Written by Sean Cooper
Friday, May 18th, 2018
You may be surprised to learn that buying a home has a lot in common with Canada's favourite national pastime, hockey. No, I'm not kidding. In a sense, they're both team sports, because to be successful on the ice or when buying a home, it takes a team of professionals. As the saying goes, you're only as strong as your weakest player. Let's take a look at the key players helping along the way in the home-buying process.
Real estate agent
A real estate agent is a lot like a forward in hockey. Just like hockey, home-buying can be competitive. When you're buying a home, your agent helps you come up with a competitive offence. Your agent also negotiates on your behalf with the seller's agent to help get your dream home at a price you can afford.
Real estate lawyer
Your real estate lawyer is best described as the defenceman of your team. Your lawyer often doesn't get the praise he or she deserves, but they do important behind-the-scenes work like reviewing the agreement of purchase and sale, conducting a title search, making sure the property is free from liens, calculating land transfer taxes and finally, handing you the keys to your new home.
Your banker is a lot like a hockey agent. He or she helps provide the mortgage you need to buy your dream home. Your banker walks you through the mortgage approval process from start to finish.
A broker shops on your behalf with lenders for a mortgage. Shopping with a broker can save time and protect your credit score, since your broker only has to request a copy of your credit report once (although banks still need to pull your credit report for final approval). Best of all, you usually don't have to pay anything extra out of pocket, because your broker is compensated directly by the lender.
Buying a home is most likely the single largest financial transaction of your lifetime. You'll want to make sure it's a rock-solid investment. A professional home inspector offers you some peace of mind by taking a close look at your home. They can help you budget for any costly repairs on the horizon, and can give you a potential bargaining chip with sellers.
Just because you paid $400,000 for a home, that doesn't mean it's worth that much. Your lender requires that you get an appraisal to confirm your home is worth what you paid. Sometimes your lender will pay for your appraisal, but oftentimes you'll pay for it out of pocket.
Your home is usually your most valuable asset, so it's only natural to want to protect it. An insurance broker helps provide a home insurance policy best suited for you. They help you determine the type of policy that's right for you, whether it's basic, broad or comprehensive.
If the home you're buying doesn't have an updated land survey, it's wise to get one. A land survey is perhaps the most important document in a real estate transaction, but it's often overlooked. The land surveyor confirms the boundaries of your property to avoid any disputes with neighbours or the city.