Because purchasing a home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make, you’ll definitely want a team of professionals working with you throughout the process.
The real estate agent
- Helps you find the ideal home
- Writes an Offer of Purchase
- Negotiates on your behalf
- Gives you important information about the community
- Can help you plan the home inspection
A lawyer (or a notary in Quebec) protects your legal rights. He or she will review all contracts before you sign them, especially the Offer (or Agreement) to Purchase. Remember that a lawyer/notary should:
- Be a licensed, full-time lawyer/notary
- Be local and understand real estate laws, regulations and restrictions
- Have realistic and acceptable fees
- Be able to explain things in plain language
The home inspector
- Performs an inspection of the visible components of the home
- Tells you the condition of the house; what is working properly; what needs to be changed; what is unsafe; and what repairs need to be made
- Can tell you where there may have been problems in the past
- Usually belongs to a provincial or industry association
The insurance broker
Helps you with your insurance needs, including:
- Property insurance to cover the replacement cost of your home
- Mortgage life insurance to protect your family should you die before your mortgage is paid off
The lender or mortgage broker
Lenders — banks and credit unions — lend money for mortgages and assist you during the process of buying your home.
Mortgage brokers don’t work for any specific lender. Their role is to find a bank or credit union with the terms and rates that best suit you.
An independent appraisal tells you what your home is worth and helps ensure that you aren’t paying too much. Appraisals should include:
- An unbiased assessment of the property’s characteristics
- An analysis of recent sales of similar homes in the area
- An assessment of current market conditions affecting the property
The land surveyor
A land surveyor might be needed if the seller does not have a Survey or Certificate of Location, or if the Survey is more than five years old. A survey is a detailed drawing and explanation of the property which you are buying. Your real estate agent can help you find a land surveyor to have this completed.
If you are building a new home, or renovating an existing home, you will need a builder or contractor. What to consider:
- References from previous homeowners who have used the builder or contractor
- Check with the New Home Warranty program in the area (if applicable)
- Other housing developments built by the builder or contractor
- Membership in a local homebuilder’s association
For more homebuying tips, visit CMHC's interactive Step by Step Guide at www.cmhc.ca. CMHC is Canada's largest provider of mortgage loan insurance, helping Canadians buy a home with a minimum down payment starting at 5%. Ask your mortgage professional about CMHC.
The information is provided by CMHC for general illustrative purposes only, and does not take into account the specific objectives, circumstances and individual needs of the reader. It does not provide advice, and should not be relied upon in that regard. The information is believed to be reliable, but its accuracy, completeness and currency cannot be guaranteed. Neither CMHC and its employees nor any other party identified in this Article (Lender, Broker, etc.) assumes any liability of any kind in connection with the information provided. CMHC stakeholders are permitted to distribute the materials at their expense. The above mentioned stakeholder organization is responsible for the distribution of this document.