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Helpful Tips For Buyers


What Exactly Does Happen at a Buyer Consultation?

Recently a buyer came to me and said "I've been looking at homes with an agent for over two months now and he's been showing us all the wrong houses. I don't think he even knows exactly what I'm looking for."
and I
know that my Team and I are one of the very few agents who actually take the time to see buyers personally to learn about their wants, needs and concerns.
I call this meeting a Buyer Consultation. This all-important Buyer Consultation takes approximately an hour and a half and covers many topics. By taking this short period of time up front', I am able to help you focus and listen carefully to what your housing wants and needs really are. Then your time isn't wasted when you're ready to go out and look at homes... you'll see only those which fit your personal Wish List!
I like to start by taking a few minutes to tell you about why you are guaranteed an excellent buying experience during 30 years of serving my client's needs. I'll explain how my philosophy of building a life long relationship really benefits you. I'll tell you how my business is built predominantly on a referral basis from past satisfied clients. This holds me responsible to provide a level of service above and beyond what most people would hope for.
In fact, if I don't provide that type of exceptional service, we couldn't expect our business to grow on a referral basis.
The advantage to my clients of doing business this way "is that I can then dedicate most of each and every business day to servicing my
existing buyers and sellers. This is not typical in our industry because most agents spend much of their day looking for new business instead of looking after the clients they have.
After this introduction I discuss mortgage financing. I can calculate what mortgage you qualify for and advise on methods of debt consolidation if that is appropriate for you. I can recommend a savings program if needed, and also can work out what your purchase price should be based on what you feel comfortable spending on a monthly basis to be a home owner.
Because of my background and great contacts, I can usually negotiate a better mortgage rate for you than your personal bank or trust company will willingly offer.
From there I go through the steps of buying a home... from the computer searching process right through to the offer presentation stage. I will explain what standard conditions are used on an offer and when and why you should have a home inspection carried out! When it comes time to present the offer, I will explain how my expertise and strong negotiating skills will benefit you when presenting an offer on your behalf as your personal Buyer Agent! You'll learn when and why you will be signing waivers for your conditions, and I will relate where the lawyer fits into the process and takes over the file.
Finally, I will describe my After Sales Service Program. Once the offer has been accepted, we don't want you to feel alone out there! I will keep in touch almost weekly by phone and /or email.
I truly believe the better educated you are about buying a home, the more you will enjoy the process. Why? Because you will be in control of the transaction!
The next step is the most important to me, and this is when you get to talk and I just listen. I want to know what your wishes and dreams about your new home are... no matter how wild they might be. I want to know what your thoughts are... not only about the bricks and mortar of the home but what your emotional needs are as well.
With your Wish List information all written down along with the financial calculations we have made, I can now help you assess reality versus fantasy. Perhaps you can afford more than you think... perhaps the neighbourhood you would like is not affordable for you and you must downscale a bit to fit your comfort-zone budget!
Buying a home is always making a series of compromises and this is where you may have to decide what features (from your Wish List) you are willing to give up in order to achieve your dream home. Even those lucky few with a "sky is the limit" budget may still have a problem finding that absolutely perfect house which will give them everything they would love to have.
The last thing I will cover is Buyer Agency. This is where I explain what it is, why it came into effect and what the advantages are to you, the buyer, of having an agent working exclusively on your behalf and representing your interests at the negotiating table... at absolutely no cost to you we might add!
Now the choice is up to you... If you're ready to make the next important step towards home ownership, you can now arrange your own personal no-obligation Buyer Consultation.
To arrange your personal Buyer Consultation,
you can contact me through this website, Wendy Fuller Keller Williams Referred Realty Brokerage INC.
It takes about one hour of your time but it's time very well spent!

Bi-weekly and weekly payments

Most mortgages have the option to allow payments to be made on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. This option may be desirable for two reasons. The first is it can save you money as you can expect to pay off your mortgage about 4 years sooner. This can save you dramatically over the life of your mortgage. The other reason why these options are so popular is that if your employer pays you on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, you can simplify your budgeting by making the payment line up with the way you paid.

