So, you have decided to look at homes for sale in Mission B.C.: Congratulations! The home buying process doesn’t have to be overwhelming. A good REALTOR® will have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process and minimize stress.

Here are 10 steps to ensure the process for buying your home is as smooth and successful as possible:

1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage.

This way, you will know exactly what price range to consider. The price will impact the types of homes and neighbourhoods you view.  Request a mortgage pre-approval letter from a financial institution or mortgage broker.

Brokers and bankers are not all equal. Ensure that your banker or broker has made a credit enquiry, collected your income verification, and provides all details in writing. You want to start the process with clarity on your financing so you don’t end up with setbacks later on.

2. Find a specialized REALTOR®

The real estate market is constantly changing. You want a REALTOR® who works day to day in the area you are considering and is able to help you find properties that suit your needs.

The support of a local REALTOR® ensures you always receive the latest market information and are first to see new listings.  It will also allow you to move quickly on hot properties, giving you an edge over other buyers who are searching alone.

3. Create a list of wants and needs.

Write your list, then review it with your friends, family, spouse, and then with your REALTOR®. When you’re done, compare notes and compile any changes into a final list. Remember: Consider your mortgage pre-approval price range and your Realtor’s experienced advice.

This list will give you a better idea of what you’re looking for and will help your REALTOR® be most effective when finding listings to match it.  Why waste time looking at homes that don’t meet your needs?

4. View properties with your REALTOR®.

This is the fun part. Once you select a few of the properties you like, you get to visit them. Keep your needs and wants list in mind as you view properties. Sometimes homes that look perfect on paper don’t give you the right feeling in person.

Don’t be afraid to discuss properties candidly with your REALTOR®.REALTORS® are professionals and want to make the most of your time. Their job is looking out for your best interests. Telling them more about what you don’t like allows them to rule out properties that won’t work for you.

You may want to read my blog: How You Can Get the Most Out of Visiting an Open House.

5. Make an offer.

You’ve found the winner: Your REALTOR® will help you create a strategy including a list of offer conditions that you may want to include in order to protect yourself as the buyer and to get you the most value.

Typical conditions include: property inspections, obtaining approval for fire/property insurance, receiving a final mortgage approval, reviewing a title search, and reviewing the seller(s)’ disclosure statement.

This is also the time where you and your REALTOR® will discuss included items and closing dates.

6. Negotiate the deal.

Now that you’ve put an offer on the property, you can often expect a counter offer. Don’t worry, your REALTOR® is a trained negotiator and will help you strategize to either accept or counter.

Your agent will represent your best interests and handle the back and forth negotiations.

7. Process the legal documents.

Once you have removed your subjects, you’ll first need to select a lawyer or notary public who can help you transfer the property into your name.

Once you have a lawyer, inform your REALTOR® and they will send your contract and details directly to them.  Finally, a few days prior to the sale’s completion date, the lawyer will contact you to come into their office and sign the required documents.

8. Arrange to hook up utilities.

Make a list of the contact information for your current utility providers including hydro, cable, internet and telephone. Contact each one and arrange to switch over their services to your new home after your possession date.

This way, everything is ready when you move in and you don’t have to wait for internet access.

9. Get your keys.

Once your possession day rolls around, your REALTOR® will arrange to deliver the keys to you!

On moving day, make sure all moving companies and pizza delivery is scheduled. If it’s a new area for you, your REALTOR® can help you find trusted local professionals to assist with the move.

10. Celebrate!

Now is the time to start planning your housewarming party, and invite your REALTOR® over for a barbecue. Buying a home should be a rewarding experience.

This article is a very general outline of the process. If you have more questions about buying residential real estate in the Mission B.C. area, please feel free to call me anytime!