You’ve been to open houses, you’ve checked out some houses with your REALTOR®️, and you’ve found something you could call home!! Yay!

But… what now?

Well, first, before I get to that, I do understand that I kind of skipped the “Look at houses with your REALTOR®️” bit for a few reasons. Firstly, I only ever went to one house viewing before I found my “the one” at an open house, so it feels a little weird to give much advice. Secondly, your experience will likely be very different depending on your REALTOR®️. The one home I did visit with Rob was not a good fit for me, but it was a great learning experience. The home was beautifully staged but below the surface there were a lot of flaws and future expenses that ultimately ruled it out.

Back to you. Maybe you just came home from viewing the house of your dreams, or maybe you see the potential in a home that fits your needs. Great! It’s time to write an offer, right? Well, before you do, there’s a few things we want to think about. (Writing an offer is next week’s topic, so more details on that very soon!)

Coincidentally my partner and I found our home by stopping by an open house right after attending her sister’s housewarming at her newly purchased home. This home had awful photos, a poor write-up, and wasn’t even on the MLS®️ system, but I found it on kijiji and from the grainy picture, it looked to have a really cool kitchen. Enough of a reason for me to check it out!

Well, it did indeed have a beautiful kitchen with a great layout, as well as everything else we were looking for! Not to mention it fit within our budget, albeit at the high end of it. Most importantly to me, it was a recent construction that didn’t really need any maintenance up front (plus it includes snow removal, which was a big deal closing right before winter)! We spent the evening trying to find anything major that we didn’t like and came up empty, so the next morning it was time to get started on the purchase!

For me, that started the next morning in Rob’s office telling him we wanted to make an offer on a private sale that we saw the day before. This part added a little complication, because most people try to sell privately to avoid paying a REALTOR®️ commission, but I was not comfortable navigating a sale without a professional on my side. So while I was getting finances in order, Rob had to negotiate himself into his side of the sale.

When you find the home you’d like to try to buy, you’ll probably be with your REALTOR®️ and the property will likely be listed on the MLS®️, so you’ll get to skip to next week’s topic, navigating the actual offer process. Until then, here’s a few things to keep in mind.

  1. This time is very exciting, but understand that you making an offer won’t prevent someone else from doing the same. You haven’t purchased the home yet, so be prepared to deal with potential complications.
  2. Start to think about the conditions you’ll be placing on the offer, such as maintenance, painting, what stays, etc. What needs to change before you’re willing to purchase this house? Keep in mind: the more you ask for, the less flexibility you have to negotiate the price, or the more you open yourself to competition with another offer.
  3. Remember that your REALTOR®️ is likely negotiating several deals right now, and so is the REALTOR®️ of the seller. Trust in their process, you picked a good REALTOR®️ to represent you, so they’re going to do everything they can to seal the deal and get you the best deal possible.
  4. Be patient! This goes along with the above, but remember that there’s a lot of moving pieces from here on out, and many people. Be as patient as possible when you’re waiting on paperwork, counter offers, etc. At the same time, don’t be afraid to politely ask for a follow up if someone misses a deadline.
  5. Have fun. There’s a lot of stress involved with buying a house! Try and take some time to enjoy the little things, or plan out how your furniture will look, have a look at trending paint colours.

That’s all for now! Next week I’ll actually talk you through the offer and counter-offer process, give some examples of conditions, and talk you through all the way to having your offer accepted.

Andy Tree is a professional Wedding Photographer, marketing expert, coffee lover, millennial, board game enthusiast, and overall nerd. Over the next weeks he’ll fill you in on every step of his search and first home purchase.

Send us a message on Facebook if you have any specific questions or if you’re ready to start your own search!