In today’s real estate environment in BC, all home buyers in general, let alone first time home buyers, are enduring what has been called a “Seller’s Market”. It has been reported that some houses in the lower mainland are being sold at 20% above asking price.

These conditions and statistics may scare away a first time home buyer, who is already nervous about entering the marketplace in the first place, and wants to get the best value for their hard earned dollar spent. But this current marketplace doesn’t have to scare anyone away, yes even a first time home buyer. You can lean on your local experts for tips to help when facing this climate.

Before looking at properties, the best place to really start is with the financing. You need to know what you are going to be able to qualify for. By finding and speaking with a qualified mortgage specialist, like an independent local broker who has information about a variety of mortgage products, first time home buyers can have all of their questions answered first, before they enter into an aggressive marketplace.

As an Independent broker, I work for you, the home buyer. I am not hired by any bank to sell you their product or rate. I can help you acquire the best financial product for your lifestyle.

In order to expedite this process, the first time buyer can be prepared by gathering most of the financial paperwork that will be required up front, such as letters of employment, and copies of pay stubs, the down payment details for starters. These confirmation documents will go a long way in solidifying your pre-approval. Keep in mind that any bank only reviews the information provided to them once an offer is in place and the deal is now a “live” one. Your broker is the one that is doing the “underwriting” so to speak during the pre-approval stage, and therefore the more information available up front, that can be confirmed, the stronger the pre-approval, or pre-qualification, if you will.

Once a pre-approval has been acquired, the first time homebuyer can begin looking for the ideal property. In the climate of the “seller’s market”, properties can be purchased very quickly. Some offers have been made upon first time viewing. First time homebuyers should be aware that things may happen at a rapid speed but that there are others out there prepared to help them.

Remembering not to get swept up in the emotions of the first purchase, or the speed at which some transactions are occurring, is the very best advice. Personal comfort and boundaries are often the first time home buyers best protection.

In the local news, some people have advised entering into a purchase agreement for a property without any conditions, such as passing the home inspection. This is not recommended, in any marketplace, as the buyer should be informed about concerns before the purchase. Conditions placed upon a sale are for the protection of the buyer as well as in some cases, the seller.

Some local media personalities have even advised to bring a certified cheque for the payment of the deposit to the viewing, to ensure that a deal is made on the spot. This is contrary to what professionals will tell you. It is strongly encouraged that the first time home buyer proceeds with caution, without becoming overly emotionally invested in a property and chances to lose in a process that has removed all of the necessary safeguards.

Now with that said, the situation may call for you to go in subject free, to gain that edge. Rule of thumb, is to constantly be in touch with your mortgage broker, call them if you have any questions or concerns or are considering going into a deal without subjects.

In the end, having a proper mortgage product, acquired from a local professional and taking the time to find and secure the right property just makes sense.