Understanding a buyers real estate needs and goals is the most important part of the process. This is why I start by listening to my clients and developing a buying plan that will suite their lifestyle and time constraints. The real estate buying process can seem very complex. That is why I will break things down for you in a fun and easy to understand way.
Using a buyers agent will give you that inside track to the real estate market that you just wouldn't have trying to do it on your own. There is no cost to working with a buyers agent and you will have many advantages such as:
Neighbourhood Information Packages
Detailed information about schools, neighbourhood services, transit, and development projects.
Market Value Analysis
The key to making an informed decision is understanding market value. I will provide my clients with a comprehensive analysis of recent sales and active listings of properties similar to those you will be purchasing.
I will keep you informed. Either by e-mail, fax, or phone, I provide you with timely information about new listings, price reductions and sales of properties that are similar to your purchasing profile.
Negotiation and Representation
My market knowledge, experience, and excellent relationships with other realtors gives me the tools to negotiate the best price and terms on your behalf.
I work with a team of qualified experts who can assist you in buying and settling into your new home. These include mortgage brokers, home inspectors, building engineers, lawyers, repairmen, contractors, painters, etc.
Once the Contract of Purchase and Sale has been signed and accepted by both the Buyer and Seller and all subjects have been removed, the following steps occur in the conveyance process:
• Both the Buyer and Seller provide their real estate agent with the name and telephone number of their lawyer/notary who will be representing them.
• My office administrator forwards a letter of instruction, copy of the Contract of Purchase and Sale, Sales Report and all relevant Addenda to the Buyer’s lawyer.
• The Buyer’s lawyer will contact the Buyer when all documents have been prepared, to set up an appointment. This appointment usually takes place in the lawyer’s office several business days prior to closing. The Buyer will receive a Statement of Adjustments and be advised of any additional funds that may be required.
• On Closing Day, the Buyer’s lawyer will register all documents including the transfer of title and the mortgage, if applicable, at the Land Titles Office. Once the Buyer’s lawyer has confirmation of the registration of the documents, he will forward the funds due to the Seller’s lawyer.
• Once registration is complete, keys may be released to the Buyer on possession date.
• As the Buyer’s agent, I will deliver the keys to the Buyer on possession date.
Besides, the down payment, there are other costs involved when purchasing real estate. The following costs are approximate and may vary with your specific real estate transaction.
• Property Transfer Tax
1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the balance. First time buyers may be exempt from paying this tax if the purchase price in the Vancouver and Fraser Valley areas does not exceed $425,000.
If you are buying a newly built home you must pay the 12% HST. However, if your home is less than $500,000 you may be eligible for a rebate. HST is not payable on resale housing unless there have been substantial renovations. Check out this handy HST Calculator - http://hst.blog.gov.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/New_Home_HST_Calculator.xls
• Mortgage Default Insurance and Application Fee
If you get a high-ratio mortgage (less than 20%) down, you must buy mortgage default insurance from CMHC or a private company. An insurance fee will be charged that varies according to the amount of the down payment (5%,10%,15%). This insurance premium is usually added to the mortgage. You will also have to pay an application fee which may vary from $165-$235.
• Appraisal Fee
Your mortgage lender may require an appraisal of the property. This can vary from $150-$350 depending on the location and type of the property. Some lenders may cover this cost, otherwise you are responsible for the fee.
• Survey Certificate
Your lender may require a survey of the property which can cost approximately $350. This is usually required for all high- ratio mortgages and some conventional mortgages. If the Seller can provide you with a survey certificate, this may be satisfactory for the lender. Surveys are not required for strata properties.
• Property Inspection
Most realtors will recommend that you include a property inspection as a subject in your offer. Costs may vary from $350-$500 with larger homes costing more.
• Property Insurance
Lenders will require fire insurance for all properties except strata properties which include this insurance as part of their operating budget. It is recommended that new owners begin their insurance coverage from the completion/closing date.
• Prepaid Property Taxes or Utilities
You must reimburse the Sellers for any prepaid taxes or utilities. These costs appear in the Statement of Adjustments prepared by your lawyer/notary.
• Legal Fees
Lawyers/notaries’ fees vary according to the complexity of the real estate transaction. Strata and leasehold properties are more complex. Fees may vary from $650 for a simple transaction to $1500.
This may include fees to the Land Titles Office etc. These fees may be approximately $300 and will appear on the Statement of Adjustments prepared by your lawyer/notary.