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Nov 22, 2018reading time icon9 min

10 steps to buying a house

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10 steps to buying a house
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Successfully navigating the process of purchasing a new home requires careful consideration and strategic planning. Seeking guidance from professionals in the real estate sector, including brokers, bankers, inspectors, and notaries, is crucial to ensure a smooth transaction. 

By meticulously planning each step, you enhance your chances of achieving your dream of homeownership. 

Now, let's take a closer look at the 10 key steps of the buying process. 

Step 1: Defining your borrowing capacity 

Prior to embarking on your property search, it's essential to determine your borrowing capacity by obtaining a mortgage pre-approval. Many banks provide resources to help clients assess their borrowing potential. 

This initial step provides insight into how much you can comfortably borrow, establishing a clear budget for your home search

A beautiful house with big trees

Step 2: Exploring your preferences 

During this contemplative stage, it’s essential to consider the type of property that aligns with your preference and lifestyle. Whether it’s a condo, single-family home, duplex, or townhouse, your decision should be driven by personal, professional, and family needs. 

Additionally, the location you choose for your new home also carries significant weight. Factors such as neighbourhood tranquility, proximity to schools, and accessibility to your workplace should heavily influence your decision-making process. 

Once you've identified these essential factors, conducting preliminary research online can provide valuable insight into the market. Browsing real estate websites will help you become familiar with property prices in your desired neighbourhoods. 

If possible, visiting these areas in person can provide invaluable insights to ensure they align with your criteria. While this initial research phase may require some time and effort, carefully considering all aspects ensures you make informed choices that align with your long-term goals and preferences. 

A real estate agent with a client

Step 3: Finding a real estate broker 

Partnering up with a real estate broker is essential as they guide you through every step of the purchasing process. From pinpointing the perfect property to navigating negotiation, all the way to finalizing the sale at the notary’s office, the broker is your trusted ally. Real estate brokers are committed to assisting you in finding the house of your dreams. 

Real estate brokers are essential for their expertise and guidance, providing invaluable advice and conducting thorough research on your behalf. While recommendations from friends or family can be helpful, it's essential to choose a broker tailored to your individual needs and preferences. 

Additionally, a crucial aspect to consider when selecting a real estate broker is their familiarity with the neighbourhood where you plan to purchase. It's essential that the broker you choose has a proven track record of successful transactions in that specific area. Therefore, conducting thorough research to find a broker who meets all your requirements is necessary. 

Quebec's real estate market offers a variety of properties to suit diverse preferences and budgets. Collaborating with a real estate broker significantly simplifies the search process. With their expertise you can expect to find a property that aligns with your needs within a matter of weeks. 

Did you know? 

As a buyer, a real estate broker won't cost you anything. It’s a common misconception that buyers must pay the commission for their real estate broker. In fact, it’s the seller who covers the broker’s commission upon the successful completion of the sale. 

A man wearing a jacket and a tie

Step 4: Finding a mortgage broker 

Once you've secured a real estate broker to assist with your property purchase, the next step is to seek out a financial institution willing to provide you with a mortgage loan. While it might be tempting to accept a loan from your current bank, it’s wise to explore different mortgage options. Shopping around allows you to find the most favourable terms and conditions tailored to your financial needs. 

This can be achieved through collaboration with a mortgage broker. In Quebec, the mortgage world is quite complex. A mortgage broker acts as an intermediary with lenders whether they are financial institutions or private lenders. The key attribute of a mortgage broker is their skill in negotiation, allowing them to find the most favourable interest rate based on your specific financial situation.  

The best part? You don't have to foot the bill for the services of a mortgage broker, as they are compensated through commissions from banks. 

Two man shaking hands

Step 5: Finding a mortgage 

This is a pivotal step in the buying process since you will likely be in debt for the next 15 or 20 years! If your mortgage broker has offered sound advice, you can move forward with confidence, knowing that your loan represents a solid investment in your future. 

However, do not hesitate to inquire about the different aspects of the mortgage to make sure you understand your contract fully. Here are some topics that might pique your interest: 

Step 6: Consultating with a notary 

Notaries wield considerable authority as public officers recognized by the state. Their drafted documents hold authenticity and are acknowledged in court. With an in-depth understanding of real estate law, notaries or adept experts.  

Therefore, it’s advisable to engage their services for drafting and reviewing all pertinent documents, as well as seeking their expert counsel for informed decision-making throughout the property acquisition process.   

With their expertise, a notary can help you steer clear of potential surprises that often accompany home purchases, such as being left with the contractor’s debt or assuming responsibility for the seller’s mortgage debt. 

In a real estate sale, the notary’s role is to oversee the financial aspect of the transaction and to validate the legality of the paperwork exchanged among the parties involved. 

A collection of beautiful books

Step 7: Submitting a purchase offer 

Once you've found the perfect home, it’s time to proceed by submitting a purchase offer to the seller, guided by the advice of your real estate broker. The offer to purchase included the proposed price for the purchase of the property, along with all the conditions required to finalize the sale, such as securing a mortgage loan and conducting pre-purchase inspections, among others.  

From there on, the seller has the option to accept your proposal, reject it, or make a counteroffer. This negotiation process can be complicated, making it advantageous to have the professional guidance of your real estate broker. 

Step 8: Conducting a pre-purchase inspection 

At this stage, obtaining a professional assessment is crucial to ascertain whether the desired property meets your expectations; you will need a building inspector. 

The building inspector specializes in building inspection, meticulously examining the visible and easily accessible components of the house to uncover any issues and concealed defects. This inspection may not only enable you to renegotiate the terms of the purchase agreement if the property requires repairs but may also provide grounds for cancelling the transaction. 

The cost of hiring a building inspector can vary depending on the property you intend to purchase. Surprisingly, this expense is relatively modest considering the peace of mind it affords throughout the project. 

A man signing important papers

Step 9: Signing the promise to purchase 

Once the seller has accepted your offer to purchase, it transitions into a promise to purchase. As a result, the conditions outlined in the document become non-negotiable. 

However, signing a promise to purchase does not signify that you are now the owner. The final step, the signing of the deed of sale, is necessary to complete the transfer of ownership. 

Step 10: Signing the deed of sale 

After weeks or months of preparation, you’ve reached the end of your journey. To officially become a homeowner, you’ll need to sign the deed of sale. Typically, this signing takes place at the notary’s office, with both parties present. This moment marks the transfer of ownership. 

Congratulations! You’re now a proud homeowner! 

Are you interested in embarking on the 10-step buying journey?

XpertSource.com can help you in your efforts to find real estate professionals. By telling us about your project, we will refer you to top-rated experts, free of charge! Simply fill out the form (it only takes 2 minutes) and you will be put in contact with the right experts.

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