Your Real Estate Questions Answered! Realtor Spotlight w/ Shazad Hussain from Re/max Realty Services
Whether you’re a first time home buyer, seasoned home buyer, investor, or thinking of downsizing, the ever changing real estate market can be daunting. We have decided to sit down with Shazad Hussain, a local realtor in the Greater Toronto Area, to get the most important information you guys would need when looking to buy or sell your home.
With spring quickly approaching, now is the time when most people are starting to prepare their homes for sale or start thinking about what they would like in a home. We asked Shazad the following questions to help make the process a little easier and help provide some clarity.
As a first time home buyer, what are some of the things I need to do to get the process started?
As a first time home buyer, it can be both exciting and scary at the same time. I am here to help ease that process. When looking for your first home, the first thing you want to consider is the area you would like to live in (e.g., city or town). You then want to think about some of the things that are important to you in a home. For example, how many bedrooms would you like? Do you need an ensuite in your master bedroom? Do you need a separate living/dining room? Once you have considered some of the features that are important to you, you will then need to determine your budget. How much can you afford and how much do you want to spend? The best and most accurate way to do this is to visit your local bank or broker and get a pre-approval done. They will then be able to provide you with a pre-approved amount so you know what you are working with. You will also need to save a down payment. In today’s market, you may not be able to purchase a home without putting at least a 5% down payment and having a good credit score. Remember, this is your first home. In some instances, you may need to make some compromises based on your budget. Of course, we would work to find you everything on your wish list, but sometimes, that take a little more time to achieve.
Do I need to get a pre-approval before I start looking for a home?
Yes and No. As I mentioned before, it is always better to have a pre-approval done before you start looking, so you know how much you can afford. This helps to minimize the disappointment if you find a house you fall in love with and it becomes unattainable because of your budget. Of course this is not a mandatory requirement before you start looking. We can always start looking at what’s available on the market in the neighbourhood of interest and see what’s out there.
How much of a down payment do I need to purchase a home?
When looking at down payments, the more you can put down the better. Most banks now a days require at least 5% down. Some banks will require more, such as 15-20% or even higher if required. Remember, the higher the down payment, the less your mortgage will be and the smaller your payments will be as well.
Is it better to buy new or pre-owned?
It all depends on the client and what they are looking for. With new construction, builders have a specific deposit structure that you must follow. It is oftentimes a lot higher than 5% but offers you the option to pick your own style, finishes and have a brand new, never before lived in home. If you are looking to put down 5%, a pre-owned home may be for you. Some pre-owned homes offer upgraded finishes, are located in established neighbourhoods and don’t have all the setups fees of a new construction home.
How do I know what is a good mortgage rate and term to choose when setting up a mortgage?
When looking for a mortgage, you want to work with someone you trust and do your own research as well. See what rates are being offered and compare them across different banks/companies. Decide how long you would like to have your mortgage for, based on your family needs and work with a professional to get this done for you. I have trusted professionals that I work with everyday that can provide these services for my clients if needed.
I am thinking of downsizing because we’re now empty nesters, what do I need to do to get the process started?
Congratulations on becoming empty nesters! You’ve spent your hard earned time raising the next generation and now you want to focus on you and your needs. You definitely deserve it! When looking to downsize, it works essentially the same as buying a home. You want to consider your desired neighbourhood, the features you would like in your new home and slowly start to de-clutter. When living in a home for awhile, you start to accumulate a lot more than you may realize. You want to decide what items you want to take with you, what you may want to sell or what you may want to throw out/donate. It’s important to depersonalize your home so others can envision themselves in the space. It is also a good idea to get a pre-approval to determine your budget and how much you can spend.
Is there anything I need to consider when selling my home?
After you have made the decision to sell your home, the first thing you will want to do is to declutter. You want to depersonalize your home so a potential buyer will be able to visualize themselves in your home. The next step is to work with your realtor to determine whether or not staging is required. Sometimes it’s better to have a professional working with your home to showcase its full potential. Your realtor is there to help you through each step and make the process as easy as possible. They will work with you to list your home on MLS, have professional photos taken and do any and all negotiations. If you have not already purchased a new home, you will also want to decide, with the help of your realtor, what step you would like to take first. Do you want to sell your home first and then purchase a new one? or vice versa. Use the expertise of your realtor to help guide your decision and take the step that makes you feel the most comfortable. Just remember, the real estate market is unpredictable. Sometimes, it can take a little longer to buy or sell a home or sometimes, it can fly off the shelf. Just keep this is mind and mentally prepare yourself for these unpredictable outcomes. It really all depends on the market and how buyers react to these changes.
How would you determine the listing price of my home?
This is a great question! There are several factors that go into determining the list price of a home. Some of those factors include the features of your home, such as a finishes, if there is a finished basement and square footage of the home. In order to determine the most accurate price point, I would do a home evaluation and a comparative market analysis (CMA), to determine what homes have sold for in your neighbourhood. Based on these numbers, I would choose the most appropriate listing price and discuss this number with you. If you are in agreement, this would be your home listing price. The most important reason why I do this is because we want to make sure we are not listing your home too high, which would cause it to sit on the market for a long time with no potential interest, and not too low, which would mean we are not get the most value for your home. It's all about finding that sweet spot!
What type of services do you provide?
Another excellent question! Each and every client is important to me and I always try to make the buying and selling process as easy as possible! Whether you are buying or selling, I aim to provide quality service and to be that source of expertise to answer any and all questions you may have. Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest transactions you will make in your life. You want to be confident that you are working with someone who has your best interest in mind.
For Buyers, some of the services I provide include:
One on one consultation
Explain the entire buying process in detail (e.g., closing costs) - a lot of buyers go into this process not knowing that they have to pay closing costs. Some people just think they need a down payment
I take you through each and every step in detail (looking for houses, going out, land transfers, lawyer, title insurance etc.)
I have market professionals I trust and work with everyday that can provide their services to you as well, if needed.
I do research on the neighbourhood, such as schools in the area, public transit, distance from your job etc.
For Sellers, some of the services I provide include:
One on one consultations
A Home evaluation
Declutter and depersonalize suggestions and help (If needed)
Cleaning services (If Required)
Staging (If Required)
Professional photography that includes a virtual tour
Listing of the property on MLS
I keep you informed throughout the entire process, including any and all updates
Present any and all offers in a timely fashion
Follow up with agents for feedback
I send your listing to all my contacts for review and presentation to their potential buyers
How can we get in contact with you to use your services?
I am here to help you with your Real Estate needs and I would love to hear from you. You can contact me through my email, which is firstname.lastname@example.org or at my brokerage, Re/max Realty Services, at (905) 456-1000. Please also follow me on Instagram: @shazadrealestate , Twitter: @RealShazad , Facebook: ShazadHussainRealtor and my Website: www.shazadhussain.com. I look forward to hearing from you!