Since 2014, the Canadian Real
Estate Association (CREA) has introduced a new sound into its national television award-winning commercials. At some point in each commercial, an emphatic, “Oooooooh,” is expressed when it is discovered that the buyer or seller did not use a REALTOR®.
This year’s commercial is no different. Unsuspecting buyers, who thought they had a much larger backyard, found out — certainly heard — their neighbour using this area as the site of a metalfest event. The closing line is, “A Realtor can help make sure the largest transaction of your life comes with no regrets.”
CREA has also produced a series of real-life testimonial videos (available at REALTOR.ca) with do-it-yourself buyers or sellers giving accounts of transactions they came to regret. It then describes how a Realtor helped them to recover.
Realtors help buyers avoid problems and complications as outlined by the following (all of the information can be sourced at REALTOR.ca under How
Remember, home buying can be a daunting and complex process, which is why you should always have the help of a Realtor at your side. A Realtor works for you and is there to look after your best interests.
Is your bank account ready?
Check it twice
Your first home will be the biggest financial obligation you’ve ever faced, so do it right with the help of a Realtor and avoid regretting taking on more than you should. It is ideal to have saved up some money and manage any ongoing debts. In a couple of steps, you can determine how much you can afford. For example, how much will a financial institution lend you based on your income and debt?
Is right now a good time to buy?
Markets go up, markets go down and even the smartest experts can’t accurately predict when a market will peak or bottom out. If you’re buying a home as a long-term investment (and for long-term enjoyment), you should be protected from short-term changes in the market. Pick a home that meets the needs of you and your family, so you’ll enjoy living in your investment as it grows in value.
Decide what you want to buy
Nowadays, there are many different types of homes to choose from. Without the help of a Realtor, you may end up in a neighbourhood that doesn’t suit your needs. Take a minute to reflect on your lifestyle. Based on that, decide what best fits you.
Are you looking to buy in an urban, suburban or an outlying rural municipality? What type of home do you want to buy? There are lots to choose from.
Do you want an existing single-family home, semi-detached, condominium, townhouse, duplex or even a brand new home? If you decide to buy a condo, you need to be aware you will own 100 per cent of your unit and a share of the common area. As a result, in addition to your mortgage and property taxes, you will pay a monthly fee to operate and maintain the common areas. Be sure to look into condo fees and how well the condominium corporation is managing the building and property.
You know what you want, but let’s talk needs
Are you getting out of a two-bedroom apartment because it’s too small? Then your new home should have at least three bedrooms and probably a second bathroom. Realtors call these must-have features “needs.” Features you’d like to have are called “wants.” Your strategy should be to find a home within your price range that fulfills all or most of your needs and as many of your wants as possible.
There’s lots to consider, so your best recourse is to call a Realtor and find out what’s possible for you to buy within your local market.