Steps To Buying Your Home

Pride of home ownership is one of life’s greatest joys and biggest accomplishments. It is an exciting time and it is my hope is that this guide will bring clarity and peace of mind as you begin your home buying journey.


The first step to buying a house or condo is finding out how much your bank is willing to lend you. A mortgage broker or your bank will help you find the right mortgage product at the best rate. Pre-approval will ensure that you know how much mortgage you can get.

Pre-approval will help you know what price range of homes you should be looking for in your home search. It eliminates the risk and uncertainty of mortgage financing once you find the perfect home.

  • Talk with a mortgage broker or lender. Ideally, someone who comes highly recommended. There are many options to choose from when it comes to lenders. Independent mortgage brokers tend to offer the most options because they do not just work with one bank. 
  • Complete and submit your application with the mortgage advisor. They will collect your financial and personal information in order to find out how much mortgage you can afford.
  • Gather all the necessary documents. The mortgage broker will give you a list of documents that the banks/lenders require to pre-approve the mortgage.
  • Verification of your details. They will do their checks and balances to make sure you are not getting in over your head.
  • Obtain a copy of your pre-approval. This is a powerful negotiating tool, especially in a multiple offer situations. The seller of your dream home will feel more confident that you are the right person, having been pre-approved.

Pre-Approval Benefits:

  • Saves you time by only looking at properties that you can afford
  • Rate guarantees (usually valid for 90 days) can save you money for years to come
  • Less stress throughout the process, knowing that you are ready and capable of buying
  • Smoother buying process as Sellers like to know buyers already have financing in place

Step #2:  Make Your Wish List

Deciding where you want to live, what type of home you are looking for and what features are “must have’s” or “would be nice to have” in a home are important. Invariably, there will be tradeoffs, but rest assured I am here to help sort through the options to find you the best house, at the best price with as many of your wants and needs as possible. 

What location?
What neighbourhood feels like home?
What house type?
How many bedrooms?
How many bathrooms?
How about a backyard?
What type of garage? Double? Single?
Public transportation?
Distance to work? Easy commute?

Step #3:  Choose The Right REALTOR®

Buying a house or condo will likely be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, but don’t worry, you don’t need to do it alone. You’ll want to start by picking the right REALTOR®.

A formal Buyer’s Representation Agreement sets out in writing that the Buyer Brokerage is representing your interests exclusively. Their goal is to get you the best price and most favourable conditions.

First, it’s important that you understand whose interests Brokerages are legally bound to serve in a real estate transaction.

The Listing Brokerage is under contract with the Seller to market and sell their property for the best possible price and protect the Seller’s best interests. The Listing Brokerage can:

  • Arrange a showing of the property
  • Assist with recommending financing
  • Provide details about the property
  • Explain all the forms and agreements related to buying the property

The Buyer Brokerage or Your Personal REALTOR®.  When you engage the services of your own personal REALTOR®, someone who is under contract to work solely in your best interests, you get all of the same services listed above plus your personal REALTOR® provides: 

  • Confidential assistance that addresses your needs first
  • Honest, loyal and diligent care, free from any conflicts of interest
  • Access to all listings 
  • Expert advice on useful clauses such as home inspections and financing to protect you 
  • Careful negotiation of the offer to purchase, to achieve the best possible price and terms
  • Expert advice on market value, inclusions, location, and help you decide when to walk away 
  • Discovery and disclosure of all information about the property including liens, warranties, disclosures, seller’s purchase price, and market and planning activity in the area

As your REALTOR®, my job is to ensure you are an informed buyer in all aspects of your home buying process.  

Step #4:  Choose The Right Lawyer

Your lawyer is an invaluable member of your team, whose job is to ensure that you get what you are paying for and in accordance with the terms of your agreement of purchase. 

Your lawyer will ensure:

  • there is nothing on title that is not supposed to be there
  • the property taxes, utilities and condo fees, if applicable, are up to date
  • you have all the information that you need about your new home
  • your mortgage lender is satisfied 
  • your mortgage is secured on property title as required by your mortgage agreement
  • you know exactly how much money you will need in order complete the transaction
  • they also ensure that the seller gets paid the purchase price
  • title is legally transferred 

If you don’t have a lawyer, we will gladly recommend one for you.

Step #5: Become An Educated Buyer

Educated buyers are able to make informed decisions creating a stress free and enjoyable home buying process. With that in mind, my exclusive home buyer service will empower you with key market information and every possible advantage to ensure you become an educated buyer.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Absolutely no fees or costs to you as my buyer client.
  • Access to property listings based on a variety of search parameters, only available on the REALTOR® MLS® Real Estate Board.
  • Access to a database of expired listings that may reconsider selling.
  • Proactive prospecting in your desired area to locate potential sellers with homes that match your criteria. 
  • Up-to-the-minute access to the best deals on the market, including brand new MLS® listings, newly price reduced properties, current bank power of sales, new home options, private sales and deals under contract that have fallen through.   
  • The most current real estate market information that may impact your buying decision, including mortgage changes, statistical sales data on median house prices, sales and months of inventory, local area market changes, trends and more.   

Step#6:  Go House Hunting

Now that you have received your pre-approval, have narrowed down your preferences on your wish list, your ready to start house hunting.

After our initial meeting, a detailed summary of your wants and needs for a home is entered into our database. This information is instantly shared with other agents and potential sellers to begin the property matching process. 

