The Key Professional Help You Need To Buy a Home
If you’re reading this, you’re probably ready to make that move to home ownership.
Now, here’s the thing with the real estate market: you’ll find yourself working with several professionals while looking for your dream home.
As such, it is essential to have a full grasp of what you should expect from them, what they do and how their interest differs. So, let’s get started.
An Overview Of The Process
The advice given to home buyers often focuses on each step in the home buying process.
From the moment you decide to become a homeowner, you’ll develop a budget to work with, a savings plan and a comprehensive evaluation of your financial situation.
These steps will play a crucial role in determining the type of home, neighbourhood and features you can afford to buy. So, you should expect to work with several professionals in your home buying experience.
As the home buyer, you’ll be the star of this show!
The other people involved will be your supporting players.
Some of them will be part of the experience from the beginning to the end. Others will pop in and out to check-in on your progress. And others will be optional.
Key Professionals To Help You Buy Your Dream Home
Since buying a home is by far the most significant investment anyone can make, you would want to have the ideal team of professionals to work with you through the experience. Let’s dive in further.
A Lawyer / Attorney (Always)
In Canada, home buyers are required to involve a real estate attorney in the transfer of home ownership.
A lawyer is necessary to protect the home buyer’s legal interests.
These interests include ensuring that the property doesn’t have building or statutory liens or any other pending orders. Having incorporated the services of a legal professional, everything you sign or agree to will be vetted and checked for flaws. In the end, the home buying experience will go by smoothly.
The lawyer is typically involved once you’ve reach a signed agreement with the home seller.
Until you get ownership of the property, the lawyer will be involved to ensure that both parties do what they promised.
They’ll also do the necessary paperwork to transfer the property’s ownership – including a title search.
A title search is one of the most important steps – checking that the home has been properly registered with the authorities and that no-one else has claim to the title other than the sellers.
Other than this, the written agreement between the home’s buyer and seller will provide the framework upon which the lawyer will work.
Home Appraiser (Not Always)
When you’re buying a home, you’ll sometimes need the services of an appraiser – this is only if the lender requests an appraisal be completed.
Most of the time, the lender will not request one – the most common reason for a request is where the lender believes you may be overpaying for the home.
What does a home appraiser do? The appraiser will evaluate the market value of the property. Their opinion on the current market value of a home is based on many factors, namely: cost, rental income and cost of similar homes recently sold.
Most lenders will rely on the opinion of their own appraisers, but you’ll pay for these services, which might cost around $300 to $500, according to the Appraisal Institute of Canada.
Home Inspector (Not Always)
The home inspector will often be involved in your home buying process.
If you’re buying a single-family home in particular (e.g. detached or semi-detached home) then it is highly recommended you get a home inspection. These are less important for Condominiums and Townhouses but worth the small cost.
A home inspector won’t involved but not for long.
Their role is to evaluate the condition of the property and inform you in case something is not functioning as it should. The evaluation process will also highlight any necessary safety changes and home repairs needed – often with an explanation of the expected cost of these.
Also, the home inspector will help you identify past problems with the property. If the home inspector uncovers any significant issues, which may lead to a costly repair, you may want to decrease your initial offer.
You can also have the property seller correct the problems, or cancel the deal entirely – if you included a home inspection clause in your offer.
Try to recruit an inspector from an industry association — for instance, the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors.
If you are working with a Real Estate Agent, they’ll most likely know a highly trusted expert.
Insurance Broker (Not Always)
Home insurance will protect your property and its contents.
These include; fire, personal liability, theft, wind damage, vandalism, falling objects, water damage and more.
Insurance agents will also protect against failure to repay the mortgage loan and any claims regarding your ownership of the property.
Since the property is the security for the mortgage loan, your lender may require that you take out home insurance.
You can work with an insurance broker to help you navigate the best solution for you – as previously noted, your Real Estate Agent/Mortgage Broker will most likely know some good ones.
Lender / Mortgage Broker (Almost Always)
Unless you’re paying in cash, you’ll need to have a lender to provide a mortgage for your home.
You can choose to work with a Mortgage Broker – who can take care of all your mortgage needs and find a lender for you – or speak the lenders directly.
In Canada, home buyers have a wide range of options when it comes to getting a mortgage. But, finding the lending institution with the terms and rates which suite you can be a daunting task.
Traditionally, home buyers used to use their banks as a lender option, since they already do some form of banking with them. However, more people are now recognizing that having a Mortgage Broker will assist you to get the best rate through negotiation.
This Broker can also help you through the pre-qualification process all the way through to the closing of the home
The Broker does not work for a particular institution. As such, they are incentivised to find you the lender with the best terms and rates.
Furthermore, most Mortgage Brokers don’t charge home buyers fees for their services.
We recommend that you check out our partners at GTA Mortgage Pros if you’re considering getting free, professional mortgage help and advice.
Real Estate Agent (Almost Always)
A Real Estate Agent, Broker, or Realtor, is a trained professional, licensed to negotiate the sale and acquisition of property.
As such, almost no one will play a more essential role than a Real Estate Agent. Your Agent will be involved in this process from the beginning.
In particular, your Agent will help you find an ideal home and draft a written offer to the seller.
The offer to the seller is one of the most important legal contracts you’ll ever write in your entire life – and Real Estate Agents are specifically trained in this contract – so not using one would not be smart.
Besides, they’ll also provide advice on how to negotiate the purchase price and terms, inspection and the closing process.
Oh and we forgot to mention that using a Real Estate Agent is completely free and doesn’t cost you a penny!
If you’re looking for a Realtor make sure and use our ‘find a Realtor service‘ – where we’ve done all the hard work of researching, vetting and interviewing Real Estate Agents in the GTA and surrounding areas for you.
In a nutshell, several professionals are responsible for different aspects of the sale of a home.
Since buying a home is a significant investment, make sure you do it right and get all the professional help and advice you can!