Buying a home or investment property in Kamloops is a big decision. There are many steps to take along the path to finding that perfect property. Many buyers have no idea how to buy a home and don’t know where to start. Here is a guide for buyers who are a little foggy about the home buying process from start to finish.
1. Get Yourself Representation: A Realtor is your best resource for information. A Realtor is a free resource for buyers (commission is paid by the selling party) and will represent your best interests for the entire transaction. This Realtor will organize and accompany you to all appointments, answer any questions you may have and provide you with detailed information on all the properties that interest you. If there are any questions that you have about a property and it requires further investigation your Realtor will help discover all the answers you need.
2. Writing An Offer To Purchase: Once you find a property you want to make an offer on. Your Realtor will write up all the necessary paperwork creating a legal contract for the purchase of the home (Contract of Purchase and Sale – CPS). The details in this document are the dollar amount of the offer, the deposit amount (held in trust at the buyers agent’s brokerage), the day you want to have the keys to the property, items that you want included in the sale (i.e. appliances, window coverings, etc), subjects in the offer (i.e. Home inspection, Financing, etc.) and any other details important to your purchase.
3. Explanation of Subjects: Many buyers are not informed about how the contract works. When you make an offer there are standard “subjects” in the offer. These subjects (depending on whether the property is a strata, freehold, mobile, bare land/lot, etc) are different for each offer. To keep this relatively short I will outline the standard residential and strata subjects which commonly are:
- Subject to Financing (obtaining approval for a mortgage).
- Subject to a home inspection.
- Subject to a property Title Search: Any right of ways, easements, etc. are detailed on title as well as all registered charges against the property such as mortgages and liens.
- Subject to a Building Information Report from the City of Kamloops or Thompson Nicola Regional District.
- Subject to fire/property insurance.
- Subject to the buyer being satisfied with the Property Condition Disclosure Statement (PDS) which is provided by the selling party.
For Strata properties there are further subjects such as the buyer will approve:
- Form ‘B’ which details strata fees/financial information regarding the strata.
- The strata plan, amendments and/or changes.
- Current Bylaws and Financial Statements of the Strata corporation.
- The minutes from the strata council meetings.
The subject removal period is commonly between five to ten business days after the contract is accepted. It can be shorter or longer and must be agreed to by both parties.
Once the subject removal period is near expiry, the buyer can do one of a few things: remove the subjects, making the offer unconditional, extend the subject removal period or not remove the subjects and walk away from the offer due to the inability to fulfill one of the subjects. In a nutshell. If a buyer does not remove subjects the offer is finished.
4. Legal Conveyancing: Once subjects have been removed the CPS (Contract of Purchase and Sale) is unconditional and goes to the Lawyer or Notary for legal conveyancing. At this point the buyer and seller have committed to completing on the offer to purchase.
5. Final Steps: Between the time of “completion” (meaning the title is being transferred, mortgage is put in place, etc) and “possession” (you have the keys to get into your new home), your Realtor will do a walk through of the property to ensure that all the included items are in the home, it is left in the condition expected and that there are not any other issues with the property before possession. This short time (usually 24 hours) will give your Realtor time to ensure that any issues are dealt with before you move in. Ensure that you get a moving checklist from your Realtor which will help to ensure you get all the necessary things done before you get possession, simple things like arranging Hydro, changing your address, etc. These things can be easily overlooked during this busy and exciting time.
6. Welcome Home: Possession day, you get the keys. Your Realtor will meet you at the property, give you all the important items and information, and walk through the home. At this time you can address any questions about the property.
7. Follow Up: Your Realtor should follow up with you within a week after possession. He or she will want to ensure your move went well and that there are not any issues or further questions.