Your home buying team: Who should you call? Whether it’s your first time buying a home, or you’ve done it before, it’s good to have a team of experienced professionals to help you along the way.
Real estate agent: An agent can help you find a home, tell you about the community, make an offer for you and negotiate the best deal. They can also help you find qualified professionals to fill the other positions on your team. When looking for an agent, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Normally, the seller pays a commission to the agent, but some agents also charge buyers for their services.
Insurance broker: You will need property insurance to cover the replacement cost of your home and its contents in case of loss. It is also a good idea to get mortgage life insurance, which will protect your family if you die before your mortgage is paid off. An insurance broker can help you with this.
Home inspector: Whether you’re buying a new or resale home, you should have it inspected by a professional home inspector. The inspector will assess the condition of the house and tell you if any major repairs or replacements are needed.
Appraiser: An appraiser can make sure you don’t pay too much by telling you how much a property is worth before you make an offer. In some cases, your lender may ask for an appraisal before approving you for a mortgage.
Land surveyor: You will probably need a survey or certificate of location as part of your mortgage application. If the seller doesn’t have one, you’ll need to hire a surveyor and get permission from the seller to go onto the property. If you have title insurance, you may not need a land survey.
Builder or contractor: If you’re building a new home or your home needs extensive renovations, you’ll need to hire a builder or contractor. Ask candidates for several references and check them carefully. You can also visit other homes they’ve built and ask if they are members of a homebuilders’ association.
Lender or broker: There are many lending sources for mortgages, including banks, trust companies, credit unions, and pension funds. Each offers different terms and options, so be sure to shop around! Mortgage brokers can be a good resource, as they can work with more than one lender.
Lawyer or notary: A lawyer (or notary in Quebec) will protect your legal interests. They make sure that the property you want to buy is free of any liens, charges, and work or cleanup orders. A lawyer or notary will also review all contracts before you sign them, especially the offer to purchase. Do your research! It’s important to research the people who will help you buy your home. Ask real estate agents, lawyers, or any other housing professionals for their references and qualifications. The more information you have the better prepared you will be to make the best decision.