There are some first time Windsor home buyers that come to our office and hesitate to ask any questions. They feel like they may be asking a dumb question or, they simply have no idea what to ask. I like to put everyone at ease and tell them to ask anything they want and have no fear about doing so. How else will a person learn if they don’t ask what is important to them? As a professional real estate agent, it is my job to make sure that my clients have all the latest information regarding their home purchase, the neighbourhood they are considering, the type of home they may want (house or condo? pros and cons of each?) or anything else that is necessary.
Here are some questions that every first time home buyer should always ask:
1. How many homes do I need to see?
The answer to this is, until you find the one that you want. However, buyers, particularly first time buyers, feel they need to see every home that is for sale. Well, this is where I often tell them that this can be difficult, particularly if there are hundreds on the market. Not only that, it gets confusing. You can’t remember what home had what feature as all the houses tend to turn into one big house. I suggest to all buyers, that they create a list of what they must have in a property. Then to start their search online and narrow down what they like. Maybe they will see that they prefer traditional style homes or they are attracted to a certain neighbourhood. Once the list is narrowed, then it’s time to look. And don’t be afraid or hesitant to have your real estate agent show you homes that you haven’t considered before. You would be surprised the number of homes that are sold this way!
2. How long does it take to find a home?
The answer varies but usually, first time buyers come to us with homes they have found on the Internet. Some motivated buyers find a home within a matter of a few weeks, while others don’t feel any hurry or pressure and take months. It really depends on your time-table. If you are moving because of work obligations or your rental lease is up, you may want to move sooner rather than later. The good news, it can be done!
3. Should I buy the first home I see?
Again, it depends. There are those realtors that say a buyer should make an offer because the home may not be available when they come around again. This may be true in a seller’s market when homes go quickly. But other agents say it’s wise to at least look at a few others as you never know what you may find next. Buyer’s remorse can set in for those that do make an offer on the first property they see and then discover a home they like better. A real estate agent can always contact the seller’s agent to determine if there has been interest on the property or if any offers are forthcoming. In today’s market, while homes are selling a bit more quickly than in previous years, I would still encourage those buyers to at least look at a few more homes and then come back and if they are still interested, go back and view their first choice again.
4. Should I get pre-approved?
The answer to this is YES! Getting pre-approved for a home loan is one of the best things a buyer, especially a first time home buyer, can do. It means that you won’t waste your time looking at homes that you know you can’t afford. It also shows the seller that you are motivated and can qualify for their property. This speaks volumes to a seller and is the most important paper you can bring to the negotiation table. But keep in mind! Even if you are pre-approved, that doesn’t mean you can go and spend on your credit cards once your offer is accepted. Loan companies do one final credit check before your escrow closes. So don’t go and charge new furniture, buy a car or take an expensive vacation as we have seen where loans are denied in the final days! And guess what, you can lose your down payment as well.