6 Steps to Finding Your Next Dream Home
If you’re thinking ahead to your next dream home, the road you need to take to get there may seem confusing. Do you search for listings online? Drop by Open Houses on the weekends? Call the number on For Sale signs? Let’s break it all down! Here are the specific steps you need to take to ensure you find a home that fits your wants, needs and budget.
- Find out how much your current property will likely sell for on today’s market. You can do this by evaluating comparable listings of similar properties in your neighbourhood, using an online evaluation tool or having a professional realtor perform an appraisal of your home for you.
- Arrange for financing, so you know what you can afford. Start with evaluating your credit score and determining where you need to make a few lifestyle adjustments so you have enough funds to afford all payments associated with the purchase of a new home (i.e. down payment, closing costs, mortgage payment). It’s always safe practice to get a pre-approval prior to starting your search so you’re aware of your budget.
- Choose an agent. When looking to choose an agent, you’ll want to find someone business oriented, personable and with a proven track record! Do your own research online by searching for local agents in your area. Some sleuthing may be required here! Check out their websites and social media platforms, evaluate their successes and reach out to them if you get a good feel. You can also ask your friends and families for referrals, as it’s unlikely they’ll steer you in the wrong direction. It’s important to interview agents to see who the right fit is. Be sure to choose an agent that will always have your best interests in mind. Remember, you’ll be working closely with your agent for as long as your home is on the market, so you’ll want to establish a good rapport right off the bat. As an experienced agent, I’m happy to help guide you in the right direction!
- Select neighbourhoods you’d love to live in and narrow down prospects. Research each neighbourhood and ask yourself how it meets your day-to-day lifestyle. Consider things like recreation, aesthetic, daily commutes, schools and more. Now for the fun part — it’s time to explore! On the weekends, take some walking or driving tours of the neighbourhoods you’re interested in to really see what they have to offer.
- Decide on the type of home you want to buy. (For example: detached, three-bedroom, etc.). When on the house-hunt, look for a home you see yourself growing in. Most people plan to purchase a home that will fit their needs now and in the future. Remember, unless you are building a home from the ground up, it’s unlikely you’ll find a home that’ll check all your boxes. But prioritize the property features you want most, so you can be flexible if a feature is missing from a home listed on the market that is otherwise ideal. Remember to tackle the house hunt with realistic expectations and you’re sure to find the right fit for you!
- Make an offer designed to get the property — without overpaying. On your behalf, your realtor will help you come up with a reasonable and aggressive offer to bring to the table. He or she will present the offer to the seller and one of three things will happen: the seller will either accept the offer, decline the offer or counter with their own offer. A counteroffer will give your realtor room to negotiate back and forth on your behalf until you secure the deal. If the negotiation is skillfully done and all goes well, the home is yours.
As you can see, there isn’t a lot of mystery in finding your next dream home. You just need to take the steps and get the professional help you need along the way. Looking for a real estate agent that can get you to the finish line? Call me today!