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BUYER BEWARE!!!


Blog by Nick Labrosse | September 7th, 2020


Buyer Beware - Avoid The Traps

Buying a home is a major investment no matter which way you look at it. Many homebuyers who fall prey to at least a few of the many common and costly mistakes which trap them into an even more expensive process than it needs to be because many: 

  • Overpaying for a home
  • Losing their dream home to another buyer
  • Buying the wrong home for their needs
  • Bidding Blind...
    How much should we offer on this home? Is the seller’s asking price too high, or is it priced under market value? Failing to research the market in order to understand what comparable homes are selling forms can lead you into “bidding blind”. The lack of knowledge of the actual market value could easily lead you to bidding too much, or fail to make our offer competitive. Don’t go in blind, do your research.
  • Are We Buying The Right Home?
    What are your specific needs and criteria for your next home? This seems like a straight forward question but there is more than meets the eye. Multiple buyers have been swept up in the emotion and excitement of the buying process only to find themselves the owner of a home that is either too big or too small for their needs. Maybe they’re commute to work is much longer than originally planned or any other fix-ups than they really want to deal with now which will cause your excitement to die down. Take the time early and often to clearly define your wants and needs. Put it down on paper and then use it as a reference guide to which you measure every home you consider.
  • Unclear Title...
    Make sure very early on in the negotiation that you will own your new home “free and clear” by having a title search completed. The last thing you want to discover when you’re in the back stretch of a transaction is that there are encumbrances on the property such as tax liens, contractor liens, undisclosed owners, easements, leases or the like.
  • Inaccurate Survey...
    As part of your offer to purchase, make sure you request a property survey which clearly marks your boundaries. If the survey is not current, you may find that there are structural changes that are not shown (e.g. additions to the house, a new swimming pool, a neighbour’s new fence which is extending a boundary line, etc.). Be very clear on these issues.
  • Undisclosed Fix-ups...
  • Don’t expect every seller to own up to every physical detail that will need to be attended to. Both you and the seller are out to maximize your investment. Ensure that you conduct a thorough inspection of the home early in the process. Consider hiring an independent inspector to objectively view the home inside and out, and make the final contract contingent upon this inspector’s report. The inspector should be able to give you a report of any item that needs to be fixed along with an approximate cost. 
  • Not Getting Mortgage Pre-approval…
    Pre-approval is fast, easy and free. When you have a pre- approved mortgage, you can shop for your home with a greater sense of freedom and security, knowing exactly how much money will be there when you find the home of your dreams.
  • Contract Misses...
    If a seller fails to comply with the letter of the contract by neglecting to attend to some repair issues, or by changing the spirit of the agreement in some way, this could delay the final closing. Agree ahead of time on a dollar amount for a hold-back of funds to cover items that the seller fails to follow through on. Prepare a list of agreed issues, walk through them, and check them off one-by-one and make sure receipts are received if required.
  • Hidden Costs...
    Make sure that you identify and uncover all costs ahead of time. When a transaction closes, you will sometimes find unplanned for fees.Understand these in advance by having your lender project total charges for you in writing.
  • Rushing the Closing...
    Take your time during this critical part of the process, and insist upon seeing all paperwork the day before you sign. Make sure that this documentation perfectly reflects your understanding of the transaction and that nothing has been added or subtracted. Is the interest rate right? Is everything covered? If you rush this process on the day of closing, you may run into a last minute snag that you can’t fix without compromising