Buying a Home
If you have not done so already, I highly recommend you contact a mortgage specialist or broker before you start looking at homes. He/she will be able to determine what you can afford, based on your income and down payment, and provide you with written confirmation of such. If you do not have a mortgage specialist / broker, I will happily provide you with a list of professionals to consider.
I invite you to meet with me at my office to discuss your needs and wants. I will review the buying process step-by-step and discuss my commitment to you. For first time buyers, I will go over some commonly asked questions / concerns to make sure you are fully informed and comfortable. This is a very exciting process!
When I represent you as a Buyer I am working within a legal relationship called an Agency. The Agency exists between you (the client) and the company under which I am licensed (Macdonald Realty).
I will search daily for properties when meet your criteria and will notify you immediately if I see one which may interest you. If any family member will have input in your decision, they should also come to the showings.
If you see any property for sale, even if it is listed by another realtor or ‘For Sale By Owner’ or visit an “Open House” or see it on the MLS®, please call me straight away and I will gladly arrange appointments for a showing for you. Remember, some sellers prefer 24 hours notice – especially if there are tenants involved.
Once we find a home which works for you, we need to write the offer as soon as possible.
1. Purchase Price
First, decide the amount you would like to pay for the home and, depending on
There is no set amount but the usual amount is 7% - 10% of the purchase price. The closer your deposit is to the 7% - 10%, the more seriously the offer will be taken.
A deposit is paid as a sign of the Buyer’s sincerity and good faith, payable upon either acceptance of the offer or final subject removal. It is held by the Buyer’s Realtor’s real estate company in a ‘trust’ account until the transaction is completed. On completion, the deposit is put towards the total purchase price.
3. Terms & Conditions
There are five basic subject clauses we recommend:
• Home / Building Inspection
• Title Search
• Property Disclosure Statement (PDS)
• House / Fire Insurance
• Strata documents (if a condo)
You can also choose not to have any subjects or you can add others. We normally try to allow five business days for subject removal; your offer stands a greater chance of being accepted with less subjects and a shorter subject period – especially if we are in competition.
4. Completion is the day money changes hands and is usually one to two days
5. Possession is the day you take ownership of the property. It can be any day of the week and usually takes place at 12:00 Noon which will be specified in the contract. If completion and possession are scheduled on the same day, then possession is usually after 5:00pm to allow enough time for the registration to occur. I will arrange for keys to be delivered to you.
6. Adjustments is usually the same day as possession as this is the day you take over paying property taxes, utilities, etc. These charges are adjusted by your lawyer.
7. Included Items are fixtures (anything fixed to the property) and they stay unless excluded by the Seller. Chattels (anything not fixed to the property) must be written in your offer. Usually we ask for all appliances and window coverings.
Please tell me if you want other items included or excluded.
8. Offer Presentation
After we have written the offer and you have signed it, I will call the Selling agent and arrange an appointment to present the offer on your behalf.
An accepted offer is when a mutual agreement has been reached on the price and terms also signed by both parties.
I will guide you through the subject period including home inspection process, etc. And the deal becomes firm when all subjects have been removed.
You must choose a lawyer or notary to represent you in this transaction. You should advise them of your intention to retain their services and then let me know their name and contact information at least three weeks before completion date. I will ensure all documentation is forwarded to their office in a timely manner. Usually the lawyer or notary will ask you to sign papers approximately one week before completion date.
9. Multiple Offers
The process is different if we are in a situation where there is more than one offer being
written on the property. In this case, you may only get one chance to make an offer. Therefore, you should put your best offer on the table right from the start. You may consider offering over the list price with minimum subject clauses as this is often what it takes to win in a multiple-offer situation.
Property Transfer Tax
The property transfer tax is payable to the provincial government on the purchase of all real property in British Columbia. It is calculated as 1% on first $200,000.00, 2% on amounts between $200,000.00 and $2,000,000; 3% on amounts between $2,000,000.00 and $3,000,000.00 and 5% on amounts over $3,000,000.00
I recommend you hire a registered home inspector to evaluate the condition of the home. If you need a contact, I will provide you with references to consider. Approx. cost: $400.00 & up
Generally, a bank or trust company will require a survey to confirm a house does not encroach on or cross over the property line. A Seller will sometimes have a survey, especially if they had a mortgage on the property. Surveys are not necessary if the Buyer is purchasing a strata property or condo or if the Buyer will have more than 50% down payment on the house. Approx. cost: $400.00.
In the event of Fraud, it is recommended title insurance be considered. Title insurance is an insurance policy which protects residential or commercial property owners and/or their lenders against losses relation to a property’s title or ownership. Coverage includes survey errors, errors in public records, losses related to improvements made without building permits, existing liens, etc.
Approx. cost: $250.00 (Fraud coverage is extra and is approx. $50.00)
This will be the amount paid to your lawyer. The amount of legal fees varies and a notary public may charge a little less but I will explain a key difference. Approx. cost: $900 - $1500.
Harmonized Sales Tax
All new homes are subject to GST.
Disclaimer® This information is provided to assist in the planning of a home purchase. It is not intended to be legal advice and the information set out may not be applicable in all cases. Each client will be different and it is recommended that the Buyer(s) consult with their lawyer or notary as early as possible to confirm the actual cash requirements necessary to buy a home.
Buying a home is an exciting experience and I am honoured to have the opportunity to share this process and experience with you.
You have my assurance I will do everything I can to ensure you have a positive buying experience.
Please remember I am always ready and willing to answer any questions you may have.