienced REALTOR® who specializes in real estate across Southwestern Ontario? At Royal LePage Triland Realty we are here to help you with your real estate needs!