Important Questions To Ask When Buying A Home In Edmonton, AB & Area

Buyer Q+A

1. If I like a house that has multiple offers, what should my offer contain to make it stand out? 

Competitive offers are difficult because each situation can be different than the rest, but there are some ways to make an offer more compelling. A) be pre-qualified by a lender. This way you can make an offer and have the confidence that your lender will support your purchase. B) Have as much deposit money as possible available and ready to attach to an offer. C) Be ready to inspect a home quickly and be willing to accept minor deficiencies. 

2. What are conditions? 

Conditions are commonly used to protect a buyer from committing to buy a home before having an opportunity to examine the deal and the property fully. Common conditions are ‘subject to financing’, ‘subject to a home inspection’, and ‘subject to the sale’ of the buyers existing home.

3. Why do I need more than one condition? 

This depends on your experience as a buyer, your financial ability, and your overall confidence in the property and the deal. We can help you understand the options and structure a deal that works best for your situation.

4. Why is it important to be pre-qualified? 

Pretend you’re the seller. Let’s say two competing offers are presented to you at the same price but one has an attached pre-qualification letter from a recognized lender or bank; while the other offer is just subject to financing… which offer would you accept as a seller?

5. If I’m pre-qualified, is it possible for the bank to still say “no”? 

Yes, it’s still important to have a financing condition for the majority of cases.

6. What is the purpose of a deposit, and do I really need one? 

Yes, the deposit demonstrates a commitment to the seller. Its normally held in trust for the seller, but returned to the buyer if it cannot or will not remove its conditions on or before the condition date.

7. How big should my deposit be? 

It should be as big as reasonably possible and relates to the value of the property. For example on a $400,000 purchase $1000 is enough if the seller accepts that; but $10,000 is better.

8. Does a bigger deposit strengthen my offer? 

Yes, it demonstrates a more qualified buyer.

9. Should I look at houses where the seller is asking more than I can afford? 

Yes, often sellers ask more than what they expect and it’s common for sellers to accept less.

10. Do I need to look at houses listed by owner or For Sale by Owner, or will my agent alert me to them? 

A good agent will dig to find you homes in your desired price range and area, including For Sale By Owner sellers. These (fsbo’s) can sometimes be overlooked by some buyer agents because they are not being offered any commission. WE SHOW YOU ALL homes – regardless of whether or not there’s commission offered by the seller. 

11. Can my realtor show me houses that are listed for sale by owner? 

Yes, and sometimes we do.

12. Are the email updates I get from my realtor giving me an advantage over other buyers? 

Not normally. Most Realtors can offer buyers an email notification of homes for sale within certain parameters as they come for sale, but all active buyers with similar housing needs will get that. email at the same time. It’s important to know that these notices are ALWAYS sent out days ahead of when a home is posted on MLS public sites like Realtor.ca .

13. Who can qualify me for a loan or mortgage? Do I need a letter to prove that I’m qualified? 

Any lender can qualify a prospective buyer and a commitment letter should be requested.

14. What should I do if I want to buy a home I see at an open house? 

Advise your agent that you’ve seen something you like and start the process of making an offer as soon as possible.

15. Do I need a Realtor if I’m buying from a builder? 

Yes! Builders are sellers just like any other – only they are far more knowledgeable than most buyers. It’s important that you have representation fighting for your best interest – especially with home builders.

16. Should I submit an offer as a backup to someone else’s offer? 

Backup offers are accepted by a seller when one other conditional offer has already been accepted. This really doesn’t favor the buyer aside from giving that buyer the first right of refusal if the first buyer decides to not proceed with its purchase.

17. How long does it take to close on a purchase? 

Generally it will take about 30 days, but there are ways of closing sooner where needed.

18. What if the sellers change their mind and don’t want to sell after accepting my offer? Can they backout? 

No, a good contract requires that both parties act in a manner consistent with the terms of the contract. 

19. Can you recommend/refer me to people like real estate lawyers, home inspectors, mortgage brokers etc? 

Absolutely!  We have a team of professionals waiting to help you.

20. Why do I need a lawyer? 

A lawyer will execute the deal crafted by the Realtor. They handle the registration of title and the transfer of funds. It’s not law to have a lawyer, but it’s recommended.