Starting Your Home Search in the GTA

starting your home search in the GTA

You’ve gotten your finances in order and you’re starting your home search in the GTA. Here are 4 things you should consider before you step foot in an open house.

Step 1: Make a List

What are your home must haves and deal breakers? Go into your search with a good idea of what is most important to you. It’s important to remember that your first home does not need to be your dream home, but if there are some non-negotiables, its good to flag them now. If you drive a car and require parking or need an enclosed garage, that is something you need to advise your real estate agent of at the beginning of your search.

Step 2: Find a Real Estate Agent

Find yourself a Real Estate Agent that you can trust and “gel with” because you will be spending a lot of time with this person. Since this is your first time buying a home, you may not be aware of how far your money will take you. Your Real Estate agent will quickly be able to
narrow down on the type of home and neighbourhoods you can afford within your budget.

The best part? You do not pay for their services. Your real estate agent’s commission comes out of what the seller pockets from the sale. I would also highly recommend getting an agent of your own, and not using the agent selling the place you are interested in. That person is the sellers agent first, and will always do what is best for the seller. It is imperative that you have an agent that is working in your best interests.

Step 3: Be Flexible

You need to be nimble and ready to jump when listings come up. In today’s market, houses are listed and sold within a week. Sometimes even within 24 hours on a bully or pre-emptive offer. So when you’ve decided that you are ready to go all in, you need to be ready to view listings the day they come out in order to ensure you don’t miss out on a great opportunity. Clear your schedule, and be ready, willing and able to shop.

Step 4: Get Liquid

In order to put an offer on a house, it has to be accompanied by a “liquid deposit”, meaning that it is sitting in your chequing account and ready to give to the seller.  In today’s market, sellers typically want a minimum deposit of 5% of the total purchase price. So if you’re shopping for a $650,000 condo, you will need to have about $32,500 available.

Starting your home search in the GTA can be a daunting task, but by preparing a list of your must-haves, finding a realtor you can trust, being flexible and ready to react, you are setting yourself for success. Feel free to reach out if you’re ready to get started!

Check out my YouTube video on this topic and for more information!

Click here for Part 1 of the First Time Home Buyer Series.