There’s a lot to consider when buying a new property, so use the top resource you have at your disposal – your real estate agent. Your agent holds a wealth of knowledge. You just need to ask the right questions. Remember, whether you’re a first-time buyer or an old hat, there’s always more to learn when it comes to regional insights.
Published February 1, 2018, Updated April 5, 2021
What Can I Really Afford?
Being realistic about your own money situation from the get-go will help your agent find the most appropriate properties to show you. It’s better to know your limits than be seduced by a shiny, brand-new three-bedroom, four-bath home with an unreachable listing price.
What’s the First Step?
For those looking to buy their first home, knowing where to begin is a challenge in itself. Do you start looking at properties until you find something you like, or should you get pre-approved for a mortgage first? Your real estate agent is like a Sherpa, navigating you through the ups and downs of the home-buying process. Start by finding an agent you trust, who will guide you along the way.
How Does it All Work?
The process of purchasing a home – and spending so much money – can be daunting and very overwhelming. Have your agent walk you through the home-buying process step by step, so you know what to expect and when, especially if you are a first-time buyer. Knowledge is power and, in this case, it’s also a powerful antidote to purchasing anxiety and added stress. Your agent can help!
Who Pays Your Commission?
Having a clear picture of how a real estate agent’s commission works allows for transparency between the buyers and the agent. Knowing how much they’re paid – and by whom – puts the business relationship on solid footing from the initial interaction. It paints a clear picture of what you’re hiring them to do and how much they’re going to get for that service.
What Is Property Transfer Tax?
When you buy your first home, there is a myriad of costs and contracts that you’ve likely never heard of. Property Transfer Tax is one of those, so ask your agent what this means for you. As a first-time homeowner, you may be exempt from paying all or part of this tax, depending on which province you live in.
How Do I Make An Offer?
When it’s time to put in an offer on a property that ticks the right boxes, tap into your agent’s expert knowledge. They will help you figure out a reasonable offer amount, as well as which conditions and inclusions make sense for you. All financial decisions are ultimately up to you, but use your agent as a sounding board on how to secure the best deal.
What Question Should I Ask You?
Once you’re satisfied with the answers to the above questions, your next one should always be: What haven’t I asked yet that I need to know? With so much to think about, from mortgages to legal matters, oftentimes buyers forget to find facts on something quite important. Let your agent fill in the knowledge blanks. Remember, their job is to educate and support you, from showings to purchase to possession. Buying a property – especially for the first time – involves a lot of unfamiliar, complicated steps and stages. Asking your real estate agent the right questions of can help this process along and get you a home to call your own.