Mistake #1:  Not Getting Pre-Qualified for a Mortgage

Before looking for your next home take the time to get pre-qualified by the bank or mortgage broker you choose.  This can save you hours of searching for homes in the wrong price range or worse, purchasing a home and then finding out you don’t qualify for financing.  Pre-qualifying gives you peace of mind, helps narrow your search criteria and, most importantly, gives me as your agent a negotiating edge by being able to alleviate the seller’s concern over financing. The latter is especially important should a competing offer surface.

Mistake #2:  Not Shopping For Mortgage Terms

Rates are negotiable! Banks will sharpen their pencils to get your business especially if you have a good credit rating and bring other business to them such as RRSPs, chequing accounts, savings, etc. Posted rates should be viewed as a starting point. You need to know what the best rate is and this is usually discovered by get competitive quotes.

You’ll also want to ask whether the bank will cover appraisal fees, and what buy-out fees, penalties, payment options, and portability may apply.  The time you spend asking these questions can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage.

Mistake #3:  Not Getting Professional Inspections

Nobody wants to purchase a home only to find out later there are defects, latent or otherwise.  Ensure you obtain inspections from relevant professionals, such as a home inspector, structural engineer, pest control professional, oil tank scanning team or others as needed.  If the inspection identifies deficiencies in the property, you may be able to negotiate the purchase price to cover required repairs. Or, you can request that the seller remedying any problems that are uncovered. 

I would be happy to refer you to a qualified home inspector or other professional whose services you may require.

Mistake #4.  Not Using A Professional Real Estate Agent

I can help you purchase a property with the least amount of stress and complications possible.  I will research similar properties in the target neighbourhood to make sure your offer price represents fair market value and that you don’t overpay. I can advise you on what to look for in a property, what red flags to pay attention to, and which conditions to include in your offer. I will negotiate aggressively on your behalf to get you the property of your dreams for the best possible price. 

Mistake #5.  Buying First Before Selling

If price is important you should always sell your present home before buying another.  It has the advantage in letting you know exactly how much money you will have available for your next purchase.  Selling your home first allows you to place fewer conditions on your purchase which makes your offer more attractive to a seller.  They often will demand more money to take a “subject to” offer which takes their home off the market.  The other advantage is if you find a terrific house, chances are others will also find it attractive and you stand to lose it if you can’t make an unconditional offer.

Mistake #6. Not Knowing The Full Cost Of Home Buying

Know all the costs associated with your purchase.  Consider the following costs:   legal fees, transfer tax, property taxes, new home landscaping, fencing, appliances, window coverings.