The Real Estate Partners Calgary Home Buyers Guide
Take a look at our comprehensive Calgary Real Estate Buyers Guide for new home buyers and experienced buyers as well, from impact partners to the steps you need to take in order to get the best home, we cover the essentials of how to buy a home with a top real estate agent in Calgary.
Step 1: Get Pre-Approved For Your Mortgage
Not being approved is like trying to drive a car with a blindfold on… It is simply a recipe for disaster!
The word "mortgage" truly sounds a lot scarier to people than it really is. Getting yourself pre-approved
for a mortgage really provides you with the ability to know how much you can afford when you're looking at
buying a home and ensures that you are in the position to make a competitive offer when
you find the right home, especially in multiple offer situations.
You have two choices on how to obtain a pre-approval. Typically you can talk with someone at your bank
we always recommend though that you speak with someone who is fluent in mortgages, and works with
them daily or weekly, a simply financial representative who's licensed for mortgages has in many instances
lead to detrimental situations for our clients, as they typically only work... 'Bankers hours' Or you can talk with
a Mortgage Broker. In most cases we almost always recommend a Mortgage Broker, simply because they
work with 20 to 60 different lenders, including the big banks, whereas the bank only has one option to offer you.
Your bank or Broker will analyze your financial situation including: credit history, and the type of home you will be purchasing.
It’s vital to let them know if you are buying a home or a condominium, as your pre-approvals for each will be
calculated differently. This will let them know what the maximum purchase price is!
A great Mortgage Broker will also consult and give you advice on what a comfortable home purchase
price would be based on your financial situation. Often your max purchase price isn't in line with
and typically won't support your lifestyle that you presently live.
Best of all? Utilizing a Mortgage Broker is FREE and doesn’t commit you to anyone or anything when you’re
simply just obtaining a pre-approval. It's the perfect way to lock in the best interest rates and understand your
options financially better, before you go house shopping. You should also know that mortgage preapprovals
are usually good for 90-120 days, so you'll have ample amounts of time to purchase once approved by a Mortgage Broker.
Beware of The “Hidden” Costs of Buying
Many people know that you have to save up for a down-payment to buy purchase a property.
But not everyone is ready for the "hidden" expenses of buying a house, although they aren’t hidden,
most people just simply don't know or aren't informed by their agents, and sometimes aren't aware of
what the actual costs are, and how quickly they can add up.
Above and beyond the down-payment for your next purchase, you’ll also have the following expenses:
• Legal fees (roughly $1,000 to $1,500)
• GST if you're purchasing a new home
• Appraisal Fees (typically $200-500) these are sometimes covered by your mortgage provider.
• Home Inspections ($300-$750)
Step 2: Create Your Wish List
This next step is simple for most buyers! As most have been dreaming about buying for quite some time.
Before you dive too deep into the home search process, it's idea for you to create 3 lists.
1. Your must have items - These are the things you can't live without under any circumstances
2. Nice to have items - Things you probably could live without, but if you can get them it’s a big plus!
3. Can’t live with X items - These items are your true deal-breakers or the things you just don't want.
Whatever your choices are, note them down and give this to your Calgary Real Estate Agent. That way they know what to
look for, sometimes we'll know of, or hear about a property before it’s listed, if we know what you want, we can notify
you before it’s made available to the general public.
Some other factors that you'll want to consider when creating your lists:
Access and proximity to public transit Locations.
Amenities you desire
Urban vs. Suburban
Total monthly carrying costs
Types of finishes in the home
Step 3: Picking a Talented and Winning Real Estate Team
Purchasing a home in Calgary and surrounding areas will most likely be the largest financial decision you ever make.
You don’t have to do it alone though. You’ll want to assemble a team of professional and trusted experts who will be
able to ensure your home buying experience is a positive, enjoyable, educational, and profitable one. To ensure this
happens you’ll need to hire the following individuals:
1. A GREAT Real Estate Team
2. A Lawyer familiar with residential real estate, preferably one that deals in residential deals daily
3. A Mortgage Broker who works in the city you’re buying, and cares about your bottom line
Depending on the home you purchase, you might also need to find a home inspector, contractor, painter,
cleaner, locksmith, or interior designer. Luckily we have a complete list of trades, and other professionals
listed above to assist you along the way, and if you're so inclined to do your own due diligence, we can always
assist you with any reference checks on partners you want to work with, or have been recommended. Our
team is big on our IMPACT partners, and we call them this for a reason, they've been hand picked, and thoroughly
vetted to ensure that they're truly taking care of our clients needs, we trust them so much, that we use themselves,
and can confidently say that anyone we recommend has performed work for us, our colleagues, or our families,
after all, if we weren't confident in using them why would we recommend them others?
