"We worked with Heidi Kuhrt to purchase a home on Salt Spring Island. A wonderful and kind person, and a super helpful and informed realtor! Highly commend her to anyone trying to buy on Salt Spring Island." ~ Google Review
What does the buying process look like? Allow me to guide you, step by step.
Step 1: The Initial Meeting
We will meet in my office in Ganges on Salt Spring Island. During this initial meeting, I will collect some information from you, most importantly what you are looking for and your budget. It is important to know from the beginning what you can afford. Most of us cannot buy property without borrowing some money. If you do not have a pre-approved mortgage, I can help you locate a mortgage broker who can help you figure out how much you can afford and guarantee you a rate for a fixed period of time, even if interest rates go up. We will have a quick discussion on how Designated Agency works in British Columbia and my duties to you as your Realtor. You can view an information brochure on Designated Agency here.
Step 2: Let’s Start Looking!
This is the fun part! From the information that you gave me during our initial meeting, I will set up a series of appointments to view properties together. I have access to all listings on the Multiple Listing System. What does this mean? We can view properties not only listed on the MLS through Macdonald Realty, but also the MLS listings of all other agencies. It is a good idea to bring something to write notes on, so that you can make comments on each of the listings we view, as well as write down questions you may have for me or yourself to do further research on. As your time is important, I will only show you listings I feel may be of interest to you. Often, people will ask to view a property a second time, if it is of particular interest to them.
Step 3: Putting in an Offer
When you have located a property that interests you enough to consider purchasing, we will put in an offer through a Contract of Purchase and Sale. The purchase price we will put forward will be based on comparing recent similar sales to the property of interest. We will put conditions in the contract that will allow you time to do your due diligence, such as arrange a thorough home inspection, review the title search, and confirm your financing. I will create a contract that meets your specific needs based on the property of interest. This offer will be presented to the owners of the property, either by myself or by the agent representing the owners.
Step 4: Negotiating
After an offer is presented to the owners of the property, the owners can choose to either accept the offer as is, reject the offer outright, or ask for changes to the contract. If the offer is accepted, great! We will them move on to the next step. If the offer is rejected outright, we can move on, or choose to make another offer. If the owners ask for changes to the contract, we, like the owners, can either accept the changes, reject the changes, or change the changes. This process continues until an offer has been accepted. Typically, depending on what was agreed on in the Contract of Purchase and Sale, you, as the buyer, make a deposit within 24 hours after the acceptance of your offer, to show the seller that you intend to close the deal. Your deposit will be held in trust by the seller’s brokerage.
Step 5: Subject Removal
Now it’s time for you to do your due diligence! I will assist you in gathering the necessary documents, arranging for an inspector to view the property, making sure your financial institution has the documents they need, plus anything else agreed upon in the contract. The subject removal period can vary in length, depending on each offer’s circumstances. After subjects are removed, your deposit is credited towards the purchase price and becomes part of your down payment. You will now deposit the remainder of your down payment.
Step 6: Lawyers, Notaries, and Banks
After subjects are removed, it is time to really get the lawyers and banks involved. Your lawyer or notary will make sure everything is in place for the title to be transferred in your name and will communicate with your financial institution to make sure the necessary funds are ready when the transfer takes place. In addition to the cost of the property, you will be responsible for the following costs, called closing costs. These include:
- Property transfer tax
- Foreign buyers tax
- Portion of property tax for year of purchase
- Conveyancing fees from lawyer or notary
You will also need to organize home insurance, movers, school registration etc. I can assist with these.
Step 7: Moving in!
This is the exciting part and for many people can be full of mixed emotions. Usually, you will get access to the property a day after the money is transferred, at noon. Like a wedding, people have many fantasies of what this day will look and feel like. It is important to be realistic about move-in day. There will be hiccups and it is normal for people to second guess themselves. Did we pay too much money, is this the right house for us, will we like Salt Spring Island? The stress of packing, leaving another home, lack of sleep, and the responsibility of a mortgage can all lead to you questioning your decision. It is important to realize that most people go through this feeling of doubt. Chances are you have made the right decision and there will be a period of adjustment. On the other hand, the day may very well go perfectly as planned! I am here to help provide the support needed for your move, including assistance with finding cleaners, movers, and childcare.