Buying a home in North Vancouver
I will quickly outline the steps of the buying process for anyone who has not yet experienced what is required from orientation to closing, including common mistakes and misconceptions. These steps apply whether you’re buying North Vancouver Real Estate or a remote cabin in the interior.
The first step of the buying process is to choose a Real Estate Agent that can represent you and your interest. It’s important to find somebody that you’re comfortable with, and somebody who provides you with the information you need to make a well-informed decision.
A Realtor should provide you with an orientation of the process to set up your expectations of the process and of their services, as well as to find out exactly what you’re looking for in a home. In my business, the orientation takes about one hour and I usually meet buyers at a coffee shop somewhere near their work or home. Assuming you are happy with the presentation and the Realtor, the process can begin.
From that point, the Realtor will begin to identify suitable homes for you and set you up with an online listing alert that will notify you of homes that meet your criteria, whether you’re looking for new North Vancouver condos or a fixer-upper house that you can make your own.
Meanwhile, one of the most important steps is to meet with a Mortgage Specialist to discuss financing. One of the most common mistakes made by buyers is to skip this process, and wait until they found a home they wish to purchase. There are a number of problems with this approach, and it is vital to go through the pre-approval process with a mortgage specialist to ensure you qualify for the type of mortgage you’re seeking.
Once some suitable homes have been identified and you’ve received pre-approval from a lender, your Realtor will book home tours for you according to your schedule. It is recommended to see no more than 3-5 homes in a given day, as many more than that can become overwhelming and makes it easy to start mixing up which homes had which features.
When you have identified a home that you would like to purchase, it is time to discuss the offer. Offers are negotiable in terms of price and terms, however it is important to aim for an offer that is win-win to avoid offending the Seller with a price or set of terms that are not realistic. Your Realtor is there to guide you through this, by providing market information on the home and neighbourhood to help determine an appropriate valuation of the property. If you’re buying a house it’s important to understand recent sales in the surrounding area by using comparable North Vancouver homes.
Once an offer has been presented, the Seller can accept, counter or reject the offer outright. If they decide to counter, negotiations for the terms of the contract have begun and it’s up to both sides to find an agreeable compromise. Assuming the Seller accepts, or you decide to accept their counter, you now enter the exploratory phase of the process known as the subject period.
The subject period takes place between an accepted offer, and subject removal. Your contract will have various subjects, such as subject to having the home inspected, or subject to receiving a mortgage. The time frame varies, but for this example we will say that the subject period is one week long. That means you as the Buyer have 7 days to book an inspector to come and view the home and provide you with their report, as well as read the strata minutes and associated documentation (assuming it’s a strata of course), apply for the mortgage with your lender, check the title, and the written disclosure from the Seller.
Once you have received confirmation from your lender and are satisfied with all other subjects, you may choose to remove subjects from the contract meaning you have a firm and binding contract to purchase the home. At which point, all documents from the contract and mortgage approval are sent to your Lawyer or Notary Public to convey the title, and the money is transferred on the completion date as set forth in the contract, and you’re given the keys on the completion date.
This is a very brief run-down of the process, and during our buyer orientation I will be more than happy to go over the process with you in much greater detail, answering any questions or concerns you may have until you are completely satisfied with your understanding the process.