Choosing A Real Estate Agent in Calgary
When choosing the Real Estate Agent you want to work with you’ll want to find someone who
knows the local real estate market and buying process inside-and-out. This is definitely not the
time to support your Uncle who sells real estate on the side as a hobby, or a coworker who's happens
to be licensed in the industry, unless they're truly qualified. Consider this, hiring an Agent as a
Calgary home buyer is FREE, but the costs of taking on the best or the worst agent is exactly the same.
Many of our clients are also shocked to discover that there are over 5,000+ licensed REALTORS in Calgary.
That’s roughly one agent for every 200-250 people in the Calgary Area, so it’s quite likely you might actually
know one or two… or five people who are licensed to sell real estate.
While the numbers vary from year to year, a big portion of agents only perform 3-5 transactions per year!
To guarantee that you're getting great advice, you will want to ensure you hire someone in the top 10% percentile
for Agents in the city. Agents on our team routinely hit 30+ deals in a single year, in comparison to an agent that
only does 3, this means they're seeing 10X more deals in a single year, and most likely are dealing with 15-20X
more clients throughout the year, garnering more exposure to the local real estate market, and giving them more
exposure to the market, helping them properly advise you.
Questions to Ask Your Calgary Real Estate Agent
You’ll need to ensure that you ask Agents a few questions when contemplating on who
to hire. Ask the REALTOR the following questions to obtain a solid understanding of how they operate:
• How long have you been in real estate?
• How many transaction were you involved in last year?
• What’s your biggest strength in terms of the home buying process?
• Do you sell real estate full-time?
• Do you work on a team or as an individual Agent?
• Why do you think you’re best suited to help me?
Why Hire A Team Vs. An Agent
It's well known that in today's landscape, real estate teams are quickly taking over
the real estate industry and can offer buyers plenty of advantages they wouldn't otherwise receive
by utilizing a using a single agent. Real estate teams have the advantages of being a TEAM
There is more than just a single individual involved in the journey, which means you receive the
most qualified representative for every step in the process. Teams typically carry team leaders
who assist the Agents when they have any problems or situations that they haven’t seen nor dealt with
before. A top real estate team will even have a client care manager to assist you with coordinating things once your
offer is accepted. This provides you with a much more streamlined buying experience vs. the Agent who is trying
to do it all. Our team has a full time marketing rep who not only services all of our sellers, but also
markets off market properties for our buyers, creates buyer resources including guides like this,
as well as city resources so when you move in, you have all the answers, when your garbage is picked up, what's
around you, how to pay for property taxes, and much more.
Step 4: The House Hunting Process
We’re very happy that you’re at this stage! Many online websites exist and you have options!
We obviously recommend utilizing ours for it's many great features, including robust search,
Zillow style search, comprehensive community coverage including 4K videos and HD pictures.
Once you’re serious about your search you need real-time listings sent directly to your inbox!
But getting them instantly sent to your inbox isn't done through any site like this, it's strictly
through your REALTOR and the MLS platform provided by their local real estate board.
Having access to these homes means in certain markets, you'll truly have the edge over other
buyers who are working on other platforms that doesn't give them instant access to the newest
listings, leaving them potentially hours behind our buyers who could have already seen a hot
new listing and are already writing an offer on it.
Step 5: Viewing Homes For Sale With Your Agent
Viewing homes in Calgary and surrounding areas can truly be seen as an art and science.
You have to be ready to view a property with urgency regardless of the market conditions.
when great homes hit the market, they simply just won't last long, especially when they're
priced properly. When you initially start working with your Real Estate Partners Agent
let us know the following information:
• The best way to contact you (FB Messenger, cellphone #, email, et cetera)
• When are you free to look at properties typically (middle of work, lunchtime, weekends, et cetera)
• What you’re looking for and what community or zone of the city
Team Pro Tip: When selecting an Agent consider hiring a real estate agent on a team. A hidden
benefit of working with a team vs. a solo, is that if you're looking to see a get into a property and
your agent isn’t available, someone on our team can fill in, and show you instead.
Check out our Home Hunters Checklist, ask your Real Estate Partners agent for a PDF copy of this,
you'll be able to score homes as you tour around, giving you an objective and ordered view of your
favorite properties, and a checklist and scoring system to help you narrow and refine the
perfect home for you and your family!
