Conquering the Fear of Paying too Much for a Home

You’ve heard of “buyer’s regret”. It refers to purchasing a pricey item, like a fancy sweater or a new car, and then regretting it the next day because you think you paid too much.

Fear of buyer’s regret can actually dissuade people from making a purchase, even when the price is right and they really want the product!

In the real estate world, buyers can sometimes hesitate to make an offer on a home for the same reason. They worry about paying too much, so they take a pass on the property. That’s unfortunate because they may miss out on a great home at a good price!

How do you conquer this fear?

The first step is to get your finances in order. Determine how much your current property will likely sell for on today’s market. Also, talk to a lender or mortgage advisor to find out how much of a mortgage you can get. This will give you a fairly good idea of what you can comfortably afford.

Don’t forget to factor in monthly expenses when determining affordability. If you’re looking to move to a larger home, or one that’s in a highly desirable neighbourhood, your mortgage payments may be higher. Other expenses, like utilities, might increase too.

Remember, a new home is as much a lifestyle investment as it is a traditional financial one. You’re making an investment in your – and your family’s – happiness. That might even make it worth spending a bit more. And, once you’ve reviewed your finances and anticipated your expenses, you may discover you can do just that!

So, take all these factors into account and determine a price range within which you can comfortably shop. That will make it easier to make an offer on that perfect property with confidence, and with no fears of regret.


Sometimes the issue isn't winning the 'foreclosure competition'

Sometimes the issue isn't winning the 'foreclosure competition', it's closing once the Court approves your buyer's offer.
In a recent foreclosure, my client fought hard, outbid three other buyers, and won the bid. The Court approved my client's unconditional offer on February 2 for a March 8 closing, leaving about 5 weeks to close. Buyers were pre-approved, the lender was chosen, we just wanted to close this deal! 
What Happened
The Court's February 2 approval turned into a Court Order, which was sent for filing at the courthouse. 
The filed Order was required to make the deal unconditional. Because of COVID and the ultra-slow down at the courthouse, it took until March 4 for the Order to be filed. Only then did the listing Realtor send out the official conveyancing instructions. And, most importantly, only on Thursday, March 4, was the mortgage broker able to tell the lender that the deal was unconditional and to start finalizing the mortgage approval process. So there we are - the purchase is unconditional and ready to go on Thursday, March 4, for a Monday, March 8 closing, 1-2 days to close. 
I immediately asked the foreclosing lawyer for an extension. I wanted three weeks; he wanted to give me seven days.
Our mortgage broker did a great job and got us mortgage instructions before the seven-day extension was up. I then negotiated a further extension with the foreclosure lawyer, and the deal closed 10 days later.
Lessons Learned
  • Foreclosure properties are in demand and often sell at market prices.
  • If your client's foreclosure bid 'wins' and they are getting a bank mortgage, the lender needs what lenders need for every deal, a final, unconditional real estate purchase contract (offer to purchase). For a foreclosure purchase, that final, unconditional offer to purchase is the signed, filed, Court Order approving your deal. 
  • Buyers need to understand that most lenders won't even start processing a mortgage application until there is that final, unconditional offer to purchase. As a Realtor assisting a buyer, you have to work very closely with your buyer's mortgage broker. Make sure you know what the likely lender requires. It may mean an appraisal upfront, and it's crucial to have a backup plan. Either a private mortgage or cash purchase needs to be discussed with your mortgage broker in case the Courts/lawyer do not allow any extension. We had a backup plan; however, it was an expensive one. 
  • COVID affects everything, including everything to do with any court process, and that includes foreclosures. As a Realtor working through the foreclosure process, do your best to make your client, the Court and the foreclosure lawyer aware of timing. Your client might have made an unconditional offer, but they need time if closing depends on financing. 
  • Make sure the Court and the foreclosure lawyer know that your buyer needs two weeks to close AFTER receipt of the signed, filed, Court Order approving your client's purchase. Try to ask for a clause such as "This purchase will close 10 business days after buyer's receipt of filed Court Order." either in your offer or verbally if you are part of the Court application.

DIY-Friendly Bathroom Makeovers

Want to make your bathroom look fantastic without having to do a major renovation? There are a lot of projects you can do yourself. In fact, there are some improvements you can get done in less than a day that will transform the look and feel of your bathroom. Check out these ideas:

    • Update the sink. If you have some basic plumbing knowledge, this is a project you should be able to do on your own. A new sink can make the entire vanity look like new.
    • Buy new decor. New shower curtains, towels, window coverings, mats, etc. can transform the look of a bathroom.
    • Install new hardware. Replacing cabinet hardware may not seem like much of a change. However, it can have a surprisingly big impact. Shiny new hardware is like jewelry. It stands out.
    • Replace the vanity mirror. Even if there are no scratches, an older mirror is like an old pair of glasses. It can become foggy. No amount of cleaning will make it any clearer. When ordering a replacement mirror, be sure that your measurements are exact.
    • Paint. There’s no doubt about it. A fresh coat of paint makes any room look better.
    • These bathroom improvement projects can make a huge impact on the look of your bathroom. And, they can all be done affordably and in just a day or two.

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