How to Buy the Right House, Quickly

You’re in a rush. You have just three weeks to find and buy the right home. Whoa! How are you going to make that happen? Don’t stress. Here are some tips that will help you find the right home in a limited amount of time:

  • Get a pre-approved mortgage. With this document you’ll know exactly what you can afford. A seller will take your offer-to-purchase more seriously, too.
  • Find a good real estate agent. Look for recommendations from friends, family, co-workers and online. A good REALTOR® can help you find and view the best opportunities on the market.
  • Make a wish list. Be clear about what you want in a home. Two bedrooms or three? A finished basement? A large kitchen? A spacious backyard? If you know what you want, you and your REALTOR® will be able to quickly zero in on the right homes.
  • Be flexible. You may have a wish list, but to find a home quickly you’ll also need to be flexible. Be sure to decide what is an absolute must and what is not.
  • Neighbourhood matters. Generally, buying a less than ideal home in a great neighbourhood is better than purchasing the perfect home in a bad area. So create a list of neighbourhoods you’ll consider.
  • Ask questions now. Go ahead and ask your REALTOR® and lender any important questions early on in the process. If you’re in a competetive market, you don’t want to wait until you’re on the verge of an offer and perhaps miss the deadline.
  • Make a good offer. Maybe your offer is close to or higher than asking or it is presenting a fast closing date. Whatever it is that works well for a seller will work well for a quick purchase on your part. (But don’t tell the seller you are desperate to close — you don’t want to be at a disadvantage during negotiations!)
  • Make it personal. Offers on a particular property can be quite similar when it comes to dollars and conditions, so personalize your offer by writing a short note to the seller. Tell them about your love of the yard or the style of the house and the future you hope to have in the home. A thoughtful paragraph or two can make all the difference when offers are in competition.