Buying a Home

There are many steps involved in buying.  Real Estate in Northern B.C. can include small town and rural issues such as private septic and water systems.  Preparing yourself and knowing what to expect will help the buying process go smoothly.  Of course, having a realtor by your side will make things a lot easier.  Not quite ready to buy a house, but you're getting close?  Now is the time to start doing your research.  Pay attention to real estate listings in Smithers and the surrounding areas.  Allow a realtor to help you get a feel for the market.

Home Buying: Step by Step

1Choose your Realtor

Your choice of a realtor is a very important decision, so take a few steps.  Ask friends and family about their experiences.  Make sure to ask them for details and decide for yourself if that information would support your choice of a realtor.  Advice from someone you trust can be very helpful, but don’t let it be your only step.  Look online for impartial reviews and check out the online presence of your potential realtor.  And the most important thing, meet or chat on the phone with the realtor to make sure you connect and feel comfortable.  Asking questions about the market can give you a good feel for how things might go.  Do their answers show that they want to make sure you have the tools you need to make the best decision for yourself?  Experience is important, so ask about that too, and ask anything else you feel is important.  Remember, you are hiring your Agent, they will be working for you, ask all the questions you want.  Finally, if you already have a Realtor and aren’t quite happy, talk to them about it.  If that doesn’t work, start at the beginning of this paragraph.  It’s your business and your choice.

2Make a plan with your Realtor

It is never too soon to contact your realtor to help you prepare for your real estate investment.  An experienced realtor has gone through this process hundreds of times and can prepare you and help you know what to expect.  They are a great resource and can provide you with up-to-date market information, recently sold houses in your desired neighbourhood, and local resources available in Smithers, and the Bulkley Valley area.  If you haven't contacted your realtor, now's the time.  Set up a meeting and go over what kind of property you are looking for.  And remember, all your personal information, motivation, and financial information is kept strictly confidential.

3Get Pre-Approved

If you are getting a mortgage, getting pre-approved before the serious search begins is important.  You don't want to miss an opportunity to get your dream home because there's a delay in finalizing your mortgage.  Your realtor can give you hints and help on how to approach banks and what to expect.  Some banks will not pre-approve, but having that first appointment is a key step in getting the ball rolling.  Download Getting a Mortgage PDF for more information about what to bring to your mortgage appointment, information about your down payment, and closing costs associated with buying a house.

4Start Searching for Your Best Place

Together, with your realtor, seek properties that check off all your boxes.  Whether you are looking for farm land, investment property, a small acreage or a family home, your realtor will have the knowledge and resources to find you potential properties.  Remember that your real estate search is a decision process, so be prepared to re-access your priorities as you learn what is available in Smithers, Telkwa, Hazelton and the surrounding areas.

5Make an Offer

Once you've chosen and decided to write an offer there will be important decisions for you to make.  Take all the time you need to decide that you want to make an offer, but remember time is of the essence.  Make sure you talk to your realtor about what is going on in the current market such as the risk of competition, verses delaying in the hope of time softening up the seller.  Up to date market information is imperative in your decision process.  Schedule a meeting with your realtor so you can discuss your options.  Your realtor can review recent sales and market activity with you to help you decide what price to offer and your negotiating strategy.  Other things your realtor can help you decide are critical dates, like closing and subject removal, which subject clauses to include, and what included items to ask for.  Your realtor’s professional advice can help you anticipate and manage the end result to your benefit.

6Set up a Bank Appointment

As soon as your offer is submitted, it's wise to schedule an appointment with your mortgage specialist.  You will usually have two weeks to get your financing approval so it important to be prepared.  If you haven’t already, download Getting a Mortgage, to see in advance everything the bank may expect from you.

7So Your Offer Got Accepted!

Congratulations!  Now the real work begins!  Chances are, you've made your offer subject to certain conditions, such as an inspection, or getting your financing finalized.  These conditions are usually time sensitive, and it's crucial to start scheduling inspections, bank appointments, etc.  Stay in touch with your Realtor and frequently update them on your progress.  They certainly will be in touch with you! 

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