For many people, nothing in the world is more important than family. Your loved ones share in your highest moments and in your lowest, and they are there with you through thick and thin. When it comes to milestones like buying your first home, your relatives will rush to your side with all kinds of advice from their experiences over the years.
Much of this advice will be welcome because buying a home is not easy, especially when it’s your first. Unfortunately, some of their suggestions can be outdated. Despite their best efforts, well-meaning relatives can either help you or hinder you in purchasing your first home. How can you involve your family members without incurring any hurt feelings along the way?
As real estate agents who work with many first-time buyers in Toronto, we’ve picked up many tips along the way.
Understand the Current Market
Knowing the ins and outs of the market today is your single best advantage when it comes to house hunting. Elderly relatives may have your best interests at heart, but they don’t always have the most up-to-date information. Some advice is best left to the experts, like the real estate agents and mortgage brokers currently working in the market. These local professionals are best positioned to guide you through complex real estate topics, such as:
- What properties will make the best investment?
- How do you get financing for your purchase?
- What can you afford, and when should you buy your first home?
Nothing is more helpful than knowing the current market. Sign up for our newsletter to keep up with what’s happening in Toronto today.
What Family Members Can Help With
Everyone wants to feel needed, and the truth is that there are many things that your parents and other family members can help you with. They are best positioned to work with you on the more general aspects of your purchase or matters that come up after your transaction. They can help with decluttering, packing, or decorating.
Whatever advice anyone offers, it’s important to remember that the decision is ultimately yours. Buying a house is a long-term commitment, and you are the one who has to live with your choice. The last thing you need is to end up with the wrong house because someone else thought it was best.
Did you know we have a comprehensive guide designed especially for first-time buyers? Download it for free right here.
Outdated Advice to Watch Out For in the Current Market
A lot has changed in real estate over the last two decades. In the 1980s and 1990s, houses in Toronto were less expensive. In addition, more homes were available with less competition from other buyers. As a result, the strategy for house-hunting was much different.
Now, the process has become far more fast-paced and complex. Below are some of the most frustrating issues our clients often encounter when dealing with relatives.
“Wait until the perfect home comes up before you place an offer.”
Everyone wants to find their dream house, but the reality is there is no such thing as a “perfect” home. There will always be something you wish your house did or didn’t have. Instead of holding out for perfect, search for something ideal in a neighbourhood you love in a price range you can comfortably afford.
“Bid low to leave room to negotiate with the seller.”
Years ago, this advice might have saved you thousands of dollars on your purchase. However, the real estate landscape is more competitive than ever. Even when the market slows down, conditions still tend to lean in favour of the seller.
If you go in with a lowball offer, you are unlikely to open the doors to negotiation. Instead, you’ll find your offers getting rejected outright. Wasted time in this fast-moving climate could mean missing out on the right opportunity.
Listening to your real estate agent for advice on submitting offers is far more likely to result in a successful purchase.
“Don’t use a buying agent.”
Buying a house is expensive, especially in Toronto and the GTA. Understandably, your family members will want you to save money wherever you can. Many people don’t realize that you don’t have to pay for the assistance of a buying agent.
When a house sells, the existing homeowner pays the commission, which gets split between the buying and listing agents.
Always remember that the listing agent represents the seller’s interest, not yours. They want the seller to make as much money as possible. Best of all, if there’s no buying agent, there’s no commission to split.
An experienced professional on your side costs nothing and can help you purchase your first home at the lowest price possible.
Looking for even more information about buying your first home in Toronto? Here are some resources you are sure to find useful:
- Misconceptions About the Toronto Real Estate Market
- Our Top 10 First-Time Buyer FAQs
- Top Misconceptions When Buying Your First Home
Communication is Essential
Communicating effectively is the best way to streamline your purchase while keeping everyone happy. Your real estate agent can help you determine good advice from the outdated. What’s most important for your relationships is that your family members feel included and that their input is valuable.
By letting them know how much you appreciate them every step of the way, they will feel less hurt if you end up making a different decision.
For example, imagine you purchase a house that doesn’t quite live up to your parent’s expectations. You could say, “I loved all your ideas for my new house. This one was the closest match that was also in my price range.”
To secure your home and save their feelings, simply thanking them for their insight is often the best response.
A real estate agent with experience working with families and complex situations can also guide you through the home-buying process while keeping the peace.
Do you want to work with a family-oriented real estate team with extensive experience in Toronto and the GTA? Reach out to us below to book a free, no-obligation buyer’s meeting today.