Paul Toffoli Vancouver BC REALTOR®

Cell: (604) 787-6963 | EMAIL |


Vancouver Real Estate Buying Process - the Overview


Exploration, Criteria, Financing, Finding Property, Offers, Negotiation and more - How a real estate agent can help you navigate buying or selling your home.


Mark: Hi, it’s Mark Bossert from Top Local Lead Generation. We’re here with award winning realtor in Vancouver, Paul Toffoli. How’re you doing today Paul?


Paul: I’m great Mark. Another beautiful Vancouver day I think we have about a week of summer left.


Mark: Well hopefully a little bit longer I’ve got some fresh lettuce in the garden…anyhow we’re going to talk about the real estate buying process overview with I think is an awesome topic. We’re going to talk about all the pieces of the process - so Paul what is the overview of the whole process of buying real estate?


Paul: Ok, so this is where it becomes interesting. Most people when they start the process think, you know, I’m just going to go to a few open houses, see what’s out there, see if anything tickles my fancy - then lo and behold they see something they like and they’re overwhelmed by the process. Not only are there a lot of steps and a lot of detail but there’s a lot of risk and it can be very scary. One of the things about the process that I work through with my clients is that we try and go in an organized manner. So how does it start? I’m just going to do an overview and then we’ll dig deeper into some of these steps at a later date.


First thing, let’s have a coffee, let’s talk about this process, let’s establish the criteria you are looking for - why do you want to buy a property? Is it an investment? Is it a home? Is it something that’s going to be home for awhile and then an investment? Those types of things. So let’s talk about criteria - that can also be where’s it going to be? Is it a condo? Is it a house? How much can I afford? That’s a big part of that criteria is getting that financing in order. Working with a mortgage broker, working with some members of my extended team. I can refer mortgage brokers etc. So what can I afford…I would like to live in a mansion somewhere, but maybe I can afford a house on a 33 ft lot. So that’s a really important piece of the puzzle that we talk about early on in the process. As part of that process, what are the additional costs that go into, not only home ownership or property ownership - that could be strata fees or insurance etc. What are the costs involved in the buying process? Are there taxes? Are there fees? How does the realtor get paid? all those kinds of questions we talk about and answer. Then once we have that overview in place, then we go and start looking at properties and some of that is the search process. 


So how do I find properties? How do I find what’s available in my process? Am I a person who wants to see every single thing out there or am I a person who just wants to see five things and I’m going to choose one of those five? Everybody has a different process. So we talk about that and we start that process. We go to open houses, going on tour with me - where I set up the tour. Sometimes it’s easy and there’s a nice selection of properties. More often in the Vancouver marketplace there’s not a lot of selection so it’s a patience game where we get educated, get all of our ducks in a row and wait for that one right property to come in place. Then once we’ve found that property, there’s the offer process.


So putting together a contract of purchase and sale. What are the subjects that we put on that property? Financing, inspection, if it’s a strata, then strata documents, all those types of things. Negotiating that contract, those terms, price, dates, subjects all those types of things. Then what happens when, omg, what happens if it’s a multiple offer and four people like the property? … which shockingly enough sometimes happens in Vancouver. How do we make sure we’re the ones that get the property or if we’re not the ones who get the property that we’re ok with that we didn’t because we put our best foot forward. Once we’ve got the contract negotiated and it’s under contract, going through the subjects, getting that home inspection done, getting that financing done so we have everything in place so that instead of being a two week process, it’s a one week process to make ourselves a little bit more attractive to the seller. Getting through that due diligence process - what I do for my clients is I read all the strata documents as well as my clients reading the strata documents. There’s lots of questions associated with those things. 


And then finally, once we remove those subjects, we’re at a place where it’s decision time, we’re going to remove those subjects and then post subjects, getting ready for the closing. Next is finding a notary or lawyer. What do I need to look for? Do I need a notary or a lawyer? Are they interchangeable? And of course, that’s a whole different can of worms that I’m  not going to get into right now. What else do I need to do? What about insurance for the home or the condo? Finding a mover. What happens on the closing day, what happens during the closing week, where do the keys come from? All of those things are part of the process that we go through beginning to end. Then finally the fun one - well wait no moving isn’t fun, but getting the keys is fun. The moving then living in your new home.


So this is a multi step, complex process and I think is really important. When I’m talking to my clients it’s really important to be highly organized around it and having someone to give you comfort because I’ve gone through it how many times a year, 40+ times a year, I’m working with clients on this buying process and holding their hands through it so it’s not a shock when a question come up. Being prepared - that should be my new motto. Be prepared. 


Mark: So what I take away from that is every client that you get is going to have some different wrinkle, some different criteria, some different obstacle or opportunity that changes a lot of what works. And because you’ve got a pretty massive amount of experience in this area for a lot of years - you’ve seen a lot of it already and if you haven’t seen it before its familiar or close enough to something that you actually have done, that you can help people through the process. I’ve been a multi home owner now, there are a few thing that are more stressful than sitting there waiting on something that you missed.


Paul: You don’t want to be the day after you’ve remove subjects - oh god, what about the - whatever it might be. A small example, I’ve renovated properties myself, I’ve worked doing general contracting for myself and for others, I’ve worked in my financial background, I’ve worked on managing thousands of rental properties. I have a deep background that’s not just selling real estate. I own and manage real estate for myself, I’ve managed real estate for others. I had a client last week, we were looking into a house in Vancouver that we thought on first blush, when we went through the open house we thought it would be a great property for them. When I walked through the property within 15 minutes I identified that there was vermiculite with potential asbestos repercussions, there might be an oil tank and about four other things before we got to the offer and inspection stage. so they decided not to put an offer in on that particular property just because there was too much risk, much more than they wanted to do. So often we can eliminate properties before you get emotionally involved. And that is where the pain often comes from, you get emotionally bought into a property and then it’s hard to let it go. I try to walk people through that process or at least help them to understand the risks they’re dealing with.


Mark: So I guess for me, that’s the benefit of having an experienced, professional to guide you through what is an extremely complicated and often scary process. You have that little bit of peace of mind that you’re not on your own and somebody who’s walked the walk and talked the talk and know what he’s doing and is going to help you and make sure you’re not getting into some kind of financial difficulty that you can’t recover from. 


Paul: Absolutely, and we have a little fun in the process as well, you know it should be fun - it’s looking for your home. But we try to take some of the anxiety and stress and manage it, it’s still going to be challenging but at least it doesn’t feel out of control.


Mark: Awesome. So we’ve been talking with Paul Toffoli, he’s an award winning realtor in Vancouver. You can go to his website or give him a call and have that coffee with him 604-787-6963. Thanks a lot Paul


Paul: Thanks Mark


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