Congratulations! You’re officially a homeowner and that closing date is fast approaching…
When you purchase a home, you are legally entitled to visit the property before it closes. The amount of buyer visits and the length of these visits can be negotiated before the final documents are signed, however a common number is 2-3 visits. If your new home is a true fixer-upper, you might need longer buyer visits, so plan accordingly and ensure those timelines are agreed upon in the final documents. At Nested, we always encourage our clients to take advantage of these visits to avoid surprises later on. The purpose of a buyer visit is to help you prep for the upcoming move. This isn’t an opportunity to change your mind or get out of the deal, so to speak. There is usually about 30-90 days between the sale and the closing, and a lot can happen in that time.
In Toronto’s fast moving real estate market, potential buyers really only have about 30 minutes to tour a home and make a decision. This can feel like a true whirlwind, and it kind of is. The rush of offer day, the exhilaration of having your offer accepted; you’re making one of the biggest financial decisions of your life, it is quite thrilling. All the feels! So in this excitement, it’s easy to forget, or shall we say, mis-remember a few details about your new home.
Use your first visit to plan your next steps.
Take your first buyer visit to have another look around and see if there is anything you hadn’t noticed before. Are there any updates you want to do before your move that you can plan for? This is also a good time to take note of the paint colours and start planning for your own design ideas. A feature wall perhaps? If you are considering any renovations, this is the time to start getting quotes and booking the tradespeople. Although nothing can be done until the actual close, the sooner you can have everything arranged the better. Ideally, you would have all the work aligned with the closing date.
Remember, you have multiple buyer visits allotted, so you don’t have to get everything done in one go. The average buyer visit is about 1 hour, so plan accordingly and don’t rush.
Will your furniture fit the space?
On your next visit, take the opportunity to measure, measure, measure! Will your couch fit through the door and around a hallway corner? Will your queen sized bed make it up the stairs? This is the time to find out, not on moving day. Sometimes the ceilings can be on an angle you hadn’t anticipated, and all of a sudden that little nook is not the ideal space for a guest bed. This visit is a fun one, though. This is where your interior design dreams really take flight. On this visit you can see the possibilities and really start mapping out how you want your new home to look, especially if renovations are on your list. As we mentioned earlier, with trades being in such high demand, the earlier you can book them, the better. Get the ball rolling once you’ve had a chance to see your new space and your plans start shaping up. Find out if you can take out that wall in the living room fairly easily, or if there is space for a powder room under the stairs.
Is the property in the same condition you bought it in?
We recommend saving the last buyer visit for 1-2 days before closing to ensure the house is in the same condition you bought it in. Check for things like holes in the walls, from artwork or damage from moving furniture. Have a look at the appliances, is the fridge in working as expected? Test light switches and take note of all items that were supposed to be included in the sale. Also, take this opportunity to explore the front and back yards if applicable. Has the lawn and garden been maintained during the closing period? This is the time to address these concerns and have them met.
Occasionally with a closing there will be conditions such as painting all the rooms a neutral shade, or having a repair done or even a new roof installed. Use your buyer visits to make sure this work is being done so there are no surprises on moving day. Once you’ve wrapped up your visit, take a stroll or a drive around your new neighbourhood and get to know the amenities that will become your locals.
Buying a home is a very exciting milestone, whether it is your first home or you’re a seasoned vet. We strongly encourage our buyers to take advantage of all buyer visits allotted. Moving day is stressful enough, at least you can take these small steps to help make it a smooth day for all involved.
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