For Buyers

Secrets of Savvy Househunters

Experienced home buyers know that there’s more to look for than a good neighbourhood and a sturdy foundation. They shop with their hearts, their heads – and with the expert advice of a real estate professional. Before you get caught up in the excitement of searching for the perfect home, here are some savvy steps to follow.

1. Know how much you want to spend

Don’t get caught in that trap of finding a perfect home that you can’t afford. Do your homework and define your budget. Get a pre-approved mortgage or consulting with your lender of choice, and keep your eye on the market, since any changes could impact what you can afford.

2. Scope out the neighbourhoods

Before you start looking at individual homes, figure out which neighbourhoods you would prefer to live in. How close are schools? Stores? Access to highways and public transit? These all have an impact. Also, check common areas in a community like parks and playgrounds – they can say a lot about how the residents feel about their neighbourhood, so look for tell-tale signs of neglect or proud upkeep. Your agent can also let you know how well certain neighbourhoods are selling, which is a good indicator of where people want to live.

3. Make a list

Smart shoppers never head to the grocery store without a list and neither should you when you head out to an open house. Organize your thoughts on paper and come up with a master house wish list that you can refer to. Divide it up into must-haves, would-be-nice items and deal breakers. Carry this list with you so that you can compare homes on the basis of your personal wants and needs.

4. Find a home inspector

Even before you locate your ideal home, have a home inspector at the ready. He or she may even be able to offer you some pointers for things to look out for when you first see a place.

5. Take your time

Don’t try to squeeze more than four viewings into a single day – it can be more confusing than convenient. Take photos and make note of the pros and cons after viewing each property so you can take a look at the next home without struggling to remember details about the one before.

6. Street sense

Be sure to ask about mutual driveways, parking, zoning bylaws and upcoming construction. You may be in a neighbourhood that is about to be receiving power line upgrades or road repairs that can wreak havoc on getting from point A to point B after you move in.

7. Be a legal eagle

Ask for a survey of the property and take a good look at it. Fences may not be on actual property lines and right-of-way issues may come into play in the future with the sale of the home next door. Don’t just rely on your judgement; hire a lawyer to inspect all of the paperwork related to a prospective purchase and to advise you.

8. Get a second opinion

If you’ve found a home that really appeals to you, show it to someone else like a good friend or relative. Let them do all the talking in case they see something you hadn’t noticed. Having someone who isn’t personally vested in the property can give you the objective opinion you need before you make your decision.

9. Think it through

In a hot market, it can be hard not to make an immediate offer. While that may work in most cases, be sure to step back, pull out your list and carefully gauge if this property meets all of your must-have criteria. Savvy househunters say that when you find the right property, you can feel it down to your bones. If that’s the case for you, see if you can wait a day (or a few hours) before making an offer. The only thing worse than buyer’s remorse is letting a dream home get away.

6 Expensive Traps and Pitfalls to Avoid When Real Estate Hunting

6 Expensive Traps and Pitfalls to Avoid When Real Estate Hunting

By Marina Agarwal
Average buyers are easy to get trapped into sophisticated marketing strategies tricks. The majority of us used to buy well promoted brands assuming the quality is the best. There are many emotional as well as expensive traps for buyers. All of us are humans with our emotions and hidden traits which are targeted by marketing professionals (no blame for they do their job well)
Yes, realtors must market Real Estate for sale at it’s best, this is how the job has to be done. And yes, as a buyer, you might blindly step on and get trapped in. And yes, it may cost you a lot.
In order to avoid falling into such hidden traps, you need to use a systematic house buying approach.
When you’ve got your mortgage pre-approval and deposit ready here is what you need to take seriously to avoid the common mistakes of other buyers:

  1. Never Express your emotions to anyone from seller’s side.
Especially that you Love the property. Keep it as a pure business until you bought it, do not involve your heart yet. Act like a practical prudent property investor. Pretty much same as in healthy relationships. When you hear such expressions from others “dream house”, “falling in love with the house” – it’s an open hit on your emotions intended to distract you from your business approach.
  1. Do not let them Anchor you.
“The First impression is the last impression”. Ok, no denying, yes, the first impression really matters. Naturally we judge people, places, or instantly, it’s better call instinctively. Human mind gives preferences to a 1st impressions up to a final decision. There are too many influences, try hard to ignore them. This is another big trap. Again, we are all human beings, it is hard for us to ignore anchoring altogether, but we can minimize its impact by following these major steps:
  • Ignore soliciting and never give your opinion immediately
  • Be aware of the mostly used perceptions and language that may unwittingly anchor you (I can help you with this)
  • Try to go in detail before making any decision
  • Never make your decision under an emotional pressure from anyone from the seller’s side
  1. Asking for Opinions
Obviously, you will get plenty of opinions and advises from family, colleagues, and friends. And it’s alright. As far as you getting the right suggestions from well-informed sources. Strongly keep in mind that some advisers may not know much about real estate specifics, may confuse you with multiple doubts, personal visions (filtered perceptions) and even personal interests of the matter, may simply distract you from your own interests. Stick to what you want and what you’re comfortable with and take actions. Politely keep them on a good distance from your path of buying the right property at a reasonable rate. This is your big investment, your decision, your future asset.
  1. Considering Due Diligence Seriously – The Devil is in Details
You have finally made up your mind to invest into real estate. Do your own research, your realtor must do it for you too. Due diligence - the basic rule - must be done before buying anything. This helps you find out more details about the proposed property. Yes, due diligence costs some money, but worth it because helps saving much more of money in the future.
  1. Doing Too Much Research Finding the Right Property - The Best is the enemy of The Good
Some buyers like to do a lot of research to find the right home which is good when it’s done properly, if not it can cost you too much later. When you found the perfect property after doing due diligence, take an action instead of searching for superior-perfect. Because when you finally get ready to take an action, the property is no longer in the market. This kind of holding out for the right property can never let investors meet their goals. The property you are going to purchase is a live deal. if you don’t want to miss this live opportunity, you need to take quick action rather than delaying. Try to make your decision within 21 days. During this time period, you can meet third-party experts to guide you better and know more and more about that property.
  1. Blindly Paying For Property
Paying too much for a specific property is not a very smart decision. Is it too much?.. Is it the right price?.. Before it’s clear for you, do not sign the very first deal you encounter in the market. You don’t plan to regret in the future. In the real estate market, making buyers paying too much for a property than its actual value is a very common easy trap. You can recall those blissful magic words sellers love “Sold over asking price!!!”
Patience matters a lot in price negotiations. Never let involve yourself in making hasty decisions. Discuss the price properly, know which one serves your interests better. Then make your final decision. Price always consist of a few ingredients to be considered how much each of them worth for you.

                7. Deposit scams and Mortgage scams - separate topics coming soon!

  Note: There is nothing like a perfect property, so don’t waste your time expecting it and doing extensive research of it.
So, if you are considering buying a home in Milton-Mississauga-Etobicoke, and want to know more about the areas or some guidance on these suggestions, let’s talk!
I’d love to show you what is available at your price range.

Marina Agarwal,
Sales Representative at
Manor Hill Realty Inc. Brokerage

Address: 3391 Bloor St W, Suite #6, Etobicoke, ON M8X 1G3
Direct 416-953-6771
Office 416-245-1881

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