It’s been a long time since we thought seriously about buying a house, but we’re actually doing it this time, kids! With one more self-employed year under his belt, Dan can finally have two good years of business to average out and prove to the nice people at some lending institution that he makes money. I’m still waiting on my T4 from my work, but with a swanky new full-time salaried position for me, things are looking good for the dynamic duo. We’ll be completing our 2012 taxes in the next few weeks, and we’ll have some solid numbers oo paper to get us a mortgage.
Step one for us in finding a home was matching up with a real estate agent. I’m sure it’s not terribly tricky to look at homes on mls, find one you like, and buy it, but having never done this before, we thought it would be better to have a profession guide us. Following the advice of the very handy CMHC new home buyer guide, we set up some interviews with real estate agents. I asked around for recommendations from colleagues and friends, and we met with two agents this week.
Here are the questions we wanted to weasel out of them:
-How long have you been in real estate?-Do you do a lot of work with first-time buyers?
-How many clients to you take on at a time?
-Are you familiar with neighbourhoods in Kitchener and Cambridge?
-Do you work with assistants/on a team environment (where you would pass us off to a different person every time we needed you)?
Both of the agents we met with answered a lot of these questions just by introducing themselves and talking about their philosophies when it comes to their business. Both of the agents were very no-pressure when it comes to finding a home, and said that they were happy to keep looking for a home for as long as it takes to find the one you love. Agent #2 eventually won us over by being very friendly and knowledgeable, and putting us at ease. I felt very comfortable talking with her, and I feel like I can ask her my “stupid” questions (there’s no such thing as a stupid question, just do we’re all clear). She took the time to go through the whole process with us, and went through our “must have”, “absolutely not”, and “nice to have” lists. I really liked that she brought us an introduction package when we met with her – it included a list of her experience, a run-down of the home buying process, and sample documents of all the things we’ll have to sign eventually so we could read them at our leisure. Agent #1 was very laid back, and his first impression wasn’t great – we didn’t feel welcomed coming in to his office, although he did warm up as we talked him.
I just sent off the “we chose you!” email to agent #2, and things will start happening very soon.