Whatever angles are considered, the purchase of a house is a major investment in your life. For many buyers, it could be a process that will be more expensive than it should because many of them will get into it head first and will fall into traps such as:

  • Paying too much for the house they want;
  • Losing their dream house to the hands of another buyer;
  • And (this is the worst), buying a house that does not correspond to their needs.

And even if this is not your first real estate transaction, there are still a few things that can complicate your life.  Maybe some of these factors did not cause any problems during the first transaction but you should not neglect anything during the second transaction.  Not only do you have to think about the financing but you have to sell the house that you currently own at the right time in order to avoid the financial burden of two houses, or worse, the dilemma of having nowhere to live while the two transfers of deed are taking place.

Buying a house using a systematic approach will help you avoid falling into these frequent traps. Not only it will save you money but also you will buy the house that really meets your requirements.  In this document, I highlight some of the most frequent mistakes owners make when buying a new property.  Knowing these mistakes and the strategies to avoid them will help you make informed decisions before putting your house for sale.

Rose Coloured Glasses

Most of us dream of a better lifestyle and to move into a bigger or more luxurious house.  Unfortunately there is often a discrepancy between our heart and our bank account.  You fall in love with a property that you saw in your neighborhood but it’s already sold or you can’t afford it.  Many owners fall into the draining house hunting spiral while there is a much easier way to proceed.  For example, see if your agent offers a “Personalized purchase system” or the service “Houses alert” which eliminates the « trial and error » process and helps find the house of your dreams.  These types of programs allow you to align your personal criteria with ALL the available houses on the market (as they are listed on the market).  Such programs allow the owners to remove their rose coloured glasses and see the real world – and move into the house they’ve been dreaming of at an affordable price.

Buying blindly

What price should you offer when filling an offer to purchase? Is the asking price too high or does it seem to be a good investment?  If you did not do any research on the market to assess the value of similar houses, you will make an offer blindly.  Not knowing the market conditions might lead you to offer too much or you might miss an opportunity to make a competitive offer on a house that is a really good deal.

Buying the wrong house

What are you looking for in a house?  A simple question that might lead to a complex answer.  Too often, buyers get excited and overwhelmed when buying a new property and become an owner of a new house that ends up being too big or too small.  Maybe the travel distance to work is too long or more important repairs than expected are needed.  Take the time to define your needs and your expectations.  Write everything down and use this list to assess each house you will visit.

Do not sell first

You should plan to sell before buying.  Then, you will not find yourself in a weak position at the negotiation table, feeling obliged to accept an offer lower than market value because you are facing purchase delays.  If you already sold your house, you can buy your new house with peace of mind.  If you receive an interesting offer for your house but did not start looking seriously for another one, you can insert a provision in your promise to purchase to make it conditional to buying another house, thus giving you some additional time.  If the market is weak and you find that you can’t sell as fast as you thought, you can rent your house and put it back on the market later, particularly if your house is small which is ideal for a first time owner. In this case however, don’t forget to get information on the tax impact of such a decision.

Go without a pre-approved mortgage

Several owners ignore the considerable benefit of a pre-approved mortgage. It does not cost anything and there are no obligations.  It gives you an important advantage because you know your acceptable price range while looking for a house, but more importantly, it confirms to the seller that you have the required funds to buy the property.  With such an advantage, your offer will be perceived much more favorably by the owner seller, even if your offer is slightly lower than the one of a non-qualified buyer.  Don’t miss such a valuable opportunity.

Lack of coordination between the two transactions

With two major transactions to coordinate and all the people involved (mortgage brokers, notaries, building inspectors, real estate brokers), the risk of miscommunication and oversights increases considerably. Make sure we collaborate closely together to avoid a logistic nightmare.

Contract defaults

If a seller does not comply strictly to the contract by neglecting to do repairs he/she promised to do, or by changing the nature of the contract in any way, this can lead to the postponement of the signature.   Let me be guided through this process.  I shall make a meticulous follow-up of the progress of each of the stages and the conditions and you will inform throughout the progress.

Hidden Costs

We shall identify together all the expenses which ensue from the sale - small or big - enough for a long time in advance.  When a transaction is concluded, sometimes unexpected fees suddenly “appear” after the total amount has been established: discharges, contributions, etc.  I you will indicate expenses to come and which will fall to you.

Notary Support

I accompany you throughout the process of the sale and as well as at the notary’s office to assure you that the spirit of the commitment to buy which is the precontract, is reproduced in the notarial act.

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