Are you as tempted by today’s hot real estate market as we are?
If you’re like us, you’ve seen your home’s value rise exponentially in the last couple of years.
If you’re between 55 and 70, (the Boomer generation) this might actually work in your favour. Many of us are empty nesters and might have a larger home that we might be ready to part with. That makes this market very interesting. Downsizing might be in your immediate future.
So how do keep your level head and emotions in check when not only selling but also buying your new home? Knowing the right questions to ask and steps to take is paramount.
Here are 5 tips essential for a good buying experience:
1. Read and understand everything before you sign.
If you’re like many people when it comes to long contracts you don’t take the time to read everything. It is imperative to read and understand what is contained in your documents.
If you use an experienced real estate representative, they can answer any questions that you have.
2. Be sure you and your representative are on the same page.
Cover all of the details with your representative regarding the scope of their services. Do your own research on the buying and selling process, as well as on the documents you’ll be required to sign. A good starting point is to visit www.reco.on.ca.
3. Leave your emotions at the door.
No matter how much research you do, you might abandon all common sense when you encounter that perfect dream home and make a decision that you will later regret. In today’s market, bidding wars are common. Make sure that you stick to your budget. How much are you willing to go over your budget for your dream home? If you are a seller, decide and stick to the amount you need to sell your home.
4. Know your tolerance for risk.
Don’t let today’s hot market put you at risk. You might be tempted to beat out your competition by submitting an offer without conditions but this could be putting you at risk of losing a deposit should financing be an issue, or having to do major repairs at your own cost because you waived an inspection.
5. Be flexible and have a backup plan in place.
Homes sell very quickly in this market. Decisions are often made just as quick. You could purchase before you sell and own two homes. Alternatively you might sell faster than expected and not have purchased yet, leaving you with no home. You should have back up plans for each scenario. Adding conditions to your purchase offer could help lessen the risks.
Let me reference my own mistakes in purchasing in this hot market.
When I walked through the door of my previous home, I knew within 5 minutes I wanted that house. I may have overlooked the large crater in the back yard. In my excitement I didn’t notice the storm sewer easement at the back corner of the lot which could easily hide a small Buick. Another mistake I won’t make again is signing the purchase agreement without pictures of light fixtures, window treatments and appliances that were shown with the house and were included. The day after purchasing that house, my representative and I visited the home to take pictures of those exact things. Upon arrival, the present owner had already switched out the light fixtures.
With today's housing prices, you might be tempted to forgo hiring a real estate professional to save the commission. You’ll do yourself a huge injustice. Real estate professionals are widely known in their own community. They will hold agent open houses and round up a whole list of agents who have clients of their own. They also market your home in local papers or flyers and on social media. A great reason to have a real estate professional is their use of REALTOR.ca which lists your home to reach many thousands of potential buyers. Some real estate professionals will even help to prepare your home to show it the best possible way, appealing to buyers. Your real estate representative is also a trained negotiator. Personally, I wouldn’t ever entertain the thought of buying or selling without a professional by my side.
Your home is your life, the biggest purchase or sale you’ll ever make. Don’t cut corners or skimp on the important things.
If you would like more information and many other tips, I encourage you to visit the RECO website. Feel prepared. Feel confident. Make your purchase or sale a great experience.
While you’re at it, why not take the Test Your Home Smarts Survey Quiz to see if you’re as prepared as you think you are. Take the quiz for a chance to win a $100 Visa Card!
Take the Quiz here
This post has been generously sponsored by the Real Estate Council of Ontario, the opinions and language are my own.