If it’s your first time buying a home, it can be intimidating figuring out all the different agents and lawyers you need to talk to to seal the deal and finally become a homeowner. Don’t worry, because in this article we’re going to go over everyone you’ll need to talk to on your road to homeownership.
If this list has got you thinking you’re in over your head, fear not, because many of these roles and services are completely optional and it’s completely up to you whether you will be using them.
The Mortgage Lenders
Depending on whether or not you’re getting a preapproved mortgage, the first service you’re most likely to reach out to will be your mortgage lender. You can get your mortgage from a number of different places, like a bank, or a mortgage broker, and shopping around for the best rates will likely be the top priority for you in the beginning of the process. Perch offers some of the best rates in the country, and we can work with you to get you pre-approved in as little as 15 minutes.
The Mortgage advisor
Mortgage advisors are professionals with the knowledge and skills to help you understand your mortgage options and strategy. Mortgage advisors are often who you will talk to at the bank to begin the mortgage approval process, and can help you to evaluate your options, while working with you to get everything in order to get approved.
Underwriters approve your mortgage on the back-end, but it’s extremely unlikely you would ever talk to them yourself. The mortgage advisor or broker will send off your information to the underwriter who will then sign-off to approve your loan.
The Bank Teller
We’re all familiar with long waits at the bank, but more likely than not you’ll probably have to deal with a teller at some point in the home buying process, whether it’s to deposit cheques, send money to the seller’s lawyer, or manage your accounts. Luckily, most bank processes are online now and typically be your real estate lawyer will provide you with direction when it comes time to transferring money.
While private sales can and do happen, especially with the benefit of internet listings, the vast majority of home sales happen with the help of real estate agents, or “realtors”. When buying your home, your realtor will help you search for listings, place an offer, and close on the property. Realtors have access to listings that aren’t on public sites like Realtor.ca, and will help find the right home for you. For many, finding a realtor can be troublesome since many realtors find clients through word of mouth. If you don’t know where to look it can be hard to find an agent you can trust. If you’ve already asked family and friends, the best place to look for a realtor is online. At Perch we have a number of verified realtor partners we work with who can help find the right home for you.
If you’re looking for the true home of your dreams, you may have considered building rather than buying. If that’s the case, you’ll need to speak with a builder who will work with you to design and complete construction on your property. Before you get to talk to the builder however, you’ll likely meet with their sales rep first.
The Builder’s sales rep
Most builders have a sales rep, who you will probably talk to when searching for the right builder for your project. A Sales reps’ goal is to bring in clients for their builder, and you may have found them online or through word of mouth. The builder’s sales rep takes care of all the client focused (that’s you!) activities of home building, from the introduction to selecting a home to finalizing the sale.
The Real Estate Professionals
Licensed home appraisers provide an unbiased estimate of the value of a home, usually ordered by the mortgage lender. If someone is lending you money, they want to make sure what you’re buying is actually worth what you’re paying in case you don’t pay them back! Since the lender typically orders the appraiser you probably will not have to talk to them at all, provided all goes well and the appraisal comes back at the right price. On the other hand, if you run into a situation where the appraisal is lower than the purchase price of the home you might want to get in touch with another appraiser for a re-approval.
The Home Inspector
When buying a home, you probably want to make sure the property you’re buying doesn’t have any hidden flaws that will end up costing you thousands in maintenance costs down the line. It’s typical for a home buyer to pay for a home inspection after agreeing upon an offer with the seller but before the deal closes. If the home inspector finds major issues with the home the deal could be negotiated or even fall through depending on how serious the issues are. Unless you like taking risks and are absolutely positive about the home you’re buying, you’ll probably want to speak to an inspector when buying a home.
The Insurance Broker
An Insurance broker is someone licensed to sell home insurance from an insurance brokerage, similar to a mortgage broker and a mortgage brokerage. They have access to multiple insurance providers and policies, depending on your needs. Home insurance covers things like property damage from natural disasters as well as your property if something happens to it (like fire or water damage). It also covers your liability in the event someone gets injured on your property. While home insurance is not mandatory in every province, most mortgage lenders want proof you have it in order to lend you a mortgage. Otherwise, if your house got destroyed in an accident, they would have no collateral if you default on your loan. It’s a rare situation to not get home insurance, and unadvised for the reasons mentioned above.
The Real Estate Lawyer
In order to transfer ownership of a home in a purchase agreement, legal documents have to be signed and officiated. This is mandatory, and in Ontario for example, only licensed lawyers have access to the land registry and the ability to legally complete the transfer of property and land. What this means is that you will almost certainly need to hire a lawyer to represent you in buying a home unless you yourself are a legal professional. Many realtors will be able to refer you to a real estate lawyer or team who can help you to get all of the legal proceedings taken care of when purchasing a home.
There you have it, everyone you may or may not need to talk to when buying a home. While this list might be a little intimidating, Perch is here to help you with all things homeownership.