Helping people buy and sell real-estate has been an absolute thrill. It’s full of excitement, opportunity, twists and turns, I wouldn’t trade it for the world! My name is Jonathan Burrows and I am a realtor in beautiful Calgary, AB. In this four-series blog of ask the expert, I want to give some important tips and answers to some common questions regarding the buying, selling and investment side of real-estate. For this first blog, I’ll touch on some of the most important steps to take in order to optimize your buying experience.
One of the most important initial steps is to get prequalified. My preference has always been to use a professional mortgage broker. I have found that they offer more options and opportunities than the traditional lending institutions. Instead of qualifying with one lender, a mortgage broker will have 20 lenders competing for your business. They also have subtle benefits such as soft hits on your credit, as opposed to hard hits. After being qualified, you will be able to search for homes that you can afford, avoiding disappointment and frustration caused by looking for something out of your price range. Another added bonus: pre-approval makes you much more attractive to sellers.
Hire a great realtor! Without a realtor, you truly miss out on plenty of opportunities. As a realtor, I have access to unlisted properties, pocket listings, builders’ projects, private vendors, and far more opportunities than the general public. My full-time job is to find great deals and pass them along to my clients.
Once you have found the one, you’ll want to write an offer. This is another essential reason to have a good realtor; we walk you step-by-step through the contractual process making sure you are protected, and you know all of the conditions, (whether they be home inspection, financing, monetary obligations etc.). This can be very complicated, but really doesn’t need to be if you have the right agent.
Complete the deal! After all of your conditions are met, home inspection, financing whatever they are, you will need to contact a good lawyer to finalize the deal. They are in charge of double-checking everything with the purchase. They check title of ownership, start the transfer of title, make sure all of your funds are in order and give instruction to the lenders on where funds are sent. This can cost anywhere from $800 to $1300 depending on which law firm you choose to use.
Last steps! Do a pre-walkthrough of the house the day before you officially close on the property. Lots of agents don’t do this, but I find it to be very important. The idea is to go in the property the day before you actually take possession and all funds are transferred, and simply make sure that they left all of the appliances, attached goods, and everything else that may have been included in the contract. Also, ensure no one has damaged the house and check the overall condition of the property. By doing this, if anything is wrong you can inform the lawyers and they can hold closing funds until the issues are resolved.
I hope that this was an interesting read for you! I’m sure there are plenty of additional questions and I would love to answer any of them for you. Feel free to email me anytime, call or text and I would be happy to answer those questions! You can visit my website as well and search live MLS LISTINGS and check out what else I offer!