22 Common Buyer Mistakes To Avoid When Buying a Home in Ottawa

The Tulip Team REALTORS®, Kayla Meyer, Bryanne Rheault, Keith Bray, Naj Sadaat, Saeideh Shabani, Tim Connolly, Reed Allen, Alex Wickham, Ryan Brown, & Yalda Shirazi cover the top 22 mistakes buyers make when buying a home.

As a buyer, it’s easy to make a mistake. Whether it’s the first home you’ve bought or the 10th. The Tulip team wants our buyers to feel confident in the purchase of their home. 

So we’ve put together a list of 22 common buyer mistakes to help you make sure you avoid them. 

Skipping the Home Inspection

During the very busy sellers market that Ottawa experienced in 2000 and 2221, it was often the case that with multiple offers on the table, people would forego the inspection. Now, while I can admit that I have had clients do this, it’s obviously not the best thing to do. 

As a buyer, you really want to have the opportunity to do your due diligence on the home that you are purchasing to make sure that there’s not any apparent large issues. 

Browsing homes you can’t afford

This is a recipe for heartbreak. While it’s fun to look at mansions and estates, browsing homes well out of your price range can make the right house for you and your family look like a poor choice. 

Not researching Schools Boundaries and how it affects Real Estate.

Certain schools have a great reputation, and real estate values go up in those real estate districts.  So it’s very important when you’re doing your research and looking for homes is to identify which boundaries go across different real estate districts that will allow you to take advantage of certain sectors and make sure that your kid goes to a school that you feel comfortable with. 

Thinking what you see on TV is real. 

 Now, where this really comes in is with home renovations. If you love watching HGTV like I do, especially the home renovation shows, it’s often misleading because you don’t actually see what’s going on behind the walls. Things like new insulation in the attic or even in the walls themselves, a new roof, sub flooring, things like this that you’re not going to see in the finished product, but that really add to the cost. 

So if you’re considering renovating a property you’re buying, I definitely recommend having a professional contractor go in before you purchase it to make sure that the renovation would be within your budget. 

Not being fully approved for a mortgage. 

 Before you start your search, forget about online mortgage tools and bank preapprovals. You should talk to a mortgage broker who has access to a range of mortgage options and can get a complete approval. 

 Before you start your home shopping, make sure you have your finances in place and you know exactly what you’re shopping with and what conditions there may be before you start looking at home. 

Not being respectful of the sellers and their home. 

 When seeing homes with your agent or at the open house, it’s naive to think that the sellers are not videotaping or recording you in their home. Don’t talk too openly about your financing and motivation. 

Take off your shoes, don’t take photos or make kind of fun of the personal items. 

Seeing too many homes in one day. 

Seeing the options in the vast variety in homes can become overwhelming very fast. If you’re viewing more than five or six homes at one time, it becomes difficult to remember the pros and cons of each one. Take notes, choose your favorite, and then compare each house you see to the top choice. 

Not being ready to move on the right House

Once you move into the active house-hunting phase, you need to be ready when you see the right home. Because the real estate industry can be confusing, buyers become very cautious around offer time. Don’t let the house of your dreams get scooped out from under you while taking a night to sleep on it. 

Trying to time the market. 

Now, I get asked this question all the time by my buyers and my sellers when is it a good time to buy? 

When is it a good time to sell? 

Now, while I have a large variety of stats that I can work from to give me kind of an indication of what the market might do, as you can probably see from the last couple of years, it’s very unpredictable. 

Nobody has a crystal ball. 

So ultimately, the best time to buy is when it makes sense for you to move on to something new, when you can afford a home that meets these needs. And just know that if you are planning to stay in this new home of yours for at least three to five years, the markets do go up over time. Buyers all seem to search for homes at the same time of year, which means it can get really competitive. And then buyers all seem to take a break at the same time. 

That’s when you want to go hard and fast with your search. 

During those weeks and months when your competition are taking a break, a good agent can help you identify those times of opportunity. 

Believing the asking price is the Real Price 

home pricing strategies vary from well below to well above the final price, depending on what the market is doing in the area. Make sure you’re following the trend to see if homes are selling below or above the asking price on average, very rarely will the price on the listing be what you actually pay. 

Having your money in an account that’s in-accessible. 

When you make an offer on a property and it’s accepted, you have to provide a deposit check within 24 hours. So you want to make sure that that money isn’t an account, that you can withdraw it within that time frame. 

Not reading the Home Inspectio you were provided. 

Not understanding what the bank appraisal is and how it might affect you while you’ve been approved for a mortgage. 

The bank will also want to appraise the house you are buying before committing to fund it.  They have specialized appraisers to make sure their investment in your home is also protected. If the bank appraises the house lower than what you are buying it for, you may have to make up the difference or walk away. 

For condo buyers not reviewing the status certificate or ultimately having that status certificate reviewed by a lawyer. 

 Now, when purchasing a condo, it’s the status certificate that’s actually really the most important thing to review over a home inspection, for instance, because the status certificate speaks to the entire building, the health of its finances, planned renovations, planned expenses. You want to make sure that the building you’re buying into is financially sound and well taken care of. 

Not talking to a home insurance broker

Before of buying your bank will want to make sure you have insurance before funding the mortgage and insurance companies very like houses, so you need to find the right one to match up with the age, condition and the style of home you are buying. 

Changing jobs, buying a new car, getting a new credit card, taking out lines of credit. 

Short answer is I don’t recommend you to do it. 

Between buying the home and closing, it is critical that you do not do anything that might change your credit rating and conditions from when you got approved for the mortgage. The bank approved you based on your financial situation at the time and has the right to change its mind if you’ve changed your financial situation expecting to move right on closing day. 

Not giving yourself a bit of a buffer on closing.

There’s a lot of moving parts on closing day and you don’t want to book your truck for a first thing in the morning because oftentimes you’re not even going to get your keys till the afternoon. And in some scenarios sometimes closing day gets pushed a day or two. So you don’t want to have your truck on that first day because that might cost you a lot of money and a lot of inconvenience. 

Not understanding the extras you need to pay on closing. 

There are provincial land transfer taxes and legal fees, but in addition there could be a number of adjustments if the seller prepaid their property taxes and rental equipment fees or service fees, or association costs, then you will be expected to repay the portion for when you take your ownership. 

Be sure to go over all of the cost with the lawyer ahead of closing and have a buffer. 

Not realizing you’ll need to provide your down payment to your lawyer a few days before closing. 

So your down payment equals the amount of the home. Less the mortgage you’ll be taking, less  your deposit that you’ve already provided in good faith to the seller. 

Your down payment will usually be collected by your lawyer a few days before closing. So as with the deposit, you don’t want to have this locked up in an inaccessible account. 

Not testing all the appliances and machines on the day of close. 

Run a load through the dishwasher wash and dry some clothes, test the furnace in AC. Your offer likely required that everything be in a working condition on the day of the closing. If you find something that doesn’t work on closing day, document it and take it to your lawyer right away. 

Thinking you don’t need an agent to represent you. 

Now, of course, you can look for homes online on your own. You can go to open houses. But I hope this list of many, many easily made mistakes that buyers have made will help you understand the benefits of working with your own agent who’s representing your best interests. 

Using the seller’s agent to buy the home.

The seller’s agent is, of course, representing their best interests.  

So if you want advice from a knowledgeable, ethical agent, any member of the Tulip team would love to hear from you so that we can schedule a time to sit down, chat about your real estate needs, and how we can help. 


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