Know Your Options
Most people look to buy a house with the help of a real estate agent. In our view, using a real estate agent is highly recommended for a number of reasons:
Realtors work hard and provide excellent service.
You usually do not have to pay to use a realtor in order to find a home – the seller is usually responsible for paying the commission
Thanks to the multiple listing service and a computer database used by realtors, you save time and energy and can quickly focus on houses in your preferred price range, size, style, desired neighbourhood, etc.
Realtors have the knowledge and experience to give you an objective opinion of a house. They can help point out any particular strengths and weaknesses of a property that you might miss.
A realtor can take the emotion out of looking at houses, which should help improve your perspective and decision-making along the way, as well a help you with the negotiation process.
When viewing a house with a realtor, the owner is not there to take mental note of your reaction. It is tough to negotiate a bargain if the owner has already seen how badly you want the place.
If you consider a house that is being sold privately by owner, a realtor will usually not be involved. Consult with a lawyer ahead of time. There are many important aspects to this particular type of purchase you should consider before making a commitment.
View a house a number of times and at various times throughout the day. This will help you see any defects that might exist that may go undetected simply because of poor lighting.
Your realtor will likely recommend taking a second and third look at a property if it initially interests you to make sure you don’t make a hasty decision. Of course there will be times where this is not practical and an immediate decision may be necessary. When viewing a house, be careful to look at it closely, inside and out, to check that everything works properly.
Warning flags like a poorly kept lawn, faded paint or worn fixtures may mean more important items such as the furnace or air conditioner have not been properly maintained. Conduct your inspect carefully. Someone selling a house is not legally obligated to point out visible defects that exist throughout the property.
Inspecting a Home
Use a Professional
We recommend professional building inspection. Your realtor or lawyer can recommend a reputable firm to provide this service – or consult the Yellow Pages.
The costs of a building inspection are quite reasonable in Regina and it is an excellent way of confirming what you have already seen and heard.
Note that a building inspector will not tear away paneling or remove drywall to inspect the structural integrity of a home’s foundation. Occasionally, this can be a concern, especially in older homes throughout Regina. If this is the case, we recommend an inspection by a professional engineer.
Conducting either a professional building inspection or requesting an engineer’s report is usually done at the buyer’s expense. Either way, proper inspection of a home will increase your comfort level, regardless if you buy the house or not and may save you thousands down the road.
Get the Facts
A realtor will assist you to negotiate the terms of your agreement. Based on their expertise and knowledge, they know the approximate market value of the house, whether the asking price is too high or if you should attempt to have additional items included with the price.
Your realtor can also give you important insight into market conditions in Regina during the period you are looking to buy. Market conditions influence how long it takes for a specific house in a particular area to sell and what is the appropriate price range. Knowing these factors helps you make smart decisions about a particular property.
Market conditions also fluctuate over the course of the year as mortgage interest rates change and the availability of quality houses move either up or down. The house you like may have been on the market for many, many months or only a matter of hours. Depending on what is happening in these areas, you can better negotiate your offer.
Professional advice goes a long way when purchasing a house. Speak with your realtor, mortgage lender or lawyer, depending on the questions you have.
Hopefully we have provide you with a good starting point for further inquiry here. If there is something we have not covered in our web site or you want some more information, please give us a call. We will be happy to help.
The legal document typically used when buying a home is called an ‘Offer to Purchase’. This can be either accepted, rejected, or countered by the seller. If countered, the purchaser can then either accept, reject or counter it. If accepted, it will then become a binding contract.
Usually, however, a buyer will make the seller an offer to purchase conditional upon certain things that must occur before any deal is considered final. A seller will typically accept a conditional offer, which is common in the real estate industry.
If the seller is responsible for making sure a particular condition is met by a certain deadline, they set out to perform whatever must be done to have that condition removed by the buyer. Once completed, the condition is removed in writing.
The buyer will do the same. Eventually all of the conditions either become satisfied or expressly waived by the buyer until the offer is no longer conditional. It usually takes only a couple of weeks to resolve these matters. More information on Offer to Purchase.
If the seller rejects the Offer to Purchase that potentially ends the matter. The seller can either accept a competing offer from another buyer or give you a Counter-Offer, setting out more changes to the seller’s liking.
This Counteroffer may include an increase in the purchase price, a removal of certain conditions a buyer wanted in the Offer to Purchase or a reduction in what items are included with the house. If you do not like the Counteroffer, you may wish to continue negotiating by way of another Counteroffer until you do reach an agreement – or you can walk away.