Tips and Tricks

The Groupe Garcia & Lapierre team is happy to put its knowledge and expertise at your disposal. In this section, you will find a detailed description of each step in the purchase of a new house as well as useful advice to help you make a wise choice.

Steps to follow when buying a house:

  1. Define your needs
  2. Select potential houses
  3. Select an agent
  4. Visits
  5. Offers
  6. Inspections
  7. Costs associated with the purchase of your property

Define your need

Defining one’s needs is a time and energy saver. Before you begin the search for your new house, it is important to think about the following:

Type of housing

Think about your lifestyle, your habits, the people who make up your family and then decide what type of housing is best for you: bungalow, cottage, semi-detached, condo, duplex, triplex, quadruplex?

Advantages sought

Once again, you must assess your lifestyle and that of your family members. If you have children, for example, you will probably look for a house near parks and schools. If you do not have a car, you will be looking for a house located near transportation and shopping centres.


Regardless of the type of house you are looking for, certain things must be avoided: small rooms, insufficient lighting, small and poorly divided basement, low ceilings, small lot, bright colours (pink, blue, green).

Your finances

Before beginning your search, it is important to know how much you can borrow. To do this, plan a meeting with your financial advisor or your bank manager. Talk about the amortization term most suitable for you with the manager and determine if you wish to make a purchase with or without an initial down payment.

Select potential houses

The most important criterion to assess when looking for your house is the location, as this adds value to the property. Choose a uniform neighbourhood where the houses are similar or of similar value. Be especially mindful of the environment as well such as parks, schools, transportation and services. To avoid: houses situated on a boulevard, a high traffic street or near a service station, depanneur or other business. Top of the page

Select an agent

Although they all have the same training, agents do not all have the same experience. That is why it is important to ask the right questions when meeting the agents. Start by calling two or three agents and talk to them. Ask them if they are very familiar with the area you wish to buy in. Check what they say by asking for details about the area: what are the services, where are the schools located, what type of people live there (families, elderly people, young professionals).


  • Meet the agents at their office
  • Make sure they answer all your questions adequately
  • The agent must be prompt, courteous and well informed

To avoid:

  • An agent who does not return calls promptly (generally within one or two hours)
  • An agent with little experience
  • An agent who does not know the area

4. Visits

Select a few houses with your agent. Analyze each one based on the needs you outlined earlier in the process. This will make it easy for you to eliminate the houses that do not meet your needs. (carpets, small rooms, etc.)

Questions for the owner while you are visiting

  • Heating costs
  • Details on the neighbourhood (noise, comings and goings, etc.)
  • Proximity to schools
  • Recent or future renovations

Open your eyes

Look closely at the general condition of the outside of the house such as the roof, foundations, exterior finish and windows to detect any flaws. On the inside of the house, pay close attention to the floors, bathroom and kitchen. Make sure there is no humidity on the windows. At this point in the visit, your agent must tell you what he or she has seen and what work should be done. After a few details are checked, the agent should be able to give you approximate costs for these jobs.

A few tips

  • When visiting, do not comment while in the presence of the vendor(s)
  • Remain neutral, too much enthusiasm could be costly

5. Offers

If a house has caught your attention, discuss it with your agent. Ask how long the house has been on the market and ask if you can see a few houses he or she has recently sold in the same area. If the house still interests you, now is the time to discuss strategy on making an offer.

Offer to purchase

The offer to purchase is a document which legally binds the buyer and seller. All clauses of this document must be completed carefully and precisely.

Discuss the strategy to use with your agent concerning the following points:

  • Price
  • Date of occupancy
  • Inclusions
  • Inspection
  • Pyrite test
Your offer will be different if there is significant activity on the property you are interested in. It is important to never reveal to your agent the maximum amount you wish to pay for the property This could be a factor in negotiating the best price for you.

Counter offer

Further to the offer to purchase, you could receive a counter offer from the vendor. At this point, you must reconsider the price offered in your offer to purchase. Your agent will advise you of the vendor’s reactions to your offer to purchase. Talk the matter over with your agent and decide whether you will accept the counter offer.

6. Inspections

Now that your offer has been accepted by the vendor, it is time to proceed to the inspection of the property. Before contracting inspection services, check the inspector’s training and insurance status. Once the inspection is completed, a good inspector will be capable of advising you on the various points that caught his attention. Remember that no house is perfect. If you are not buying a new house, you will certainly be making improvements. The inspector must be discerning and advise you to the best of his ability.

7. Costs associated with the purchase of your property

Other than the price of the house itself, several other costs are to be anticipated when buying a new house. Do not be caught off guard, plan for them from the start.
  • Notary fees
  • Inspection fees
  • Welcome tax
  • Tax reserve
  • Moving costs
  • Urgent necessary repairs (roof, electricity, plumbing, asphalt, etc.)