Our Step-by-Step Buyer's Guide

Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by our team will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.


Step 1: Research

Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you when the time comes to make an offer.


Step 2: Decide on Your Budget

Notice we said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. 


Step 3: Get Prequalified

Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as some sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan. Need a lender? Ask us for our list of trusted professionals. 


Step 4: Choose a Real Estate Agent

Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a Real Estate Agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for agents like ours to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will we help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but we also have a knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. Finding the perfect home can be a daunting task, this is where our expertise and wealth of knowledge come into play. Let us show you around some homes that meet your dream home criteria so you can find the one that's right for you.

Our goal is to provide you with the most personalized service that is designed to help you buy your dream home


Step 5: Find the Right Home

This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). We will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your visit to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.


Step 6: Make an Offer

Once you have selected the perfect home, work with your agent to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. We will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. 


Step 7: Have the Home Inspected

In most cases, your offer will be conditional on having the home inspected to ensure there are no major structural damage or large repairs needed. We can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there are, we will guide you on how to proceed to a resolution that’s best for you.


Step 8: Finalize Your Loan

Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and finalize your mortgage financing. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, amortization periods, and payment structures. Work with your mortgage lender to select the option you feel the most comfortable with.


Step 9: Choose Your Lawyer

Your lawyer will look after all the important searches related to title, and prepare all the documentation necessary to get you to a successful closing. Need a Lawyer? Ask us for our list of trusted professionals.


Step 10: Finish Paperwork

No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and lawyer and, when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.


The hard work is done. On closing day, you’ll receive your keys to your new dream home!

Sheetal was wonderful to work with, patient, flexible, and incredibly hard-working. She helped us find a great house and sell our condo in record time for a great price. The entire Peterson team was incredibly helpful, highly recommend!

— Muriel S.

We hired Jeff and his team to find a renter for a new investment condo we had purchased. Jeff went above and beyond throughout the entire process. The level of professionalism, knowledge, and service provided was amazing and the end result was that a suitable tenant was found, faster than we anticipated. Definitely recommend their services.

— Chase S.

I've had the pleasure of working with Kate and her team several times over the years and always walk away impressed with their professionalism and the great results they achieve. Kate is very warm and considerate and has really gotten to know me and my needs. The process of selling and buying a home is a stressful one, but Kate and her team really make it as smooth as possible!

— Andrea V.

Nick D'Agostino and the Peterson Team have represented me for both the purchase and sale of my home. They are efficient and offer quality services. Nick is incredibly organized, reliable, and hard-working, and helped me sell my house in a very tight time frame. The Peterson team continues to take care of their clients well after making the sale. I highly recommend Nick and the Peterson Team!

— Sara D.

Jeff Peterson and the Peterson team were essential in making our dream of home ownership a reality. Jeff was amazing to work with and is extremely professional, responsive, and experienced! He guided us through some pretty rough waters in a turbulent real estate market to help our family find our dream home. He’s head and shoulders above the rest and we highly recommend him and his team to anyone!

— Suzanne & Kaz T.

I was having difficulty finding a new home. During the pandemic, I was caught in a bidding war after bidding war. Kate stood by my side, for months on end, and gave insightful advice on strategies. With Kate's incredibly able assistance and patience, I finally found my home, much closer to Toronto than I thought I would be and at a price that was within my budget. I am so grateful for all her help and I ...

— Kerry H.

I recently purchased my first home (condo) and Scott Gilbert made the process as easy as I could've asked for. From the beginning, he worked around my busy work schedule to give me the opportunity to visit many different buildings and units before making my decision. I never felt pressured into making a decision and he always gave me his honest opinion when it came to making offers and counteroffers. He ...

— Michael P.

I just want to say thanks very much to Jeff and Kate and to your team for all your hard work in getting my house sold so quickly and beyond the price I expected. Your professionalism is none I have ever experienced. Always feeling that my best interest is your priority, not the commission. I know selling my house is one of the most emotional things I had to do. Mainly because I raised my son here and it ...

— Debbie T.

Jeff and Kate were amazing to work with. Jeff was very patient with us and helped us narrow down what were the most important features of a home for our family. He worked with us through the pandemic and made the whole process feel safe and stress-free. He was honest and direct, which we really appreciated! He helped us find our dream home right in the neighborhood we were after, and made the buying proc...

— Jenny M.

We first met Nick D'Agostino a few years ago when he represented our daughter and son-in-law as they searched for a new home. We were impressed by his energy, responsiveness, and professionalism and, based on the results he achieved for them, we decided to contact Nick and The Peterson team to represent us as we searched for our next home. Over the last two years, we worked together seeing multiple prope...

— William A.

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