FINDING THE RIGHT HOME
If you’ve seen this once, I’ve seen it a hundred times – some buyers have a lot of anxiety when it comes to actually choosing a home, especially if they think they may have found “the one” in a short period of time. In the Toronto market things move very quickly, and this can cause pressure for the buyer trying to figure out if they have really found their dream home. There are some main points that your Realtor should go through with you during the process, which include: your deal breakers and nice-to-haves, and education about the current market. Read on to see how these items can apply to you in your search, and some tips on how to overcome first-time-buyer-anxiety.
DEAL BREAKERS AND NICE-TO-HAVES
What I like to do when I first meet with my clients is go through everything from neighborhoods and nice-to-haves, to school rankings and even coffee politics. This way we both get a complete picture of what you’re looking for – sometimes buyers don’t even realize how unsure they are until we start deep diving into the aforementioned, and that’s ok. It’s very possible that early on in the search you find a home that you are considering putting an offer on, and that’s ok too. Some buyers have this stigma that they are going to be missing out on something if they choose a home on one of our first visits out, which is a completely understandable fear – we all have a little FOMO, the buyers' is just multiplied tenfold. At this point what you would want to do with your Realtor is go through the pros and cons, and look at all other comparables on the market. Once you’ve completed this, you’re going to want to look to see if a home like yours has sold in the past, for what price, and how often they come up in the neighborhood you’re looking at.
Let’s pull on an example here to shed a little more light on the process. Say you’re looking for a starter home in Liberty Village, when one came on the market for $650,000. This house checks almost all the boxes for you – it has a finished basement with potential for a rental suite, was in your neighborhood of choice, has front pad parking, and a decent sized lot. We’ll say the home was viewed on our second visit out, and although you were thinking about putting in an offer, you were nervous that there was something better out there. This is when you would want to regroup with your Realtor.
MARKET EDUCATION TOUR
What I like to do prior to viewing homes is a market education tour – this is when we would go out and view 3-4 different homes in different neighborhoods, in order to give you a better idea of what is out there, and show you some things you may not have considered before. This way, when we actually do go out to see houses handpicked for you, your anxiety levels are lower because you know what’s out there, and then you’re comfortable knowing when you’ve found the one. Now, if you haven’t done a market education tour, get your Realtor to go over what I stated in the second paragraph – go over the comps that are on and off the market, see how often what you’re looking for in your neighborhood and your price range comes up. Usually, if you have found a home that checks almost all the boxes, the reason for your anxiety isn’t the home itself – it’s your level of knowledge about all the other homes on the market, and you know what we say here; knowledge is power.