Kawartha Lakes real estate is ever changing. It is so important to understand where the market stands and how the process works. I understand this is one of the biggest investments of most people’s lives. A bit of time learning the market will go a long way in your purchase process.
Book a meeting with a real estate agent – we’re looking at the market every day and visiting with buyers and sellers on a consistent basis. To get a heartbeat of what’s happening in the Kawartha Lakes real estate market, it’s important to talk to a local agent who lives and works in the area.
After selecting an agent to work with, you will want to schedule a time to have an in-person or phone call.
This is important because it will help them understand what your needs are and prepare you to meet your goals. The real estate market is constantly changing and you must be aware of where you stand. Once an agent determines your needs and wants, they can then look for opportunities and send you what you’re looking for.
There are plenty of options when it comes to financing a home, but you should have an idea of pre-approval and how you will secure funds before getting too deep in your search. There are three main sources of finances available:
Traditional Banks – If you have a good rapport and history with your bank, this is a great option to start.
Mortgage Brokers – They will have the most options for lending available. They can utilize most of the major banks, plus many other lenders depending on your finances and credit. They also shop around and can typically offer a range of interest rates for you to choose from.
Creative Financing – If you are unable to secure financing through a major bank or lender, there are still options available for you.
Now for the exciting part! You already know the type of home and price point you are qualified to afford. A property search will look at a specific area and notify you when they become available. Your agent will also send you emails or texts to ping you and see if it is a property you’d like to book a private showing for.
This is the time it is very important to stick to your goals and budget. With that top of mind, you won’t get caught up in listings over your budget or too far for your commute. If a property does fall inline with your goals and budget, your hard work will pay off with a solid offer and great chance for an acceptance.
Once you have found the home that aligns with your needs, it is time to prepare and present an offer to the seller. It is important to plan and research a number of items before submitting your offer including;
Property Research – This is where you investigate the comparable properties to the listed home and assess whether the listed price is reasonable. Comparable recent sales is where you will get the most firepower for determining an offer price.
Terms – These are items that are agreed to and will be upheld, otherwise there will be a breach in contract. In addition to standard pre printed terms that will be reviewed prior to writing an offer, you can add more as needed.
Conditions – These clauses are written in a contract and in most cases must be fulfilled in order for a transaction to proceed forward. Financing and home inspection conditions are often included in transactions to give buyers time to investigate important matters before making a decision to fulfill or walk away.
Deposits – This is a show of good faith and a willingness to close on a transaction. They are typically applied and deducted from the agreed upon price. In some cases, if a buyer is unable to close, the seller may be entitled to the deposit as long as they have performed their duties to close.
Price – Once you have determined the terms and conditions of the offer, and have completed your property search, you are armed with the knowledge you need to determine an effective offer price. Every property has variables affecting a value positively or negatively. Remember that something that someone finds negative can be a positive for another buyer.
Offer Presentation and Acceptance – After an offer has been written and signed, it is the agent’s job to present the offer to the seller’s agent. In a perfect world, a well written offer will be accepted with the possibility of some minor negotiation. The seller may also counter your offer. This would involve the agent going back to the buyers with the response from the buyers with a window of time to review and respond. The seller may also reject your offer, leaving no opportunity for negotiation.
Once the offer is accepted, it is time to lay the groundwork to satisfy your conditions. This could involve arranging a home inspection or contacting your mortgage broker. Your real estate agent will play a role in gathering information required to help satisfy any outstanding conditions and ensuring due dates are met.
After gathering all of the necessary information, it is time to make a decision to proceed or walk away from the deal. This is done by giving the appropriate written notices to the seller and their agent. Once a condition is removed, the sale is considered firm and the property will be marked sold.
A typical possession time frame is between 30-90 days with some instances of faster or longer dates depending on the unique situations of the buyer or seller.
Lawyers – It is mandatory to enlist the services of a lawyer to handle the required paperwork and meet with them to sign documents. They will set up an in-person meeting or video conference to provide insurance information, balance of down payments, payments of fees, go over any adjustments of taxes and utilities, and finalize anything else that is required before you own the home.
Insurance – As a requirement of the mortgage, you will need to obtain and show your lawyer proof of insurance prior to possession of the home. This may require some back and forth with your home insurance company before securing a rate. In rural areas, insurance companies may require additional information to ensure a property is insurable based on distance to fire department or road access. It is best to investigate these unique matters and insert appropriate conditions prior to submitting an offer.
Utilities – Before you take possession of a property, it is important that you change your utilities over to your new address in advance. This can include internet, cable, power, water, and gas services. Also, don’t forget to notify and cancel your utilities at your old address.
Mailing Address – This is often overlooked but very important to receive documents from vendors you may not think about. It is suggested to add mail forwarding to your new address so you can update with anyone you forget about.
Today is the day of possession! All of your hard work is coming to fruition but the battle isn’t over yet. You will meet with your agent at the property to do a walk through and make sure everything that was set out in the contract has been met. You’ll want to look for any damage from moving, and anything that is not functioning properly. Run a load of laundry, make sure all of the taps and showers work, and switch the furnace and air conditioning on as well.
If any issues arise, we can notify the lawyers of the problems and the process of remediating can begin.
After you’ve been in your new home and get a feel for it, you may have a question or two. We will follow up and help answer any questions you may have to ensure you are happy with your decision.
Get more information about listing or buying with me, inquire about Kawartha Lakes real estate listings or general questions.