THE SERVICES OFFERED WHEN YOU BUY WITH THE MICHAEL BAIRD TEAM:
- Supply market update content
- Create buying plan of action
- In-depth home search
- Renovations and Repairs
- Mortgage Specialists for buyers
- Negotiation skills harnessed over 34 years.
- Guidance and reassurance every step of the way
Home Buying Success in 7 steps
The best approach to buying a home is to be informed. This guide will help you answer those basic questions, outline what to expect in the key steps ahead, and boost your confidence in finding the right home for you.
DECIDING WHAT YOU WANT
Logically, the first step to finding the right home is to determine what you’re actually looking for. To make your home search more efficient, ask yourself these three focus questions:
1. Where do I want to live? This is your first decision. What communities or neighbourhoods do you want to consider? Is it important to be near schools, shopping centres, recreation facilities, places of worship, hospitals, or other amenities? Will you require public transportation?
2. What type of home do I want? What style of home is best for you? It could be a detached, a semi-detached, a bungalow, a split-level, a two-storey, a duplex, a townhouse — the options are endless! You may also want to consider your ideal lot size and the age of the home.
3. What are my must-haves and deal-breakers? What are the most important features for you in a home? A basement? A garage? A pool or a fireplace? How many bathrooms? Bedrooms? Do you have family members with special needs? What do you absolutely not want in a home?
GET PRE-APPROVED FOR A MORTGAGE
When it comes to buying a home, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a very important step. Not only does it help you understand exactly how much you can afford to spend on a home, but it often allows you to lock in an interest rate for a period of time which could potentially save you thousands of dollars for years to come.
Here are 4 simple steps to a mortgage pre-approval:
1. Talk to a mortgage specialist. Whether it’s your bank mortgage specialist or an independent mortgage broker — talk to someone with expertise who can help you compare rates and terms as there are hundreds of options to choose from. Note: A 2014 report by the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals suggests that more home buyers are choosing fixed-rate mortgages for their purchases (74%, compared to 20% who had a variable or adjustable rate, and 6% who had a combination mortgage rate)
2. Complete an application to find out how much you qualify for. There are many factors that go into determining your eligibility for a mortgage. Two of the primary practices are calculating your GDS (Gross Debt Service) and TDS (Total Debt Service) ratios. These factors determine how much you can comfortably afford to spend based on your down payment, income and other financial obligations.
3. Gather your financial information to finalize pre-approval. Your bank or mortgage professional will require documentation to support your application such as income and down payment verification to finalize the pre-approval process.
4. Get a copy of your pre-approval. This is a powerful negotiating tool. It’s extremely frustrating for sellers to lose a sale because of financing. A pre-approved buyer means sellers have one less thing to worry about. Even though many offers are conditional on financing, the seller of your dream home will see you as a more attractive buyer when they know you are pre-approved.
AGENT OR NO AGENT?
Top 5 Reasons Why Most Homebuyers Choose to Work with The Michael Baird Team
1. It’s free. In almost all cases, commission is paid by the seller so having an agent working for you is essentially free.
2. Avoid overpaying for a home. If you’re like most buyers, you want to know, with certainty, that you are paying a fair price. Quite often, sellers overprice their homes to “see what happens.” A great real estate professional will educate you on the price of current competitive properties as well as similar homes that have been recently sold to help you make an informed decision on how much to offer for your dream home.
3. Represent and protect your interests as a buyer. In any transaction, it’s important to understand that the seller’s agent is bound by contract to work in the best interests of his/her sellers. As a buyer, you also need representation (an agent), someone to work exclusively in your best interests. Engaging the services of a real estate professional to assist you in the home buying process means you now have someone to work solely in your best interests
4. NEGOTIATE the best price and terms of your most valuable asset. Negotiating requires expertise and skill, period. A great real estate professional is a masterful communicator with expert negotiating skills whose job is to help you decide what to offer, what to include, what to give up and most importantly, when to walk away if reasonable terms cannot be reached.
5. Manage the countless details and mountainous paperwork. Ensuring the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed and that no balls are dropped from start to finish (and after) is a heavy load off any buyer’s plate.
Now the fun begins! Most searches begin online. In fact over 90% of buyers start their home buying process on the internet. The most comprehensive website for property searches is Realtor.ca, a Canada-wide database of all active properties for sale, also referred to as the MLS® or Multiple Listing Service. This website allows you to narrow your search to a specific area, price range, key features and even displays the properties on a map.
MAKE A SMART OFFER & NEGOTIATE
You have found a house you love. Fantastic news! Here’s how the offer process typically works:
Step 1 Decide on price, terms and conditions. The Michael Baird Team will conduct a Comprehensive Market Analysis (CMA), complete with comparable active and expired listings, recent solds, and other historical data to determine the market value of the home. This is extremely helpful when it comes to negotiating a fair price. You also need to decide on a closing date and if there will be any conditions of the offer such as home inspection, appraisal, water tests etc. The Michael Baird Team will guide you.
Step 2 Prepare the offer. The Michael Baird Team will create a legal document (Agreement of Purchase and Sale) that protects you, follows your instructions, and matches your schedule and needs.
Step 3 Review the offer. The Michael Baird Team explains the details and terms of the offer, and suggests options for specialty clauses so that you know exactly what you are agreeing to.
Step 4 Present the offer. The Michael Baird Team will present and negotiate the offer on your behalf.
CONDITION REMOVAL & INSPECTION
Okay, you have agreed on the price and terms and now have a firm or a conditional offer in place. If you have conditions, now is the time to start the process of satisfying them in order to meet the deadline and firm up your purchase. One of the most common conditions of an offer today is home inspection. Home inspections allow you to scrutinize the details of the home and potentially save you from any unpleasant surprises.
• The Michael Baird Team will ensure your home inspector gives you a close and personal look at your new home. It takes about three hours to go through all the systems, and if there are any problems, you will see them with your own eyes. They will also give you maintenance tips and easy fix-ups, if necessary.
• In the end, you receive a detailed report that summarizes the condition of your home.
PREPARING FOR CLOSING DAY
Legal Stuff and Paperwork: You and The Michael Baird Team will need to provide your lawyer with all the necessary documentation for your purchase. The Michael Baird Team usually takes care of the agreement, waivers, survey and any other purchase documents. However, you may need to provide your lawyer with some additional information: insurance, down payment information, adjustment payments, and other signed documents your lawyer may request.
Down Payment and Closing Costs: Make the necessary arrangements to have these funds available a week prior to closing or when the lawyer has requested funds.
Moving Arrangements & Change of Address: The Michael Baird Team can refer you to a moving company and we supply moving boxes free of charge.
Property Insurance: Arrange for home insurance before closing and request a proof of insurance at your financial institution in advance. Provide your insurance agent with the listing information and details such as age of the house, pool or no pool, type and condition of the roof, condition of the furnace, electrical and type of exterior.
Utilities: Contact the local utilities to coordinate the change of billing on closing. Including phone, internet, cable, gas, electricity, water, and any rental agreements. Don’t forget to cancel the services at your old address.
Schools: Inform your children’s old and new schools about the move and arrange any necessary record transfers.