Buying a home usually represents your single biggest investment – and debt.

The home buying process is one of the most exciting, and frequently stressful, experiences you’ll ever go through. This holds true whether you’ve bought many homes or you’re looking to buy your first, whether you’re in the market for a new primary residence, an investment property or that perfect 
vacation getaway.

Today’s real estate market can offer more opportunities, yet
 can be filled with more risks than ever before. There are a multitude of factors to consider and decisions to make. When buying, it’s crucial to have all the available resources necessary to make a well-informed decision, together with the time required to make use of them. It’s important to enlist the help of a trusted real estate professional who’ll be able to provide expert guidance at each step of the buying process.

Finding and purchasing a home includes the following steps, which we’ll examine in more detail throughout this booklet:

1.) Define your goals, research your options, make your plans

Given that buying a home is such a big step, it’s very important to educate and prepare yourself as much as possible. This means clearly determining the reasons you’re buying and what kind of home you’re looking for. Since buying and financing a home are so closely related, it also means examining your current financial situation and projecting how much you can afford.
Once you’ve answered these questions, even tentatively, you’ll be in a better position to research housing and mortgage options, and create an action plan and timelines for moving forward. Although it is possible to do this yourself, you may benefit by consulting an experienced local Oakville Realtor right from the start.

2.) Contact a local Oakville Realtor

Buying real estate is a complex matter with many factors to consider since no two homes or transactions are alike. Moreover, with all the unique opportunities and potential pitfalls of the current market, it’s more important than ever to contact a local Oakville Realtor once you’ve decided 
to buy.
When choosing a real estate professional to guide you through the property search, financing, negotiation and transaction processes, you should consider their local market knowledge, experience, and track record.

3.) Get pre-approved for a loan

We recommend that you get pre-approved for a loan before you start viewing homes with the serious intention of buying. The pre-approval process involves meeting with a lender and authorizing them to examine your current financial situation and credit history. On the basis of this examination, the lender may provide you with a document detailing the amount you can borrow to buy a home. Consider looking online to see what different lenders offer, or contacting your local bank or credit union.

The benefits of pre-approval include:

You’ll know what you are eligible to receive and be able to plan accordingly
. As a qualified, motivated buyer you’ll be taken more seriously when you make an offer. Lenders can tell you if you qualify for special programs that will help you afford a better home (particularly if you’re a first-time buyer).

Real estate financing is available from many sources, and an experienced local Oakville Realtor will be able to suggest lenders with a history of offering excellent mortgage products and services.
For more information about the benefits of pre-approval and the loan process in general, see -
The Loan Process – Financing Your Home Purchase, on page 14.

4.) View homes and select THE ONE

Simply put, the key to the home search process is knowing what you’re looking for. Among other things, that means distinguishing between “must-haves” and “like-to-haves”. To help you to target your search and define your home preference priorities, this guide includes a Home Search Worksheet on page 23.

That said, here are a few recent facts about the search process that might put your experience in perspective:

92% of buyers use the internet or mobile apps to search for homes. 
The typical buyer searches for 12 weeks and views 12 homes, 97% of buyers view real estate agents as important in the home search process.

There are many benefits to starting the search process at a real estate website like You can view many homes and their details, take video tours and access neighborhood info.

However, it’s also important to view homes in person. While the property details may seem similar online, homes can be very different in terms of layout, design, workmanship and other aspects. Ideally, you should view homes with the help of an experienced local Oakville Realtor who’ll notice things you might miss, provide expert analysis, and act as an impartial sounding board.

5.) Make an offer and negotiate with the seller

Once you’ve found the home you’d like to buy, it’s time to make an offer. The Oakville Milton Real Estate Board has contracts that are generally used for transactions in Oakville. These contracts enable you to specify a sale price and also allow the inclusion of clauses specifying various terms of purchase, such as the closing and possession dates, your deposit amount, and other conditions.

You should carefully review these clauses with your local Oakville Realtor to be sure that they accurately express your intended offer. In addition to drawing up the contract, your local Oakville Realtor will be happy to address all of your questions about the offer process.*
Once you’ve written the offer, your local Oakville Realtor will present it to the seller and/or the seller’s representative. At that point, the process will vary somewhat depending on the market you’re in.