Making Extra payments

Paying extra amounts on your mortgage can make a big interest saving over time. When we select a mortgage company, privilege payments options are something that we look for. A 20% privilege payment will allow you to pay off up to $20,000 per year on a $100 000 mortgage. It is important that the privilege payment also be flexible to allow you to pay smaller payments on the mortgage and as often as you wish. An extra $1000 periodically paid on a mortgage can help you become mortgage free faster.

Reducing the CMHC fees on your purchase

When you require a mortgage for more than 80% of the purchase price of a property, that mortgage must be insured by Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) or GE Mortgage insurance. The premium charged by these company`s decreases as the down payment increases. When you finance your property at 95%, a premium of 3.75% is added to the mortgage. By increasing the down payment to 10% of the purchase price the premium can be reduced to 2.5%. If you can put down 20%, you can avoid any additional insurance fee. Depending on your situation there are ways that you can structure this financing to avoid the CMHC or GE insurance premium.

Advantages of Bigger Down Payments

As mentioned above, when you put a 25% down payment on your purchase you can avoid the CMHC premium. More importantly the larger the down payment, the lower the amount of interest you will pay over the life of your mortgage. It is important to note that it may not be wise to stretch yourself to increase your down payment and end up borrowing on credit cards or a line of credit at a higher rate.

Short Term Rates vs. Long Term Rates

The options for mortgages available can be very confusing for most mortgage shoppers. Terms for mortgages vary between variable and fixed rate, 6-month terms to 10 year terms. Taking a variable or floating rate mortgage can have savings. Typically the shorter the term or guarantee of the rate, the lower the rate will be. This does not always happen, depending on the market place and the economy, but history has shown that short-term rates tend to be lower than long-term rates. The up side of variable rate is the strong potential for interest rate savings. The down side is the fact that you are accepting the interest rate risk without a guarantee. If you are considering a variable rate mortgage you need to look at your own risk tolerance, and your cash flow available to deal with potential increased payment. Considering projections of rates and where we see interest rates heading can also be important in this decision. Make sure you talk to an expert when you are making this decision.
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Preparing for Showings

First Impressions
Remember, when a prospect comes to look at your house, the first thing they will see is your home's front door! Make it look fresh and clean. Be sure your lawn and landscaping is well manicured and trim looking. Be sure the yard is free of refuse and leaves. If it has snowed, be certain the ice and snow is removed from walks and steps.

What You Show Is What You Get
Faded walls and worn woodwork will reduce the appeal of your home. Why try to tell a prospect how your home could look when you can show them by a reasonable amount of redecoration? A quicker sale at a higher price will result. Invest in wallpaper in the kitchen or bathroom. It will pay dividends for you.

Let the Sun Shine In
Open those drapes and curtains all the way, so the prospect can see how bright and cheerful your home is.

Fix That Leaky Faucet
Dripping water discolours sinks and suggests to the buyer that the plumbing may be faulty or worn out.

Little Things Mean A Lot
Take a few minutes to check to be sure that your doors don't stick or have loose knobs on them. Don't forget your windows and cabinet drawers. Try and repair any minor flaws since they do detract from your home's value.

Safety First and Always
Be certain stairways are clear and clean since this will avoid injuries around your home, as well as avoid distraction to the potential buyers.

From Top To Bottom
Display your attic, basement, utility space and crawl spaces by removing all unnecessary articles. A coat of paint can do wonders if your basement appears dark and dreary.

Big Closets
Make them look bigger by having them neat and well organized to show that your home has ample closet space.

Bathrooms Sell Homes
Make those rooms absolutely sparkle. Check and repair any damaged or discoloured caulking in the bathtubs and showers, and be sure that the towels and area rugs are bright.

Bedrooms Shouldn't Sleep
Keep those rooms bright and cheerful. Remove any excess furniture and be sure to use attractive and colourful bedspreads, and fresh curtains.

Shine On
Your home's illumination can be a "welcome sign" to that prospective buyer! Turn on all your outside and inside lights when showing your home at night and they'll feel a glowing warmth as a result of your lighting.

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