Duncan Fremlin on Qualifying Buyers

Contributed by Duncan Fremlin
Broker, RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd.

If you’re are beginning to think about buying real estate, there’s a good chance  you’ll be searching for houses on the internet and driving by for sale signs.  It also follows that you’ll be calling a few Realtors to view houses and acquire information.  I look forward to these calls.  They often lead to new business.
When I’m asked to disclose information to a stranger on the phone, I begin by asking one important question:  “are you under contract with another agent?”.  If they answer is yes, I politely suggest that they call their “agent” about this.  If they are not under contract and they are either looking for an agent or looking to view my listing, then other questions follow.  My duty to all parties is to make sure the client/customer I’m about to help is qualified to proceed with a purchase.
Many of these questions are of a personal nature.  They may include some or all of the following:

 

Are you buying alone?  Are you married?  Any children?  How old are they?  Do they live with you? 

 

What do you do for a living?  How long have you worked there?  How much do you earn?  How about your wife/husband/partner?
Have you owned real estate before?
How long have you been looking?
Have your received a mortgage commitment from a bonafide lending institution…in writing defining the amount you can borrow and the costs associated with it?
Will you need a co-signer or will you qualify for the mortgage on your own?

When do you want the sale to be completed?
Is your down payment readily available in Canadian funds or do you have to move money from another country?   If so, how long will it take?  Is your down payment a gift from someone?
Do you have immediate access to enough cash to cover the cost of a deposit (approximately 5% of purchase price)?
Do you have to sell that property before you close on the new house/condo or can you buy and close on the new property regardless?  How large is your existing mortgage?
Do you have extra cash left over to pay for land transfer tax, lawyer fees etc?
Have you been searching online?  For how long?  Where are you searching?  Have you seen anything that you think would work for you and if so, where is it?  
The answers to these questions will direct both parties to the next step is, if indeed there is one.
Duncan Fremlin, Broker, RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd.www.morethanahome.ca, duncan@morethanahome.ca 416-405-8828

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