The top 10 things nobody tells you about when you're buying a home.
1 - The house you see online could be very different once you see it in person. It might seem bigger, smaller, less updated or way better than you thought. You should never be deterred from seeing a home in person because it doesn’t appeal to you online. It might surprise you!
2 - When in negotiations, the seller is not trying to be a jerk to you. The seller and their agent are trying to get the best deal they can, just like we are.
3 - When you go visit your new home the first time after buying it, you might second guess yourself. We typically ask to see the home one time before closing. This is to take measurements and make sure the home is still in the same condition as when you bought it. The sellers are likely in the midst of moving and you’ll be able to see the scratches and little imperfections. You may wonder why you bought the place. Fear not, this is totally normal. You will fall back in love with it.
4 - Between the time you buy it and you take possession, you’ll become a stalker. You’ll go out of your way to drive by your new house. You’ll think the neighbours KNOW that you’re a stalker. You’ll Google it. You will constantly look at the photos you have saved. You are normal.
5 - On closing day, you likely won’t get your keys in the morning. Your lender needs to transfer the mortgage and your lawyer needs to transfer the title into your name before any keys can be released.
6 - You’re entitled to the house in the same condition as it was in on the day you bought it. If you are buying a previously loved home, the seller doesn’t owe you a house in perfect condition. They don’t have to fix the cracked door that has been cracked for years (even if you and your inspector didn’t notice it was broken).If something happens in between the day the agreement is signed and closing day (for example, the air conditioning dies, the pipes burst in the upstairs bathroom and damage the dining room ceiling, a window breaks….all true stories), then the seller is responsible to tell you and fix it before closing day.
7 - Your definition of clean may not be the same as the sellers’ definition of clean. You might want to allot some cleaning time (or better yet, bring in cleaners) before you move.
8 - Test out everything on the day of close. On the day you get possession of your new home, it’s critical that you check EVERYTHING (check the hydro meter, run the dishwasher, wash a load of clothes, check the furnace, a/c). Your agreement of purchase and sale typically only requires that things be in working order on the day of close. If something doesn’t work on that day, the seller is responsible to fix it. If it breaks the day after, the responsibility and costs pass to you.
9 - You probably continue to look on realtor.ca for a few months after you buy, just to be sure you made the right decision. You’ll probably ask me for sold prices for the next few months too. That’s ok.
10 - Moving day is going to suck no matter how excited you are about your new home. Hire professionals or have friends help. Have plenty of alcohol on hand. And take a deep breath – it’ll all feel amazing in another few weeks.