Derek Hulewicz, RE/MAX Real Estate
Get Pre-Approved - This is the most important step before you start searching for your Edmonton home. Knowing how much you can afford is crucial. The interest rates fluctuate constantly, therefore the amount that you were approved four months ago and would be approved today will change. Get current pre-approval, many financial institutions will do it by phone. Remember, this is just a general pre-approval and you will still have to get final approval when buying a particular property - part of the purchase contract under subject to financing.
Finding A REALTOR® - Work with the right real estate agent! Some of the characteristics to look for in a realtor are: experience, maturity, punctuality, knowledge of the current Edmonton real estate market, neatness in appearance, listening skills and understanding of client’s needs. Is the agent energetic, enthusiastic, friendly and approachable yet professional at the same time, honest and factual, quick to respond to your phone calls and emails, available for showings without cancelling the appointments all the time. These are just some of the things which you may already know, however, some may overlook because it’s someone they know or their friends or family recommended. There are also buyers who think that by going with the listing agent they may get a better deal. That is the same as if you were to hire a prosecutor to be your defending lawyer in court. The buyer’s agent role is to act in your best interest, therefore choose an agent that you feel comfortable with and who is patient and listens to you. Remember, you are the boss and the one who is buying a home.
Free Buyers Seminar:
Meet one-on-one with Derek to find out everything you want to know (no strings attached). Call/text Derek at 780-220-4224
Finding My Edmonton Home - So what are the best tools to find your dream home? There are two ways to go about. Once you have found your REALTOR® get her/him to set up a specific property search by email with daily updates. It is a great tool which will save you time and will give you the opportunity to see the listing the moment it comes onto the market. You will also receive notifications of any price changes. When searching in a specific area, an outstanding property will eventually become available for sale, you want to be one of the first people to view it and then write an offer.
Edmonton Property Finder - property finder by email with daily updates
The second way is to use a map-based MLS® search at the same time. By doing so, you will learn more about the neighbourhood’s layout, roads, school, transportation and more and also will be able to confirm geographic location of the your email updates of new listings or price changes.
Edmonton MLS® Search- map based home search
Edmonton MLS® Search - Quick Search
Get informed - here is couple of our Edmonton Blogs where you can find information, statistics and graphs on current Edmonton real estate market:
Residential Purchase Contract – what should you know? A good idea is to discuss the purchase contract with your REALTOR® before you even find your house or a condo. The typical purchase contract in Alberta, which was developed by the industry, sets out the term and condition of a real estate transaction and maybe modified by sellers and buyers to reflect the requirements of their transaction.
The most common things that you will find in the residential purchase contract are:
Page 1: name of the sellers and buyers, municipal and legal description of the property, attached goods included or excluded like stove, fridge, washer, dryer and so on, initial and additional deposits, financing, balance and purchase price,
Page 2: where and when the deposits are to be delivered, closing and possession date,
Page 3: insurance, warranties and represantions, and additional terms like: the seller is to provide current Real Property Report
Page 4: conditions: financing, property inspection, condo documents, remedies disputes and advise disclosure
Page 5: definitions and representative notes: seller’s and buyer’s brokerage contact information
Page 6: offer and acceptance: signatures of buyers, sellers and witnesses, final signing and conveyancing: a party who signs last and lawyer information
Offers – What makes an offer strong? Not having any conditions on the purchase contract with a large deposit would definitely make for a great offer. However, it always comes down to price and most of the time the highest bidder wins. Besides, unless you have a pile of cash and feel comfortable with inspecting the place before writing an offer or not inspecting at all, conditions are strongly recommended. So what can you do to better your chance, especially when there may be another offer in place?
Possession date: make it short, three to four weeks or whatever the seller’s preference may be.
Deposits: the larger the deposits, the better; example: on a 300,000 property, a minimum 5,000 may be required.
Financing: If you are putting 5 percent down and that is all you can afford, well that’s just the way it is. However if you can do better than five, that’s great. The seller will feel more comfortable with larger down-payment when having similar offers.
The three most important dates in a common purchase contract;
1. The date of final signing – the date of the last party to sign the purchase contract
2. Conditions dates – most of the time 5 to 7 business days from final signing date, most common conditions are financing, property inspection, condominium documents only applicable for condos.
3. Possession date – that is when you get your keys, usually the keys are released to your realtor at noon. Make sure you do a walk-through with your agent ensuring that the seller left property in satisfactory condition.
Closing Costs - closing costs for buying a home in Edmonton can vary. The buyer’s agent is usually paid by the seller, so the most common costs are a real estate lawyer and inspector. The lawyer’s cost will vary anywhere from $600 to $1,500 and inspector’s $300 to $700.
Home Inspection - Should you hire an inspector when buying a home? The answer is definitely yes!
Purchasing a home is one of the largest investments you will most likely make. Having peace of mind by having the right information as to condition of your future home is very important in the real estate transaction.
The Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors (CAHPI) has established the standard of quality for home inspections nationwide. The qualified inspectors go through unique training which is assured by CAHPI provincial organization. When choosing your inspector, be sure to ask about experience and professional qualifications. If you are not sure how to find one, ask your real estate agent, most realtors have a list of inspectors or you can also check local yellow pages, internet or ask family and friends.
Make sure you book your inspection right away after your offer has been accepted.
There are only so many inspectors out there and the good ones tend to be busy especially during summer time. Note that you may choose to be present during an inspection which is highly recommended. The home inspection is not only a way to find any problems and issues but also a great opportunity to get to know the home.
Here are some of the things that are inspected: Interior & Exterior, Plumbing, Electrical, Heating, Roofing and Foundation, Flooring, Structure and more
These some of the questions you may want to ask the inspector
How many years has the home inspector been in business?
What are the home inspector’s qualifications and how can he prove them?
Ask for at least three references?
Where can I get more information about the home inspector and his firm?
How soon will I receive a written or file version of the report?
Can I be present during the inspection?
What is the total cost of the inspection?
Buying A Home In Edmonton
Derek Hulewicz, REALTOR®
Edmonton Real Estate