Whether it’s your first or third, buying a home can be extremely stressful. It’s a long-term commitment with literally hundreds of different choices and factors to consider. This is why it’s so important to have an experienced realtor by your side! They know their area better than most long-term residents, will help you determine how much to offer an owner, streamline the process, and become your life-long realtor! Tracy Arnett of Arnett Realty, which is named one of the best realtors in Ottawa for 2019 by Three Best Rated®, is here to go over 5 essential tips you need to know when buying a home!
1. Know Your Agent
“Ask for recommendations from family, co-workers, and friends,” Tracy says. You are more likely to trust the review of someone close to you. You should call each agent and see how long it takes to get back to you. “If the agent takes two or three days to respond, I would suggest this is how they work,” says Tracy. You should set up a meeting at their office, as this makes it more formal, and interview the agent you intend to work with. Tracy suggests asking questions about their experience and for a list of sales for the past two years. This will help determine how successful they are at what they do! Most importantly, you should see if you connect with the agent! You and the realtor will not be successful if you don’t mesh.
2. Have a Mortgage Commitment
“This is not a pre-approval,” Tracy explains, “A pre-approval is only stating that you MAY be approved for funding. Meanwhile, a mortgage commitment is what you HAVE been approved for.” However be careful! They will run a credit check to verify the accuracy of the application. Tracy states, “A good mortgage broker or bank broker is going to prepare this prior to you going to buy a home.”
3. Decide Your Must-Have’s
“If you are buying a condo, and you own a dog,… make sure your agent is only showing you buildings that allow dogs,” Tracy says, “You don’t want to find your dream condo and then find out it has a no dog policy.” So, make sure you don’t have too many of these must-have’s! If your list is too long, this will drastically cut the amount of condos you have to choose from or dramatically bump you out of your budget range. This is also relevant when buying a home. After all unless you are building your own home, there will be sacrifices.
4. Get an Inspection
When looking at inspectors, Tracy suggests asking, “Who should I hire and what sort of reputation do they have?” To answer this, head to Google and Facebook reviews, friends, family and, of course, your trusted realtor. Next, call your prospective inspector to discuss their knowledge of the house you are buying to see if they are a good fit. An inspection can catch issues like sloppy wiring, plumbing issues, or a bad roof before you buy the house. After the inspection talk to your agent to determine the cost of the repairs. “Your agent may suggest the option to send in an amendment to ask for money off in relation to the repairs,” Tracy states, “or you can request these items to be dealt with prior to closing by the seller and that they provide receipts as proof.” This can allow you to buy your dream home without unforeseen problems!
5. Less is more
“Buying a home should not mean looking at a 100 homes,” Tracy warns. If you look at too many homes, you can become confused about what you essentially set out to buy. Your agent will chase all your new ideas, and before long you are pretty much just looking at any house that becomes available. Then one of three things could happen: you buy the wrong house, you fire the agent because you can’t find your dream house, or you continue to rent. “Chasing and looking is not something an exceptional agent does,” Tracy explains, “they will take the time before you are shopping to go over everything that you are looking for in-depth.” If you find yourself looking beyond that, it may be time to re-evaluate.
Buying a home is too big of a purchase to have buyer’s regret on. Luckily, you aren’t the first to buy a home nor will you be the last! If you follow these tips you are almost sure to find your dream home in no time.