Step 6: Writing An Offer To Purchase a Property
Right on! Woohoo! and Congrats on finding a home you love! This step is a huge and believe it or
not, this is typically where buyers start to get cold feet. If you went through our first five steps,
this next one shouldn't be a problem! Your agent will put together an offer to purchase and sale,
that you’ll review and sign, then will be submitted through your agent, to the sellers. This offer
will outline all of your terms to the purchase, and your agent will advise you on the best strategies
to employ for your offer, custom tailored to your specific situation and needs. The terms in this,
agreement will outline what you're willing to pay for the home, a list of included goods (fridge, stove, etc)
when you'll take ownership, and conditions that need to be met in order for you to be satisfied with the
purchase, such as a financing conditions, and home inspection. Some terms or conditions can
hinder your offers position, especially in multiple offers, consult with your agent on what makes
your offer more enticing or unappealing. Usually the best outcome in any negotiation is a win - win
for both the buyer and the seller, when this happens, in our experience, everything works out a lot
smoother, this doesn't mean you can't get incredible deals on homes, it just means that there could
be other favorable terms for you that you might need to reconsider. Ask your agent what could potentially
be a sticking point for the sellers, or utilize some of their minor needs (in your opinion) as a tool for you.
A Quick Note About Down-Payments & Deposits
People can sometimes become confused about their deposit and how it relates to their down-payment,
or they can sometimes get them mixed up. Fortunately, it's really quite simple!
The deposit you offer, is given normally within 1-2 business days after an offer has been accepted for a deal.
Typically the listing brokerage holds this money during a deal, which is held in trust, and guarantees and binds,
the offer you’ve made. The deposit you would typically see on real estate contract is in the range of 1-6%, but
it's absolutely best that you consult with your REALTOR to determine the right amount ensuring the sellers will
know that you're a serious buyer who will make all efforts to see through the purchase conditions.
Your down payment is what you'll owe to the lender once you've hit closing date, if you've agreed to finance with
15% down for example and you put down a deposit of 5%, you'll owe the bank the remaining 10% on the
day of closing.
Step 7: Closing On The Deal
If you’ve reached this final step, it means that your offer to purchase the home was accepted!
That’s an exciting feeling, but it also means there are a few more tasks that you have to do as a
buyer to close the deal and take ownership of your new home.
The first task you must do is to deliver your deposit to the designated brokerage. Your REP Agent will
give you the best method in order to seeing this deposit get to the right place. Your Offer to Purchase
will dictate when the deposit is due, and your agent will discuss before writing an offer, when is best
for you to deliver. Make sure that your money for the deposit is liquidable, meaning that it's not in any
investment instruments that could take time to be withdrawn, such as a RFSA or investment. We
unfortunately have seen clients not take this into consideration and lose out on a property as their deposits
weren't able to be delivered on time, and the sellers were unwilling to negotiate this further as they had
received back up offers that were more enticing. If you're taking money from an RRSP account, make sure
you discuss this with your lending partner, they will make sure that all the proper steps are taken care of,
this situation requires just a bit more coordinating in advance of making an offer, and is best planned for
ahead of time.
Above the delivery of your deposit within the designated time frame, you’ll also have to fulfill any conditions
that you had written within your offer,
Whether you have a home inspection, or financing, condo document review condition,
within your offer to purchase, discuss with your Agent. They’ll be on top of, and remind you about condition
dates and when they need to be fulfilled within.
To fulfill the terms conditions you’ll want to sign a document that waives your conditions, and ensure a copy of
this is sent to the seller before the expiration date of the conditions. Meaning everyone on your team needs to be
aware of and looped into your home purchase. From your inspector, to lawyer, or mortgage professional
making sure everyone is aware of their roles and when they need to be accomplished is the job of your agent and
When would I receive the keys?
That's a great question! You'll receive the keys on closing day, once the lawyers have cleared
all documents and the land / property have officially been transferred to you, and the funds have
been provided to the sellers, this typically happens in the afternoon, and barring any issues you should
have keys for your home by the days end. Don't expect to move in at 8 on possession day, it's best you leave the
move scheduled for a light duty end of day on possession, your essentials box, and some food, and then your big
move day be scheduled the following day or weekend depending on your schedule.
Thank you for reading our comprehensive online Calgary Real Estate Buyers Guide!
Whether you're searching for a home or condominium, the journey of
home ownership has plenty of steps. This general guide will help provide you a
transparent overview of how to navigate the journey of buying a home anywhere in
Calgary and surrounding areas, and find a home you’ll love and grow into.
This Calgary Buyers Guide will cove the important nuances of getting pre-approved for your mortgage,
figure out what you can afford, and what you can't, the often unknown or “hidden costs” that our buyers
typically are unaware of, creating a love/wish-list, how the house hunting process
works, how to view the best homes with your Agent, and how the offer
to purchase works. We have even streamlined how to choose a real estate team of experts to
guide you through the entire process.
We know you have many choices when evaluating an Agent and hope you'll find
that this guide is helpful in getting started on your path to home ownership. Let us know if
you have any questions that can make your next home purchase rewarding and enjoyable. Ask your
agent for our PDF version of a buyers guide which include bonus content including the legal and
mortgage processes step by step!