The weather is finally starting to warm up and people are getting motivated to go out house hunting! Buying a house in Ontario doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Here are a few steps to help you outline the process.
1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
As our Broker of Record Randall Weese wrote in his article last week, getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan is the first step for any home buyer.
Your financial institution will evaluate your financial situation and offer you a loan. You decide what kind of monthly payments you can afford and that will be your guideline for what kind of prices you can consider.
Be aware, though, that sometimes home buyers will be approved for mortgage loans that are larger than you really need. That might tempt some potential buyers to reach for a higher-priced home. Just because the bank approves you for a large loan doesn’t mean you have to take it!
2. Search for homes for sale online.
Once you’ve decided on your budget, head over to REALTOR.ca and conducting a search of MLS® listings in your desired area.
Another good place to start is ComFree.com where you can search for homes based on price range, location, building type, etc.
3. Start visiting neighborhoods.
Once you’ve identified homes for sale that look interesting to you, start setting up your appointments.
Check out open house showings, and spend some time driving around your desired neighborhood looking for “For Sale” signs.
If a homeowner is selling his or her house privately (selling for sale by owner) you can get directly in touch with the seller and organize a visit. Get to your appointment early and check out the neighborhood a bit. See if there are any sources of noise or pollution nearby, and try to get a feel for the area.
4. Make an offer to purchase.
Have you found the home of your dreams that’s in your price range? Perfect! It’s time to make an offer before someone else snaps it up!
If you’re not working with a real estate agent, you’ll need to find the right forms to fill out. Trust us, it’s really not that complicated.
Visit ComFree.com and download the Ontario Agreement of Purchase and Sale. We’ve also provided an annotated version to help you complete the document with all the information you need!
The advantage of working with someone selling with ComFree Commonsense Network brokerage is that you can sit down with the seller and actually discuss the form and fill it out to your mutual satisfaction. If you are working with a real estate agent, he or she will complete the form with the seller on your behalf.
Whether you’re working with a real estate agent or not, the Agreement of Purchase and Sale will have to be reviewed by your lawyer and the seller’s lawyer to ensure that everything is squared away correctly. Do some research to find a good real estate lawyer that you can trust to review your documents.
5. Meet the conditions.
Often, buyers and sellers agree on certain conditions to be met before the sale is final.
One typical condition is buyer mortgage approval. Once you’ve decided with the seller on the sale price, you must take that information to your financial institution to get final approval on your mortgage loan.
Another common condition is a satisfactory home inspection. Resources at the Home Inspection Network can help you find the right home inspector.
6. Take possession of your new house!
You’ve met your conditions and you have your keys in hand. Now all that’s left is to take possession of the house you bought on the date agreed upon with your seller!
Now you may think that we’ve left out finding a real estate agent from our process. The truth is, though, that today’s home buyers in Ontario often find that they don’t need the services of a real estate agent.
Buying a home in Ontario requires the appropriate paperwork, which we have provided, and a good real estate lawyer. If you have questions, you can always visit ComFree.com or give our Ontario office a call at 1-855-999-9740.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.