Working with buyers - the buying process
Having bought 21 (and counting) of our own properties combined, we know first hand that buying a home is exciting, thrilling, and also challenging in this competitive Toronto real estate market. We want your buying experience to be an amazing part of your journey and we want you to know that we will do everything possible to make it successful. So here is what you can expect when you decide to buy with Goldfarb Real Estate Inc., Brokerage, as well as other considerations you need to keep in mind when buying a home or condo.
Making you happy with your real estate buying experience is at the core of everything we do. To this end, we highly recommend that we schedule an in-depth consultation with you so that we can best understand your overall home ownership and/or real estate investing objectives. This discussion will generate a property profile and preference list that includes:
- Where you would like to live / target area
- Wants and needs; must-haves vs nice-to-haves
- Total budget
- Financing needs / mortgage pre-approvals, if required
This step is very critical so that we are fully aware of your criteria and therefore we can best identify those properties that will meet your needs, as well as filter out those that will not be suitable, thereby not wasting your time.
We will also discuss current market conditions and forces, how these may affect the buying process, and identify strategies that may work best in securing your desired home. Doing this will enable us to execute winning strategies when it comes to submitting offers, especially when a property has multiple offers.
We believe in tailoring the home search in whatever manner best accommodates you. Here are all the ways we can go about identifying listings.
Hand picked listings sent directly to your inbox
We will seek out property in a timely manner that meet your criteria. We comb the MLS on a daily basis. We pre-view new listings and we go to open houses. With an in-depth knowledge of our market and armed with your wish list, we are best equipped to handpick listings that meet your criteria and send these to you.
Alternatively, you can also take advantage of many online tools if you prefer more of a DIY approach. Here are some online tools to help you get started searching for listings on your own time.
Realtor.ca: If you want to conduct your own search, many like to use realtor.ca. This is a tool that is offered by the Canadian Real Estate Association and includes listings from participating local real estate boards. There are drawbacks to this tool as the information is not always as current and up to date as one would expect, in which case, note that we have other tools we can use.
Collaborate: The Toronto Real Estate Board recently released a new tool called Collaborate and we highly recommend you use this tool. As the name suggests, it is a collaborative tool that not only sends new listings that meet your criteria as they become available, but it also enables more real time communication and feedback on listings of interest. Contact us and we can set you up with your own account.
Daily email of new listings: We can set-up a search in the Toronto MLS that will send to you on a daily basis new listings that meet your criteria.
Our own online search tool: Coming soon!
Not all homes for sale are listed on MLS and in some cases it is possible to find suitable properties through our networks of colleagues and database of homeowners who might want to sell.
For some, finding a suitable home on the resale market is just not an option. We work the pre-construction condo market, which is completely different than the regular resale market. Indeed, developers and builders rarely, if at all, market their projects on MLS. While the pre-construction condo market appeals more to real estate investors than end-users who choose to live there, there are some condo projects that are ideally suited to those who want to live there rather than as an investment. We have in-depth knowledge, expertise, and experience working the pre-construction condo market. We are aware of and have access to the best projects long before these developments open to the public, which can save you thousands of dollars. Keep in mind this is an option that we can make available to you.
We will accommodate your schedule when arranging showings (and based on listing availability instructions). Typically, one needs 24-48 hours notice to ensure one can see a listing at one’s desired time. Last minute showings are typically frowned upon, but sometimes we can make this happen. It really depends on the showing instructions for the property in question.
During showings, we collect and document your feedback, answer questions you may have on the property and/or ensure we follow-up if we do not have the answer at our fingertips.
From our initial consultation to showings and feedback, there is so much that can be learned throughout this process.
Wants and Needs: You will gain a better understanding of what you can and cannot get in a neighbourhood or building given the target price point. This learning process helps us narrow the must haves versus nice to haves (sadly, we cannot have it all!), and we all get a better understanding of what is truly important to you. Overall, this process helps to further inform the search.
Property Values: We will show you what homes and condos sell for that meet your criteria so that you can get a better sense of market values and how far your dollar can stretch.
Condos: Condos are different than homes and come with their own set of pros and cons. We will provide perspective the various condo buildings, on what to look for in improvements, and help you understand what could impact your cost of home ownership as well as your quiet enjoyment.
Homes: While freehold property is the holy grail of Toronto home buyers, these too come with their own set of pros and cons, and no two homes are the same. We will provide perspective on what to look for (e.g., point out depreciated and obsolete features, as well as seller upgrades) and help you understand what could impact your cost of home ownership and your quiet enjoyment.
Locations: No matter how wonderful a neighbourhood appears to be, we have local knowledge that we will share with you regarding the various properties you are considering, from whether the street is desirable to whether there are new developments in the area that will impact the values of your property in the short and/or long term.
Ongoing Maintenance Costs: Not all homes come with the same extent of maintenance costs. We will use our best efforts to identify monthly costs for properties you are considering making an offer.
Material Facts: For those properties that you are considering making an offer, we will use our best efforts to discover and disclose relevant and material facts that may affect the property, before an offer is made.
