Whether you are buying your first home or your fifth, purchasing a property can be stressful. A REALTOR® can help take some of that stress out of the process. REALTORS® are trained in negotiation, paperwork associated with property sales, we have years of experience of looking at houses, and we know what to watch for and point out to you. Our experience lets you think about your needs and wants while we help you consider the advantages and disadvantages of each property.
When I work with buyers, I learn what's important for you and what your future plans are. I think about resale value, current real estate trends, costs associated with your purchase, and the neighbourhoods you are searching in.
COSTS THAT MIGHT AFFECT YOUR PURCHASE
I will research the areas you are hunting for a property in and I'm not afraid to knock on neighbours' doors to ask questions and get answers for you about an area.
If you are not living in Nova Scotia, we can meet by telephone to narrow your search down to neighbourhoods that match your needs. I can set you up on an auto-search for properties that match your specifications, and I can preview homes for you that might be of interest. If you are coming into the city and need to do a blitz of multiple home viewings in one day, I can accommodate.
Depending on the type of property you are buying, its location, its usage, and its condition, there could be different costs associated with your purchase. Halifax property purchases require the buyer to pay a 1.5% Deed Transfer Tax, based on the sale price, to the city on the closing date. If you have a certain budget to work with, you need to keep this additional cost in mind.
If the building has an oil tank(s), the buyer will generally buy a full tank from the seller on the closing date, as well as paying for any property taxes, interest, betterment charges and so on which the seller has prepaid for the period after the closing date.
Your lawyer will work these details out and charge you for them on the day the property closes, along with legal fees and disbursements, so buyers need to be ready to pay these fees before taking possession of their new property. Other costs during the purchase process could include a building inspection (prices vary depending on the inspector, the size of the building, and its location), water tests if the property has a well, and any other inspections that might arise as a result of the building inspector's report that the buyer deems worth doing before agreeing to purchase.
When you make an offer on a property, and it gets accepted, you will pay a deposit to show you are serious about the purchase. This deposit will be held in the seller's Brokerage's Trust Account and will form part of the final purchase price. In most cases this can be paid by personal cheque. Your bank or mortgage broker will outline how much of a downpayment you will need to pay on the closing date in order to obtain a mortgage, and what your monthly payments will be for the term of the mortgage. It is always a good idea to meet with your finanical advisor before you start looking for a home so that you will have realistic expectations about what you can afford. That way, your REALTOR® will be able to help you find a house that suits your budget and will not send you homes that don't fit your budget.
LINKS TO HELPFUL SITES
WORKING WITH A REALTOR
A buyer working with a REALTOR® can be a client or a customer. The seller who has a REALTOR's "For Sale" sign on the lawn in front of their house is represented by that REALTOR®, and that person's job is to get the highest price possible for their seller client. As a buyer, you should also have someone representing your needs. Becoming a buyer client means that the REALTOR® is working for you and that your best interests are being looked after. My job when I work for a buyer client is to find the right house for you in a neighbourhood that suits the needs of your family at the best possible price.
As of January 1st, 2017, buyer clients will be asked by every REALTOR® to sign a Buyers Brokerage Agreement. This Agreement outlines the responsibilities of both parties - your REALTOR® to you and you to your REALTOR®. It gives your REALTOR® permission to negotiate on your behalf. To learn more about this Agreement, and what you can expect from having a REALTOR® represent you, please contact me or visit: