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Buying Tips

 Your Guide to Buying a Home

Whether this is your first home or your tenth, take note of these important tips to help you get the most for your money.


Organizing your finances is the first step in your home purchase

  • Consider one-time costs including the down payment, legal fees, inspection fees, taxes and moving expenses
  • Anticipate all monthly costs including taxes, utilities and upkeep
  • Determine the current equity your home and consider paying off high interest loans or rolling them into a new mortgage
  • Research several mortgage options and pre-qualify before making any offers.

 Your Needs & Wants

Consider your current lifestyle as well as the future

  • Select a location that best serves your evolving lifestyle and is close to the amenities most important to you
  • Look for features you will need, such as additional bathrooms or a large yard.

 Beginning Your Search

Preview homes that meet your criteria and remain objective while inspecting

  • Have Ann send you listings of properties that match your criteria
  • Beware of noise levels from neighbouring properties and the street
  • Flush the toilets, turn on the shower, open cabinet doors, and look in closet corners.

 Making An Offer

Look at what comparable houses are selling for in the neighbourhood

  • Invest in a home inspection and review any potential areas of concern
  • Work with Ann to sort through key elements of your offers such as price, deposit, financial terms, inclusions and exclusions, and your closing or possession date.


Hire a legal professional to manage all closing documentation

  • Obtain home insurance and notify your lawyer and mortgage lender of the selected insurer
  • Coordinate cancellations, transfers and change of address notification documentation, pay fees and collect keys to your new home.

 Understanding Market Conditions

The real estate market is always changing and it helps to understand how market conditions can affect your position as a buyer.




Buyer’s Market:

The Supply of homes on the market exceeds demands.

High inventory of homes. Few buyers compared to availability. Homes on the market longer. Prices tend to drop.

More time to look for a home. More negotiating leverage.

Seller’s Market:

The number of buyers wanting homes exceeds the supply or number of homes on the market.

Smaller inventory of homes. Many buyers. Homes sell quickly. Prices usually increase.

May have to pay more. Make decisions quickly. Conditional offers may be rejected.

Balanced Market:

The number of homes on the market is equal to the demand or number of buyers.

Demand equals supply. Sellers accept reasonable offers. Homes sell within an acceptable time period. Prices generally stable

More relaxed atmosphere. Reasonable number of homes to choose from

 How to Make an Offer

  • When it comes time to make an offer, Ann can provide current market information and will assist you in drafting your offer.
  • Ann will communicate your offer, known as an Offer to Purchase, to the seller, or the seller’s representative, on your behalf.

Offer to Purchase: a legal document which specifies the terms and conditions of your offer to purchase the home.

The offer can be Firm or Conditional:

Firm Offer to Purchase
Usually preferable to the seller, because it means that you are prepared to purchase the home without any conditions. If the offer is accepted, the home is yours.

Conditional Offer to Purchase Means that you have placed one or more conditions on the purchase, such as “subject to home inspection” or “subject to financing” The home is not sold until all the conditions have been met.

Acceptance of the Offer

Your offer to purchase will be presented as soon as possible. The seller may accept the offer, reject it, or submit a counter-offer.

  • The counter-offer may be in reference to the price, the closing date, or any number of variables.
  • The offers can go back and forth until both parties have agreed or one of you ends the negotiations.

 Have the Home Inspected

  • Having the property inspected by a qualified home inspector will give you the added confidence that you’ve made the right decision.
  • When the procedure is complete, you may wish to ask for a full written report plus estimated costs for any necessary repairs.

 Some Moving Tips

First, Book the Movers

You can choose to have your movers pack everything, or just the breakables, or you can pack yourself. It is a good idea to obtain estimates from several different companies.

If You Own Your Present Home

  • Arrange to have your gas and electric meters read on the day you leave and have the bill forwarded to your new address.
  • Have the oil tank read and filled before your sale closes, and provide a receipt to your legal professional if required.
  • If your water heater and/or furnace are rented, arrange for a transfer of the rental agreement to the purchaser.
  • Disconnect your telephone, cable TV and water softener.

If You Rent Your Present Home

Give the necessary written notice to your landlord and make arrangements for the return of any money you have on deposit.

At Your “New” Home

Make arrangements for the gas and electric utilities, water softener, telephone and cable TV to be connected on the day the sale closes


  • Get change of address cards from the post office and send them out before moving day.
  • Have the post office forward your mail to your new address.
  • Cancel any contracted services and pre-authorized cheques.
  • Inform gardening, dry cleaning, garbage pickup, newspapers, magazines and other home services. Arrange for services at your new address.
  • Arrange for transfer of medical, dental, prescription and optical records.
  • Change the address on your driver’s license effective the day of the move.
  • Dispose of all flammable liquids, it is illegal for movers to carry them
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