First-time Homebuyers – Part 1
As a first-time homebuyer, I’m sure you have lots of question about the process. Like, where do you even start?
The first place to start, is getting a pre-approval for a mortgage. As a Real Estate Professional, I work with many great mortgage specialists, some that work for specific banks, and others that are called mortgage brokers. A mortgage broker has many different lenders at their disposal, where a mortgage specialist works for a specific bank, and can only deal with that bank. They both have their pros and cons. A pre-approval, although not a guarantee you will get a mortgage, will tell you what kind of price range you are able to look in and also allows you to lock in an interest rate; usually for 90-120 days.
Now that you have your pre-approval, its time to start your search for a Realtor® to help guide you through the process. This is someone that you are going to be putting a lot of trust into, as well as spending quite a bit of time with, so spend some time interviewing agents. A few things to look for in a great agent, such as, what their specialty is; is it residential real estate, commercial real estate? How long have they been licensed? Do they work fulltime as a Realtor®? Do they have a written business plan? Do they have a mission statement and core values? At the end of the day, you have to feel comfortable and be able to trust the Realtor® you choose.
Once you’ve chosen a Realtor® that you want to work with, they will go over the special duties they owe to you, their client. You will enter into what’s called an Agency Relationship with your Realtor®. Once in an Agency Relationship, the Realtor® has a fiduciary duty that they owe to you. Fiduciary duty is a legal obligation for one party to act in the best interest of another. They must maintain their loyalty, avoid conflicts of interest, fully disclose relevant information, and protect your confidentiality.
Now it’s time to start your search! You and your Realtor® will go over what it is you are looking for in a home. You will go over things like what kind of home; condo, townhome, or a single-family home, size, location, your must haves and your definitely nots. Your Realtor® should be able to provide incite into different neighbourhoods, schools, proposed developments etc. as well as market stats. This usually all happens at the Realtors® office. The Realtor® will go over what is available at that time and set up some showings for you to get into a couple houses and check them out.
Show time! Your Realtor® should really be dialled in to what it is you’re looking for and really shouldn’t have to show you a ton of houses. That being said, it can take a bit more time with first-time homebuyers, as it is a completely foreign process going through other people’s homes. This is your chance to take a good look, open those closets, look in the cupboards, what isn’t in plain sight can tell you a lot about the upkeep of the home.
I'd love to hear your feed back on this blog, so drop me a comment in the comment section below.
Keep an eye out for part 2 coming next week.