Buying your first home can be daunting. First-time buyers are immersed in a world filled with a whole new language and it can be difficult to determine where to begin.
Peter Woolcott, a buyer agent with Re/Max Escarpment Woolcott Realty Inc., has worked with a number of first time of buyers and has an extensive list of tips for first-time buyers looking to get into the real estate market.
Make a list of priorities
“One of the first things I tell first-time homebuyers is to sit down and really think about what they want to buy,” says Woolcott. “It’s not just features of the home, but also the neighbourhood, distance to work, proximity to restaurants and shops and more.”
Woolcott recommends creating a list and separating it into wants and needs, as this will keep priorities top-of-mind when it comes to actually viewing homes.
“Buying your first home will often be filled with lots of questions,” says Woolcott. “Don’t be afraid to ask your agent what a certain term means, or how the process works.”
According to Woolcott, some buyers refer to Google to answer their questions, but that only ends up with them being more confused. He says answering questions is one of the primary responsibilities of a buyer agent.
When getting started in the home-buying process, one of the early steps a first-time buyer should take is to get pre-approval.
“Pre-approval makes the whole home-buying process less stressful,” says Woolcott. “If you know how much you can afford from the outset, you’ll save time by only looking at homes within your price range, and once you find the perfect home, you’ll be able to put in an offer right away.”
Work with a dedicated buyer’s agent
There are agents who work with only listings, those who work with both buyers and sellers, and those who work only buyers.
There are many advantages of working with a dedicated buyer’s agent. A successful buyer agent is in dozens of homes each week and thus, knows the values of homes and is also well-versed in knowing what issues to look for in homes that can save buyers money in the long and short term.
Choose an experienced agent
Since buying a home is uncharted territory for first-time buyers, the importance of working with an experienced buyer agent who has a strong track record can’t be stressed enough.
Ask prospective agents about the number of transactions they’ve done, if they’ve worked with first-time buyers and if they’ve done transactions in the local market.
If you are a first-time home buyer and want to know more about the home-buying process, click here to schedule a free, no-obligation appointment with one of the team’s top buyer agents.