Buying a home can be an emotional, time-consuming, and complex process. There are a few things that you can do to help make the process as smooth as possible:
1. Check your credit.
Before you apply for a mortgage, regardless of your credit, it's a smart idea to obtain a copy of your credit report from Canada's two major credit bureaus and review the information carefully. If there are errors or things that need to be addressed, it's easier to address them before you have found a house, than after you have found a house and are trying to get an approval for your mortgage. Most lenders use Equifax as their main Credit Reporting Agency, however the Royal Bank uses primarily TransUnion. There can be a big difference in the two reports.
If you know that there are a few blemishes on your credit, let your Mortgage Specialist know what they are, why they are there, and why you are a still good credit risk. Lenders look at your credit to determine how likely you will pay back the loan. If you had extenuating circumstances - like a loss of a job or medical bills - let them know so that they understand that it is not likely to happen again in the future.
2. Get approved before you buy.
An approval means that a lender has reviewed your credit history, verified your assets and employment, and has approved your loan before you have found a home to purchase. As long as the home appraises for at least the purchase price, the loan should close.
Getting approved also gives you an advantage over other buyers. Your firm approval makes it easier for you to negotiate on the price of a home.
While getting pre-qualified may sound official, it's just an idea of what you can afford.
3. Find a great buyer's agent.
With thousands of REALTORS® to choose from, how do you find one that's perfect for you? It's always good to get references from friends and family. The internet also gives you a great opportunity to research potential Agents. You may find that the Agent who's name is on the listing you've just clicked on doesn't even deal in that City. Your Buyer Agent will be the person making sure your interests are protected and that you have all the information necessary to make a good decision.
- Look for an Agent who is active in your desired area.
- Send Agents an email or text message and gauge how long it takes for them to get back to you.
- Give them a call and have a conversation with them about your home buying needs.
- Meet with them in person and see if you feel comfortable with them.
- Find out if you'll be dealing with the person you've contacted or will they be handing you over to an assistant.
Remember, this is the person who you're going to depend on to negotiate the best possible deal for you. You need representation that you can depend on, feel confident with and trust.
For the remaining 3 steps, simply download the full report and they will be emailed to you immediately!