Real Estate Agent in East York - Better Homes And Gardens Real Estate

The Search For Your Dream Home!

28 November 2017
Kevin Hartley

Beginning The Search For A Home

Once we have established our working relationship with a signed Buyer Representation Agreement, the real estate agent can help by using a variety of tools to identify properties that meet your requirements. One such tool is the local Board’s MLS® (Multiple Listing Service®) System. MLS can be searched for listings that best match your requirements such as location and budget and to some degree features.

Be open to your Realtor® suggesting neighbourhoods and options that might not be on your list. Part of the value I bring as your professional is knowing where what you want exists - even if you haven't identified specifically identified a particular neighbourhood or type of housing.

Your Core Search Criteria...

  • LOCATION    Where you live has an impact on your whole well being; your relationships with family and friends, your performance at work, healthy lifestyle, and it is one of the most significant factors relative to the value of your home. Sometimes, choice of location is limited by the price you can afford, but it is still important to consider factors such as the commute to work, schools, family needs, shopping and entertainment.
  • BUDGET    Consider how much you have to spend, and just as importantly, consider how much you want to spend. Purchasing a home includes many other additional expenses above and beyond the list price of an actual home; various taxes, legal fees, utilities, moving, mechanical and physical updates or repairs, decorating and furnishings
  • FEATURES    Is it important for you to have an ensuite bathroom, an attached garage or a private backyard? Would you like a fireplace, a short commute, or maybe minimal work? Once you decide which features you would like, then it’s important to prioritize the list. In my experience, most buyers have to sacrifice some of their wish list items, so it is important to have a long and well-contemplated list. It also, sometimes ironically and amusingly, surprising how wish lists change once actual showings start to take place; be open to things changing.
  • TYPE OF HOME     You should consider what type of property you would like to live in. A single-family detached home is desirable to many because it typically provides more living space and land. Alternatively, a condominium may be a more appropriate choice, since condos offer low-maintenance living. It is important to determine what type of home best suits your budget and desired lifestyle.

Once we have your core criteria established, we can begin viewing properties.

Viewing Properties 

I will send you properties to consider, based on your core criteria.

When viewing the property options, keep your core criteria requirements in mind, i.e., does it have all the features you want? Does the location work for your lifestyle?

If the property meets much or all of your criteria, then we can book a showing to view the property at a mutually convenient time. In real estate, time is always of the essence, so I highly suggest availing yourself to look at properties of interest as soon as possible. If your home hunt is an important priority, this may mean being prepared to postpone, cancel or juggle other commitments in order to see the home before someone else buys it. 

When viewing the home keep some of the technical considerations in mind, such as wiring, power outlets, heating, foundation and roof maintenance, windows, plumbing etc. Home inspections can provide an assessment of the technical aspects of a property, and it is a good idea to have a professional inspection performed.

Making An Offer

When you find a property that you would like to buy, your agent can put together an offer. The offer will include, the price you are willing to pay, expiration of the offer, a closing date for the purchase of the home and conditions for the purchase. Some commonly included conditions are:

  • Financing, which states you will be able to get a mortgage.
  • Home inspection by a qualified inspector or engineer if you are planning renovations; and
  • Inclusions and exclusions of any appliances and other items - basically, what stays and what goes.
  • A deposit is given along with an offer. A deposit of appropriate value (5% or more suggested) will show your good faith to the seller.

Acceptance Of An Offer 

Once an offer is accepted and all conditions are met, then the offer becomes binding on both sides. If either party then does not honour the agreement, they can be sued for expenses and the deposit lost; therefore before signing, be sure that you fully comprehend all the terms of the offer and intend to fulfil the terms unless extraneous circumstances prevail.

Before the property can formally be handed over from the seller to the buyer, a few more things must be done.

  • You will have to show proof of insurance to the institution that provided your mortgage.
  • On or before closing day, the lawyers from both sides will arrange to transfer the property title from the seller to the buyer.
  • The mortgage will be transferred to your lawyer's trust account, and then to the seller. Your lawyer will bill you all additional expenses such as land transfer taxes, adjustments for any taxes or contract expenses prepaid by the seller or outstanding legal fees.

Also be sure to check with your lawyer that everything is as stated in the offer-to-purchase.

Once this is complete, and the keys are in your hands, then the home is yours!


Additional Costs 

Purchasing a home is associated with some extra expenses, such as:

  • Legal fees
  • Real estate agent fees
  • Appraisal fee (often, not always, paid by your mortgage co or bank)
  • Survey costs (if the seller didn’t have a current survey)
  • A high-ratio mortgage insurance premium (CMHC) if making a total down payment of less than 20%
  • An interest adjustment for the mortgage.
  • Reimbursement to seller for the unused portion of any prepaid property taxes or utility bills
  • Land transfer tax in certain provinces and some cities (i.e. Toronto).
  • Mortgage broker's fee

Thanks for reading. Questions or ideas for a future blog? Feel free to contact me here.

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Kevin Hartley, Broker is a Toronto based real estate Broker with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate | Signature Service, Brokerage. @Home is his lifestyle blog, an expression of his passion for home keeping though MAKING (Recipes), DOING (DIY), BEING (Health/Wellness) and DWELLING (Home Ownership, Sales & Maintenance).  Content not intended to solicit clients under contract.

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