The GTA real estate market can be tough at times especially for first-time homebuyers who are not quite familiar with how it works until they actively start looking for a place. The first thing first-time homebuyers learn is that there are many other buyers out there with the same goal: to find a great home in a great location for good money. To get ahead of the competition without breaking the bank, homebuyers have to be quick to act, keep an eye on active and new listings, stay in touch with their realtor and have a solid financial plan.
IT ALL STARTS WITH FINANCES
Financial stability and a good income can give you peace of mind, and even if you are aware that you will be able to get a solid mortgage, make sure the sellers know it, too. They need proof that the lender is willing to borrow you money! That’s why getting a mortgage pre-approval plays a significant role. Not only will you know for sure the costs of buying a home and your exact price range, but also convince the sellers that you mean business. Pre-approvals are granted after the lender has checked your credit history and income. If your debt-to-income ratio is 30% or more, you should first improve your credit score before applying for a mortgage pre-approval.
KEEP TABS ON THE MARKET
To be one of the buyers who are the first to know about a new listing, you will have to be up to date. GTA properties sell fast, and you will need a good agent who will send you available properties before they are even available on MLS. In that way, you can see the homes before others do, and if you particularly like one, you can put down an offer. If the home in question lacks some features or has minor imperfections, try to negotiate a lower price, but keep it close to the asking price.
Viewing properties before others do can be a huge advantage, but on the other hand, be prepared to hear that the sellers might wait for offer night hoping for a bidding war. In that case, consult with your realtor to determine what your options are.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WANTS AND NEEDS
All of us would like to live in a fancy home with a stunning view in one of GTA’s major areas (like Toronto), stylish interior design, big terrace, 4 bathrooms, etc., but unfortunately, not all of us can afford it. To avoid disappointment, don’t waste valuable time looking at and for places above your price range. Focus on homes within your budget that can still cover your needs (e.g., appropriate size, location, good overall condition).
GET ON THE SELLER'S GOOD SIDE
Most sellers are not only after the money but they also genuinely care about who is going to move into the home after they leave. They will be fonder of buyers who seem to really love the place. Bond with the sellers and let them know how much you’d love to be the next owner. Personal letters and even videos proved to have a positive impact on the sellers.
If you are one of the young first-time homebuyers, and if you are already ready to look for your first home, call or contact me to discuss your ideas and possibilities.