KAMLOOPS REAL ESTATE
HOME BUYER'S GUIDE: HOME BUYING TEAM
When you're buying a Kamloops home there's an entire entourage of dedicated industry professionals like Our Team ready to assist you in the complicated steps and details of successful deals. A real estate transaction is considered successful if both parties, the seller and the buyer, walk away happy. This article explains these key people and the roles they perform in the home buying process.
A REALTOR® is a professional trained in all aspects of real estate. This person can save you lots of time, trouble, and money. All licensed real estate professionals in Canada have access to all of the homes available for sale via the national MLS® System (Multiple Listing Service). This is the number one place where buyers and sellers meet. More than 90% of homes available are sold through the MLS® System!
Due to their training, experience, and industry connections, REALTORS® are an invaluable resource. They have access to several resources and possess the industry skills and experience most people lack. They know the detailed steps involved to find you a home that meets all of your needs. They're also experienced negotiators who work on your behalf to get you the best price for your investment.
Here are some of the valuable services your real estate professional can provide you with:
- Help you to clarify your home needs and wants so you can utilize your valuable time
- Preview properties that most closely meet your needs
- Arrange appointments and open house showings
- Put you in contact with trusted and experienced mortgage brokers, lawyers, home inspectors and appraisers
- Tour the homes with you and offer advice based on solid experience and understanding of both the market and industry
- Keep you informed of factors that may influence your buying decision
- Assist you with all closing details, ensuring all items are handled legally and professionally
If you're planning on making some improvements to your home prior to move-in or sometime in the future, you may want to enlist the help of a credible contractor. This person can provide you with a price estimate on the work you would like completed.
A good place to start looking for a reliable contractor is through your real estate professional, friends, and business associates. You could also check with a home builder or a hardware store. When you've collected two or three names, arrange for estimates. Ask for references and a sample of the work they've previously completed. When you speak with their former clients, ask about price, length of time to complete the project, communication during the project and satisfaction with the completed project. When meeting with the contractor, ensure that he or she understands your needs and your budget. They should inspect your home prior to giving you an estimate. If the project is being completed from architect’s drawings, be certain that the contractor has the specific details required.
When you have completed the two or three estimates, review each one carefully. If there's a large difference between each price, get more explanation. Remember: A low price does not mean you'll get the worst work and the highest price doesn't guarantee the best work!
Prior to signing, be sure you understand the specific details of the contract including hours of work involved, type of products installed and quality of finishing work completed. Here are some guidelines to help you evaluate a quotation:
- Details: Are all aspects outlined?
- Costs: Are all costs clearly stated?
- Extra Costs: Is there a provision for going beyond stated price?
- Project Cap: The project cap should be clearly stated.
- Timeline: Can the work be reasonably completed by the specified date?
- Inspections: Will all inspections be handled in a timely manner?
- Bookkeeping: Ensure you keep all material receipts
- Subcontractors: Will any of the work be subcontracted? If so, by whom? How long will it take? Who pays the subcontractor?
In many cases, you may not have to hire an independent appraiser. Your lender usually requires an appraisal from their approved professionals, prior to the purchase of a home. Your real estate professional will also prepare a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for you, to establish a value range. If the home is unusual in some aspect or there are huge discrepancies between the real estate professional's and the bank’s appraisal, you may want to consider an additional appraiser. Your REALTOR® can help you book one!
A lender is anyone who lends you money (e.g. a bank, your mother-in-law, a credit union, an institutional lender, etc.) As this financial commitment determines your future for many years to come, you'll want to ensure you have a good relationship with this person or institution. You can conduct your own search for a lender or ask your REALTOR® for help. First, get a copy of your credit history, which is available through Equifax, then review some data to determine varying rates from institutions and banks. When you have all your details established (employment history, credit history, price of home, etc.), make an appointment and negotiate your best deal.
A mortgage broker could save you time and money. They do the legwork in finding the institution or lender that offers the mortgage terms and conditions that are best for your situation. This person works for you, not any particular lender, and they do have access to all available lenders. The lender will then pay the mortgage broker a finder’s fee. Note that some mortgage brokers may charge you a fee for these services. Double check with your broker!
Lawyers and/or Notaries
A lawyer and/or Notaries understand all aspects of buying a home from both buyer and seller positions. They work on your behalf, ensuring that all documents are properly prepared and you're legally protected. These legal details must be completed prior to possession date. Note that there are fees involved, so ask in advance for a quote!
A professional home inspection could save you both money and headaches in the future. Within a few hours this person will provide a complete written review of your home, citing areas in good, fair or poor condition. With this report, you'll have a good idea of repairs which will be required in a few years. Remember, you can make the purchase of the home conditional upon a satisfactory home inspection. This means that if the home inspection reveals some defects, you could cancel the contract, renegotiate or require that repairs be completed by a specified date. Your REALTOR® will be able to recommend a skilled home inspector who has the background knowledge to provide you with an unbiased review. The $300-$500 you pay for this service is definitely a good investment. Scrimping on this detail, or thinking your home doesn't need an inspection, could seriously cost you in the future.
For your safety and to protect your belongings, you'll need to ensure your new home can be insured. You will require an insurance quote on your new home and valuables. You can shop for insurance yourself, by phoning several insurance companies and asking for a binding quotation. Since your home is used as collateral against your mortgage, banks insist you have full insurance to cover the property.