We will send you custom email listings that match your search criteria. Your initial house hunting will involve screening listings electronically by previewing homes online. It’s a great opportunity to get a feel for the neighbourhood, amenities and to refine your search criteria, and ask questions.

We won’t bombard your email with information that is not relevant to you. You will be provided with a daily update email of all the homes that are new to the market or have had a recent price change that match the criteria of what you are looking for. 

You will be informed of all relevant industry changes that may impact your buying decision, including price trends and mortgage rates.

Mirjana personally inspects potential properties in the area. This hot new listing information is passed on to my clients first.

You get all the information about every property that, as a REALTOR®, only I have access to.

When you find a home that peaks your interest, simply contact Mirjana to arrange a convenient time to view. 

Remember, when selecting what homes to view:

  • Choose different styles and types of homes that meet your needs
  • Drive by the home and area for your first impression
  • Select a maximum of 5 homes to visit in one day (3 to 4 is best)

Step #7: Making An Offer

The ongoing communication and information you will receive from Mirjana will empower you to get the best possible deal on the home that you desire.
You’ve found the perfect home. Fantastic! Here’s what happens next:

  • A detailed Comprehensive Market Analysis (CMA), complete with comparable active and expired listings, recent solds and historical data relevant to determining the market value of the home is conducted. This will empower you to make an informed decision. 
  • An offer that protects you, follows your instructions and matches your schedule and needs is prepared.
  • The details of the offer, the terms and suggest options for specialty clauses ensuring you know exactly what you are agreeing to will be discussed and explained.
  • An offer will be presented and carefully negotiated on your behalf to get you the home that you want at the price and terms you want. 

Once the offer is presented, here’s what happens next:

  • The seller may accept your offer – congratulations!
  • The seller may reject your offer, not common, but it can happen and I would endeavour to find out why
  • The seller may counter your offer, changing the terms of the offer and present the offer back to you 
Our negotiations continue until we reach agreeable terms between you and the seller, or until we know an agreement cannot be reached and it is time to walk away.  

Step #8:  Conditions And Deposits

The offer has been accepted. Now we need to satisfy the conditions. This usually involves getting a professional home inspection, getting your personal information and property information to your mortgage broker or bank. Other information might be necessary, like surveys, water tests and condominium documents, depending on what the terms of your agreement are. Mirjana will help you make the necessary arrangements to ensure that the entire process runs smoothly before the deadline.

You will need to add a home inspector to your team:

  • Home inspections allow you to scrutinize the details of the home and save you from some unpleasant surprises. 

  • Ensure that the home inspector is a qualified professional
  • Ensure the home inspector checks for visible issues with plumbing, electrical systems, the roof, insulation, walls, ceilings, floors and windows, and the condition of the foundation
  • They can also check that included chattels, like furnaces and air conditioners, are working
  • Ensure your home inspector gives you an up close and personal look at your new home.  
  • It takes about 3 hours to go through all the systems, and if there are any problems, you will see them with your own eyes.
  • They will also give you maintenance tips and easy fix-ups, if necessary
  • Ensure that in the end, you receive a detailed report that summarizes the condition of your home

Step #9:  Close The Deal

Typically you will have anywhere from 30 to 90 days to get everything ready for your home.  It could be shorter or longer, depending on what you need and have agreed upon with the seller. The closing date is usually the same as your move-in date. 

It is a good idea to get things organized well in advance of the closing date to reduce the stress of the move:

Lawyers: Mirjana will send your lawyer the information about your purchase. You will need to provide the lawyer with some additional information: insurance, down payment information, fee payments, adjustment payments and possibly other signed documents that they ask you for. You will meet with the lawyer about a week before the closing to finalize everything.

Down Payment and Closing Costs: Make the necessary arrangements to have the funds available when the lawyer asks for it. Liquidating some assets can require additional time.

Movers: Whether you are using professional movers, renting a truck or getting a bunch of friends together, plan and organize it early.

Insurance: Your lawyer will need a copy of your home insurance before closing so that the financial institution will release the money to them. Call your insurance broker with the listing information. They may want to know the age of the house, condition of the roof, furnace, electrical system, as well as other general information.

Change of Address: It’s time to start giving out your new address to everyone.

Utilities: It is important that you call the local utilities to get their services changed into your name. These include phone, internet, television, gas, electricity, water, and any rental agreements. Remember too, to cancel the services at your old address.

Step #10:  Move In

Congratulations!  As your REALTOR®, Mirjana knows her role doesn’t end just because she’s handed you the keys.

You can call on Mirjana any time, whether it’s for:

  • Recommendations on contractors or other professional services to hire
  • Any issues with your home after moving in
  • Questions for the listing agent or previous owner
  • Evaluation of your home value over time
  • Questions about the local real estate market
  • Advice on purchasing an investment property 
  • Referrals to friends and family 
  • When you’re thinking about selling
  • Or any other real estate related matter you need

As always, our advice is fast, free and confidential. Mirjana is here for you, through your completion date date and beyond.

Who you hire to represent the purchase of your home MATTERS. Buying a house or condo will likely be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, but don’t worry, you don’t need to do it alone. As a Buyer’s Representative, we work exclusively for you, so our job is to negotiate the lowest possible price with the most favourable terms.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Mirjana.