Essential Info for Buyers

real estate agent Richmond Hill - judi simms

For many people, there’s nothing more exciting or life-changing than buying a home. In 2012, the Toronto Real Estate Board reported that 85,731 homes were sold Toronto-wide and in all likelihood each buyer had a different experience. The sale didn’t happen as quickly as they expected, the mortgage paperwork was held up for some reason, or there was an issue with the inspection the seller had to resolve as fast as possible lest the deal fall through. While many of these issues are beyond the buyer’s sphere of control, some could be mitigated with the assistance of a qualified and experienced realtor such as Judi Simms.

Here are the top 10 mistakes Ms. Simms recommends homebuyers avoid, whether they’re first-time buyers in the Ontario market or are buying their third investment property. The key to negotiating the best deal is understanding the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.

Not Paying Attention to Your Credit Report

Unfortunately, when the real estate market crashed in 2008, big banks and other lenders responded by tightening their lending requirements and being more strict about credit scores. Before you apply for a mortgage, get a copy of your credit report and make sure it doesn’t have any erroneous information that could affect your buying power.

Not Getting Pre-Approved

Once you’re certain your credit report is in tip top shape, make sure to work with your realtor and lender on finding out how much house you can afford.

Thinking You Can Afford to Spend X-Dollars, When It’s Really Much Less

Home buyers should plan on spending no more than a third of their monthly income on housing costs, including mortgage principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.

Forgetting Other Fees and Obligations

In the excitement of buying a home, many clients sometimes forget about other obligations, such as the cost of taxes, insurance, and utilities, not to mention appraisal fees, escrow fees, homeowner’s insurance fees, and property taxes.

Dismissing the Value of a Professional Realtor

Many consumers ignore the benefits of working with a licensed realtor. Ms. Simms is experienced and knowledgeable of laws, trends, and marketing strategies, and can make the home buying process more productive and less stressful when it counts the most.

Forgetting to Verify Realtor Qualifications

Unfortunately, many buyers put their faith in a realtor who’s a friend or family member, or pick a realtor on a recommendation – but never bother to ask the agent for qualifications or references.

Assuming You’ll Get Everything on Your Wish List

It’s only natural for a home buyer to think she’ll land the home of her dreams, but a more realistic approach is to create a list of “must have” features, then “nice to haves,” and then work with a realtor on finding a home with features that match your budget and needs.

Picking the Wrong Inspector

When shopping for a home, we always recommend bringing along your own inspector rather than relying on one chosen by the seller.

Not Researching the Area Before Buying a Home

If you’re investing in a community by purchasing a home, you owe it to yourself to learn as much about it as possible – before signing a purchase agreement. How good are the schools? What’s the crime rate?

Finally, many home buyers neglect to consider how much their home may sell for down the road. What is the historical value of homes in your neighborhood? Have they retained their value?

It’s a fact that mistakes happen when buying a home. The best way to avoid them is to work with a licensed, knowledgeable realtor who knows the market – and understands your needs.