Depending on your personality type, this stage is either the most or the least fun! This is where you’ll actually get a snapshot of what’s available in the market that meets your needs, and get out there and see some homes. The vast majority of home buyers in Canada do this with the help of a realtor, though there’s no requirement to do so.
When looking for a home, think of it as a process of elimination, and keep your list of needs and wants in mind. For example, if you see five houses in a day, decide which one fits your needs best and eliminate the other four. Assuming you don’t buy that house, the next time that you go out and see a few houses, you’re only comparing them to that “best” house, and so on until you’re left with one “best fit” house that suits your needs and wants well.
When searching with a Realtor, he (or she) aids the process by listening to your requirements, setting up a search based on these and booking showings on appropriate properties or ones that you’re interested in. He’ll arrange the search to use your time efficiently and help you to make smart comparisons between the properties you see. You’ll be able to see all types of properties on the market, from resale homes to new homes to private sales to pocket inventory of neighbourhood agents.
For example, when I’m working with first-time home buyers, especially someone new to Ottawa, we’ll often spend a Saturday seeing one or two houses in each neighbourhood that my clients are interested in. From there, we focus on the ones that suit my clients the best, and watch those the most closely in our future tours together. I prefer to drive my clients around so that they can focus on the houses, not the traffic.
At some point in the home search, you may find that you’re quite enthusiastic about one of the properties. At this point, you’re ready to consider the next step, offer and negotiation.
Click here to read about the next step, Negotiation.
Click here to go back to Preparation.