Hello, First Time Buyers! It’s great to meet you.. I can sense your excitement and nerves. You’re about to embark on something fulfilling and very exciting – you won’t regret jumping into the property market thanks to pride of ownership and growing equity. The fact that you’ve made it to the point of searching for your first property is something to be proud of. The best advice I can give you (full disclosure, I’m a realtor, but I’m sure anyone who owns property would agree) is the following:
#1: Start working with a Kitsilano Real Estate Agent
That’s it – start working with a real estate agent who specializes in Kitsilano. I’m not saying this because that’s our job here at Liveitsilano, but it’s the best thing you can do to build knowledge, be prepared and enjoy a successful purchase. Call/Email/Inquire with us, and we’ll set up a time to chat about what kind of home you’re hoping to buy, what you’re expecting with the purchase of your first property, what we ask of you throughout the process (which is mostly just good communication), and information you need to know about the buying process. If you don’t want to use a member of the LiveKitsilano team as your real estate agent, that’s fine, you can interview other agents. But at the end of the day – pick an agent and work with them to find your property. There is a lot to know about buying a home – value, construction, financing, negotiation, contracts, property knowledge and more – and you need someone to guide you during each step. You might feel that you can search for the house yourself, and then find a realtor to help with the contract, but it’s always better to have an existing relationship with an agent so the process is smooth and easy.
A lot of people don’t work with a realtor because they don’t want to feel pressured, or because they’re worried they’ll have to pay us – neither of these are true with the LiveKitsilano team. You don’t pay realtors who help you buy a home! The Seller’s agent splits a portion of their commission with us. If you think that because we work on commission, we’ll push you to buy something more expensive? Not true. The difference between a few thousand dollars in sale price is almost negligible in commission, and I would rather know that I got you a deal, and know that you were so happy you would refer me to your social network.
If you’re worried about us being pushy – don’t be. The only time I’ll be pushy is if you want to buy a terrible unit in a bad building that’ll cost you too much – I won’t let that happen to you. You’ll know when I think a unit or building is a great buy, but it’ll be your decision to dive into the offer process.
#2: Talk to a Mortgage Broker
Mortgage Brokers are to financing what Realtors are to houses: professionals, who have more knowledge and experience than you can imagine. I have a lot of clients who speak with their bank about getting a mortgage, which is fine, but I encourage you to speak with a mortgage broker as well. Not only will they be able to get you the same deal as your bank, but they’ll probably be able to get you a better one since they have more options (i.e. a bank can only offer you what their bank offers, but a mortgage broker can offer you what every bank and lender offers). Having someone spend the time to explain your options in interest rate, terms, and lenders, along with your short term and long term goals will ensure you make the best possible home financing decision.
Just like realtors, you don’t pay your mortgage broker!
We are happy to refer our Mortgage Brokers so you can see what they’ll do for you. You (and your bank account) will be glad you contacted them. At the end of the day, if you chat with them and decide not to use their services, not a problem.
And that’s it! Once you do these two things, you’re all set, because myself and our Mortgage Brokers will guide you to your first successful real estate transaction. Contact us today. You can also follow LiveKitsilano on Twitter and Facebook!