You know yourself that after you’ve been doing a job for awhile, it becomes easier. The same is true with real estate. Good agents know the answers, the process and where to look, who to ask if we don’t. I always encourage my clients to ask questions, whatever is on their mind. there are no stupid questions. Buying or selling a home is a process of learning so that you can become comfortable in making the big decision.
I encourage questions when visiting homes and through my website and facebook page. Alasdair and I always invite clients into our office to get a better idea of where they are on the learning curve and how we can help. Sometimes we make tea.
From time to time, I post a couple of questions that have come up. Here are two recent questions:
Where to get a mortgage
Q: My husband and I are starting to plan on buying a home in Kitchener Waterloo, but we don’t know where to begin. We aren’t from here. We are just married and have good credit. We are trying to find out who we should contact to arrange a mortgage.
A: You should start at your bank. You can get pre-qualified with a quick trip to your bank. They’ll tell you how much house you can afford. After that, the second step is to find a realtor that will help you identify houses that match your budget, help you understand neighborhoods, development plans, transportation and amenities, schools…
If you don’t have a banker, then start with a realtor. He will introduce you to two or three lenders who will help you understand your financial picture and the current mortgage options.
When to start
Q: We are looking to move into our first home by July. We’ve just started looking. When should we find a realtor?
A: Many people find their realtor as they are looking for their house. They meet them at open houses, or when they call on a listing. They are sometimes introduced through friends and colleagues. It’s important to find a realtor early in the process – you don’t really want to be dealing with the realtor who is selling the place you want to buy. A good realtor will help focus your search and find your next home easily, without having to see everything on the market.
A: Short answer. Next month – March. Depending on how much time and what’s on the market, it can take two months of effort to find the right house. A 60-90 day closing date is common. If you want to move in in July, starting in March will all but guarantee success.