Picking the right real estate agent is crucial to making your home search a success.
Your agent should be experienced, full-time, and always put you first. Your agent should consistently search for new listings to show you, act as a voice of reason while giving you advice, and expertly negotiate to get you the best deal.
You should interview potential agents and ask about their experience and service, and obtain references from previous clients. Once you’ve chosen an agent, sign a buyer’s representation agreement to get started.
Buyer’s Representation Agreement, also known as a BRA, the Buyer’s Representation Agreement, is a contract between the buyer and the agent that they hire to exclusively represent them. Once under contract, your agent is legally bound to follow your instructions, maintain confidentiality, and provide their honest opinion and advice.
Research what you need, want, and can afford—from your housing costs to closing costs. Consider your current budget and lifestyle, and how they might change in the next five years.
For more information, check out our page on saving and sourcing a down payment.
Based on the criteria you gave your agent, they will hand-select homes for you to view. While you should see homes quickly, as they can be scooped up in popular neighbourhoods, you should also be viewing homes carefully to determine whether or not they suit your needs. Also, keep in mind that listing photos can be deceiving, so viewing them in-person is very important.
Spend time in neighbourhoods you’re considering, to be sure they’re right for you. View all homes that your agent has suggested, based on the criteria you’ve given them, because your agent has more experience viewing homes and can find hidden gems that will surprise you.
For more information, including specifics on buying condos and pre-construction, read our guide on finding your home.
When making an offer, there are many terms to consider. For competitive markets you will need to be strategic about which conditions to include, and you may need to move quickly to submit an offer. Having a plan can help you be prepared to negotiate on your terms.
Your mortgage broker will also confirm whether you can get financing for your chosen property and price.
Read on for more information on making an offer, including negotiations, conditions, home inspections, and bidding wars!
The final steps can be overwhelming and tedious but they are important and time-sensitive. Each person plays an important role, including your real estate lawyer.
Read on for a run-down of closing costs, from interest adjustment to land transfer tax.