Generally speaking, the seller can accept your offer, reject it, or counter it to initiate the negotiation process. At the moment (2017) this is a seller’s market with more buyers than there are houses for sale, please contact me, Michael Englund at 905-399-4269 or for specialized guidance depending on your own unique situation.

In most cases in today’s market there will be more than one offer on a house, this is called Multiple Offers a.k.a “Bidding Wars”. These bidding wars have  tendency to intimidate buyers into either not participating or jumping in and making an offer. If you jump into a bidding war when you aren’t really ready, you will only help the sellers increase their final selling price, and sadly, it actually has a negative impact on you since now after this sale there is a new higher benchmark price for that type of home that you are looking for. The next person who lists their house will be aware of the last selling price and will want to sell their’s for more. So if you decide to enter a bidding war it is important to: 1)Engage a professional local Oakville Realtor who has a long and current track record of winning bidding wars while not leaving money on the table. 2) Play to win.

Sitting out of a bidding war is highly encouraged if you don’t feel like this is the house for you. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. If it’s not 100% sit it out and watch the results. When you do see the right one though, do not sit it out, go for it, because in this market we are seeing price increases by 2% every month so the idea of finding a house that won’t be in a multiple offer situation is futile. The only houses that don’t attract multiple offers are the ones that are over priced, or they are in a price range that is higher than average ($3,000,000 and up in Oakville **unless they are priced aggressively**)

Typically there are three stages of a would be buyer making an offer in a multiple offer situation, 1) The buyer who is making an offer for the first time during their current home search (hardly ever wins), 2) The buyers who have already lost out another home in a previous bidding war and are now willing to waive conditions and have their certified cheque ready in hand for their deposit (this group could win, but it’s rare it usually depends on the quality of advice they are given, and their willingness to heed that advice). 3) The buyers who have lost more than once, these are the “seasoned veterans” of the multiple offer process. These buyers are so frustrated and want the house more than the other buyers and they are the ones who are familiar with the process and are willing to take advice, and they usually win the bidding wars.

I have a long track record of knowing what is the most likely outcome of every decision buyers and sellers will make and how these outcomes affect everyone, which has contributed to great success for my clients, please see my testimonials at

Negotiations involve many factors specifically relating to different market conditions, homes and sellers, some of which are examined in – Successfully Negotiating The Deal – on page 18.

6.) Secure your financing

Once you have a pending agreement, it’s time to return to your chosen lender to finalize mortgage details in order to close the deal. This means finalizing your down payment, interest rate, regular payment schedule and all other financial conditions associated with the closing.
As the saying goes, ‘let the buyer beware’. Unfortunately, too many buyers suffer negative consequences from not fully understanding their financing decisions. Thus, it’s crucial for you to work with people you trust. In this regard, a good real estate professional can become a true friend for life.For more information on the loan process, see – The Loan Process – Financing Your Home Purchase, on page 14.

Close the deal
. If you’ve efficiently taken care of everything connected with purchasing your new home, taking ownership should be a positive joy with no surprises. Key steps to the closing, also referred to as the “escrow” or “settlement”, include:

Getting a title search (your lawyer will look after this) – you will need a historical review of all legal documents relating to ownership of the property – to ensure that there are no claims against the title of the property. It’s also necessary to purchase Title Insurance for protection in the event of errors in the records or mistakes in the review process.

The final walkthrough ( I will always include in the original offer 2 more buyer visits prior to closing, one for taking measurements and planning furniture placement, and the last one a few days before closing to turn on all the appliances and water taps to make sure everything is working properly – it’s easier to get seller to fix things before they receive the big cheque than after)– you will be given the chance to look at the home one last time to make sure it’s in the same condition as when you signed the sale agreement.

The settlement – typically, a few days before the Closing Date you’ll meet with a lawyer, verify and sign all the paperwork required to complete the transaction. The settlement will include paying your closing costs, legal fees, property adjustments and transfer taxes. At that point, you’ll receive the property title and copies of all documentation pertaining to the purchase.

Oh, and one more thing – you’ll get the keys!


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