So you’re reading the First Home Buyer Guide, well done, this is your last step. Determining the Team – this post will cover who needs to be on it and why.
Before I jump into that however, I’d like to mention that I do NOT receive any referral fees from any lenders, home inspectors or lawyers I recommend – and I never would. It would represent such a conflict of interest and go against my ‘treat people as I’d like to be treated’ policy. Nope, never, no way – if I recommend someone or something to you, its because I believe it reflects YOUR best interests, not mine. So if you know someone who you’d like to work with, that is great. But if you don’t, I’m happy to refer you to someone I know and trust.
With that said, in no particular order, here are some of the key people you’ll need on your team when buying a home…
- Lender or Mortgage Agent/Broker – of course you need someone to give you the money, otherwise you can’t by anything. When it comes to money – the less you have to pay the better, right? True, but remember mortgages are complicated things. Here is a link to an article by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada called Mortgages 101. Suggested reading for all first time home buyers. A great starting place is always your bank, but I also highly recommend shopping around and talking to a mortgage agent. If you’re not sure what a mortgage agent does – check out this guest blog.
- Lawyer – a lawyer will review the agreement of purchase and sale and condominium status certificate as required, conduct title searches, arrange title insurance, perform electronic registration of your new deed and mortgage on the Provincial Land Registry System and generally coordinate with yourself, the real estate agent and your lender to ensure everything is done so that the home can close and you get your keys on closing day.
- Home Inspector – you are about to make the single largest purchase of your life, you are unlikely an expert on homes – so I highly, highly recommend hiring a home inspector to review the property with you. Not only will you learn about the condition of the home, they will also help you understand what basic repair and upkeep is required to maintain it. Not all home inspectors are created equal – so beware here. Carson Dunlop has a great blog which I follow. They are a highly reputable home inspection company.
- Real Estate Agent – this is the person you will spend the most time with. And trust me, looking for the right first home can be a time consuming process. That is why it is particularly important to choose a Real Estate Agent who:
- Specializes in the areas/neighbourhoods you are interested in. According to Wikipedia – there are over 240 distinct Toronto neighbourhoods. If someone says they focus on all of Toronto, I’d keep looking – no one can really cover an area that big, well.
- Listens, I mean really listens to what your wants/needs are – there is nothing worse then being draged around to see homes that don’t meet your needs. It’s happened to me a number of times and it is very frustrating having your time wasted.
- Is someone you could spend hours and hours with. You are going to spend a lot of time with this person, talking on the phone, sharing emails – you should pick someone who’s company you would enjoy.
Check out my about section to learn a little more about me. If you’re looking in west downtown Toronto for your first home, I’d love to help you. If you are looking in another area – I’d be glad to refer you to another realtor who does know that area and can help.
This is an exciting time, and there is a ton of more things we could cover in the First Home Buyer Guide, but I find it works best if we cover off questions as we go through the process. If you are ready to get started, give me a call or send me an email today.