Documentation: We will assist in reviewing or otherwise assisting you, as appropriate, with reports received and other documentation arising from the property buying process.
When you decide that you have found “The One”, we will move quickly to evaluate the best strategy in submitting an offer and identifying how it will be structured. No two offers are the same. We will walk you through this process.
We will prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) or provide other documentation to assist the you in making an informed decision and taking appropriate action.
Most important considerations of the offer will include:
- Offer price
- Deposit Amount
- Irrevocable date and time
- Closing date
- Chattels and fixtures
- Conditions and other clauses (e.g., financing, home inspection or status certificate if a condo)
How all these terms fit together determine the strength or weakness, and even seriousness of an offer.
Home inspections and/or ordering a status certificate can become additional, non-refundable costs, whether you purchase the home or condo or not. Sometimes the Seller will pay for these or they have already been provided, but not always. We will assist with identifying professionals as needed to address conditions in the offer.
We will accurately and professionally prepare and conveying offers your offer to purchase real estate.
Prior to conveying offers, we always recommend that a purchaser obtain expert advice, such as legal, accounting, environmental, or other appropriate expertise as needed for a contemplated acquisition.
Digital signatures have become legal in Ontario and therefore, if time is of the essence, even if we cannot get together in person, we will make the signing of the offer as simple as a few taps on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Multiple offers on the same property. Should competing offers present themselves, we will disclose their existence and terms known to the brokerage. In a multiple offer situation, the rules of the game change. The best way to be prepared for, and therefore to address, multiple offer situations, is before an offer takes place. We will discuss these strategies and tactics with you during our initial consultation, so we will be ready to implement strategies and options to advance your interests.
We love a deal and strive to get you the best price along with terms and conditions that meet your needs so that your requirements are met. Being highly skilled and experienced negotiators, we will leave no stone unturned in fighting to secure the desired property at the lowest possible price and best terms possible given current market conditions and circumstances.
We will present in a timely manner any counter offers being mindful of the irrevocable date and time.
We will always keep you informed regarding the progress of the transaction.
Accepted Agreement – With Conditions
We will continue to professionally prepare and convey counter offers and other required written documentation throughout the negotiation. An accepted agreement may be conditional on one of more items. These conditions will need to be addressed within stipulated timelines before a firm deal can be established, or the property rejected. We will assist you in ensuring these conditions are handled in the stated timelines as well as assist you, as appropriate, with reports received and other documentation arising from this process.
We will always keep you informed regarding the progress of the transaction.
Accepted Agreement – No Conditions
An accepted agreement that has no conditions is a firm deal, i.e., you just bought property! The period between the time a firm deal is in place and closing can be busy as one prepares for everything that must happen before and at closing. Some of these activities might include:
- Arranging financing, such as a mortgage, and associated fees (e.g., application fees, appraisal, mortgage broker’s fees)
- Mortgage calculator
- Mortgage insurance (if applicable)
- Land survey (sometimes asked by lender)
- Arranging property insurance
- Securing closing costs
- Organizing one’s move
While many of these steps will be led by you, we will assist you by providing advice, referring various service providers as needed, assist you where appropriate with reports received and other documentation, and help address obstacles you may encounter as your work through this stage.
Closing the Transaction and Costs
Closing is largely handled by your real estate lawyer, but we typically work with the lawyer to ensure a smooth closing and work through any problems, if any, that may arise.
Your solicitor will conduct title and non-title searches of the purchased property to ensure good and marketable title. Following searches, a requisition letter or similar document is transmitted to the sellers’ solicitor regarding any problems, defects or general matters affecting title. Upon successful resolution of matters requisitioned, the sale progresses to the scheduled closing. A final reporting letter is prepared following closing, setting out transaction particulars from the buyer’s perspective; e.g., statement of adjustments, opinion regarding title, adjustments and mortgage details (if applicable).
Closing comes with additional costs, known as closing costs, that must be earmarked before the completion date of the transaction. Some of these costs include:
- Down-payment (may or may not be the same as your deposit)
- Legal fees
- Disbursements: city tax certificates, registry office searches, register deed, register mortgage, couriers, postage, photocopies
- Land transfer taxes
- HST (if a pre-construction home)
- Title insurance
- Adjustments (found in the Statement of Adjustments and takes place when the seller has already paid for something in advance and wants to be credited for the unused portion on the date the house becomes yours for property, taxes, hydro, gas, fuel, maintenance fees – varies by property).
- Note that select rebates might be available to you depending on your circumstances.
Whether you need to be referred to a great lawyer, accountant, or other financial expert, or need help addressing any hick-ups along the way, we are here to help you navigate closing as well as provide appropriate advice.
After you have closed on your purchase, you may still call on us to help counsel and advise on several next steps, and refer great service providers as needed:
- Address changes
- Getting your home cleaned and set-up, as well as painted if need be
- Repairs or renovations
- Utilities and other hook-ups, such as heat/hydro, cable, internet, anything else that applies
- If a condominium unit, make sure property management has your information.