Vancouver First-Time Home Buyer Process: A Step-By-Step Guide

May 26, 2021 | Buying, First Time Home Buyer

At a glance, the home buying process can feel like a daunting or challenging experience, especially for a first-timer. The West Haven Group is here to simplify the process and provide you with a step-by-step guide for becoming a homeowner!

In the video below, Alec Abbott breaks down the 9 steps to becoming a first time home buyer in Vancouver.

First Time Home Buyer Process – Getting Started 

Step 1 – Choosing Your Realtor

There is no shortage of real estate agents in Vancouver, but finding the right one is very important. You want an experienced agent who listens to you and knows how to navigate the local market. By the end, you will be working hand in hand with this person so find someone you can build a relationship with and trust.
A couple of simple ways to ensure you find the perfect agent are:

  • Ask a friend, family, or colleagues to see if they’ve worked with someone they liked and would recommend.

  • Spend some time researching and looking for reviews online. Some places to start are Google and REW.

Once you’ve narrowed it down to some potential options, we encourage you to meet and interview each agent separately to assess which Vancouver realtor you’d like to work with.

Step 2 – Choosing your mortgage broker

Similar to finding a realtor, finding the right mortgage broker will ensure you will be taken care of and will be provided with the best financial guidance and advice. One additional benefit of working with a mortgage broker versus a bank is the ability to be able to search across lenders for the best rate.

If you need mortgage broker recommendations, feel free to reach out to us and we can connect you with some local mortgage brokers we’ve worked with.

Step 3 – Analyze your wants and needs

Pinpointing what you would ideally want in your future home can seem like a daunting task. Simply start by creating a list of all your wants, needs, and non-negotiable items. As an example, include things like ideal locations, whether having a patio is a must and if having a gas stove is a ‘nice to have’.
Starting this list at the beginning of your home buying process will be very helpful for you and your agent as you start touring properties.

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First Time Home Buyer Process – Shopping Time 

Step 4 – Touring Properties

This is the most exciting part of the entire process so make sure to enjoy it and approach it with an open mind. Some will find their home after the first viewing and for others, it might take a bit longer.

With every home you view, you are getting closer to finding the right one! Lean into your realtor’s expertise, ask questions and stay positive.

Step 5 – Choosing Your Price

After you’ve found a property that you’d like to submit an offer on, your realtor will do a market analysis of sold comparable in the area and the building. After taking a few factors into consideration like renovations or days listed, you will discuss your strategy.

Step 6 – Presenting Your Offer

Depending on your personal needs and the state of the market, this step can vary. Regardless, your realtor will include clauses that will protect you and keep your best interests.

When writing an offer, it can include subjects like:

  • Subject to inspection

  • Subject to financing

  • Subject to reading the strata documents.

With every offer you make, you will also have to set a completion date and a possession date. The completion date is when the title shifts from the seller to the buyer and the possession date is when you officially get your keys and can move in.

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First Time Home Buyer Process – Closing The Deal

Step 7 – Negotiation Phase

Once your offer has been submitted, your agent will negotiate on your behalf on things like price or subjects. If your offer is accepted, you will enter into the subject removal phase. Based on your subjects and what was stipulated in your contract, this time is set to complete things like:

  • Performing an Inspection

  • Finalizing your financing

  • Reading through strata docs

On the last day of your subject removal day, you have the option to put down a 5% deposit to hold the property.

Step 8 – Post Subject Removal

Once your subjects have been removed, this is the time to start looking for a lawyer or a notary to help you with the closing of the deal. This person will handle all of the transfer of funds and any legal matters that need to take care of. Around 7 -10 days closer to the possession date, you will need to sign and complete the deal.

If you need notary or lawyer recommendations, feel free to reach out to us and we can connect you with some local mortgage brokers we’ve worked with.

Step 9 – Move To Your New Home

On possession day, you will do a walk-through with your realtor to ensure the property is clean and if you had stipulated something had to be fixed, this is your chance to double-check. Once this is all completed, you will be handed the keys, and congratulations, you are a new homeowner!

Are you ready to buy a property in Vancouver?

As complex as the home buying process may seem, you are now one step closer to the purchase of your home! As a team of top 1% realtors in Greater Vancouver, the West Haven Group is here to support you through every step of the way. Get in touch with us and we’d be happy to answer all of your questions.

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