Buying a home in Durham Region can be a great investment. Have a look at this step-by-step home buying guide and homebuyer's checklist to get started.

The majority of people use a real estate agent or real estate sales representative when they buy or sell a home. You do not legally need a real estate sales representative or brokerage to buy or sell a home, however. These are optional professional services. Be sure you know your rights, responsibilities and obligations if you choose to buy or sell without a representative or real estate agent.

Real estate sales representatives

Real estate agents work on your behalf for a fee to buy or sell your home. All licensed real estate sales representatives must work for a brokerage.

Real estate agents can help with a variety of things when you are buying a house, including:

  • Arranging for you to view different properties in your price range and preferred location.
  • Offering advice on what to look for in a home.
  • Writing an offer of purchase.
  • Negotiating the home price on your behalf.
  • Telling you an appropriate price range for the home.
  • Providing you with information on the community.
  • Arranging a home inspection.
  • Recommending a lawyer for the purchase or sale.

It is important to ask questions when selecting a real estate agent, sales representative and brokerage. Make sure you know what their fees and charges are before you sign any agreements.

View more information on sales representatives' ethical obligations

The Durham Region Association of Realtors is a helpful guide when choosing a representative.

Lawyers and notaries

A lawyer or notary can help you review all contracts before you sign. They can also help you protect your legal interests. They will make sure the property you want to buy doesn't have any existing debts or charges against it. It's a good idea to ask your lawyer about title insurance when you buy a home.

Home inspectors

Use a professional home inspector to inform you on the condition of the home you want to buy. The inspector looks for items that need repair, are unsafe or aren't working properly. Find a home inspector near you

Mortgages and mortgage brokers

Mortgages are financial loans that help you afford your home. Most homes are bought through a mortgage. Banks, trust companies, credit unions and insurance companies are common mortgage lenders. Terms and options vary between institutions. Your assets, income and credit determine if and how much you can borrow for your mortgage.

Mortgage brokers can help you find the lender with the best terms and rates for you. They work for a fee. How you pay that fee can vary. Be sure to ask before you use their services.

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