How to Hire the Right Real Estate Agent when Buying

Choosing the right REALTOR® is one of the most important decisions that you will make when you’re ready to buy a home in Edmonton. A good agent can help you navigate the buying process with minimal stress, whereas a not-so-good agent might make the process harder on you (and your wallet) than it needs to be and a great agent will provide a great buying experience. There is no magic formula for finding a great agent, though there are certain steps that you can take to improve your chances.

What should you look for when you choose a real estate agent?

Behind every good Edmonton REALTOR® is a set of skills that make them a top choice when you’re looking to buy. So what are these skills? They will vary depending on your needs and your personality, but at the very minimum, you should choose a REALTOR® who has key qualities.

Good communication is a key factor in a real estate transaction and being comfortable with your chosen agent is important. If you are analytical, find an agent who is also analytical and system focused. These agents are usually dressed in a suit and will provide you with detailed information like our relocation agents. If you are really social, choose an expressive agent. These Edmonton REALTORS® can be found via Facebook and are usually dressed in bright colours.

Don't be nerveous about asking questions, that's how we learn. Also don't be offended if an agent refuses to show you a home - sometimes REALTORS® don't have the time or they choose not to help new buyers.

Top Questions to ask a REALTOR® when Buying

How long have you been an Edmonton REALTOR®?

Agents that have been in the business for a while will be familiar with the municipality and the surrounding area where they do the most business. If an agent is not familiar with the municipality, hopefully you are and can anticipate problems before they arise.

Do you have a real estate speciality?

Most experienced Edmonton REALTORS® have a speciality whether it be single family homes, condominium sales, rural properties or luxury home sales. Each one of these residential properties have different municipal rules and regulations.

Can you tell me about the areas we are interested in?

Your REALTOR® should be knowledgeable about the area you’re looking at. Edmonton communities vary in demographics and amenities from one neighbourhood to the next. For example if you are buying a home near Summerside lake, your HOA fees will be higher or recent structual concerns with a condo complex.

Will I be working with you individually, or with a team?

If you enter an agent-buyer relationship via a buyer brokerage agreement with the understanding that the agent will be handling you personally, it can be alarming to be handed off to an assistant. Ask who you will primarily be dealing with.

Can you recommend ...?

Mortgage brokers, appraisers, property inspectors and real estate lawyers. A good agent will already have a number of real estate professionals they work with on a regular basis. Although Edmonton REALTORS® can provide a list of other professionals. you are not obligated to work with them.

How do you get paid?

As with any financial transaction, get a good understanding of how your agent is being compensated. This will vary on the agent. There may be a unrefundable retainer fee, an extra service fee, or you may need to pay out of pocket for the services - find out before entering into a relationship with them.

What’s the best way to contact you?

Every REALTOR® in Edmonton prefers different ways of communications. Some agents do not give out their cell phone numbers and others are not tech-savvy. Some agents will reply immediately and others can take hours.

Do you work on weekends?

Ensure that the availability to show you properties works for both you and your agent or a member of their team. Not all Edmonton REALTOR® are available 24/7. Some work business hours only.

How many homes are you willing to show me?

Some agents will only show you 3 properties, while others will show you dozens of homes. If an agent is only willing to show you a few properties, it is probably because they are too busy, however, if a REALTOR® is willing to show you unlimited properties - they are called a "Wheel Estate Agent"

Will you provide a CMA for this house?

A CMA or comparative market analysis can help you determine the fair market value for the property you have chosen and determine if the asking price is accurate. You do not want to overpay!

Take the time to talk with the agent to find the best fit for you. We recommend interviewing 3 Edmonton REALTOR®. Our agents can be contacted directly at 780-910-5179 or email us!


Pros and Cons of Different Property Ownerships

Before buying a home, it’s important to consider what type of lifestyle you live. If you travel a lot, a house may not be the best choice. No matter what type of home you choose, there are advantages and disadvantages. It makes sense to review all the pros and cons of home you're looking for.

Advantages of Single Family Homes:

  • Solely investing in a tangible asset
  • Building equity as you pay down your mortgage.
  • Greater privacy and an option to renovate it to your personal style
  • Stable monthly payments on a fixed mortgage mean you’ll pay the same monthly amount until the end of your mortgage term

Disadvantages of Single Family Ownership:

  • It will be more difficult to pick up and move to another city.
  • Maintenance costs are yours and over time, something will need to be replaced from a leaking faucet to new shingles

Advantages of owning a Condomium:

  • Easier upkeep
  • Condo fees usually cover the cost of exterior maintanance, common areas, heat & water and sometimes electricity and cable costs
  • Communal living (you are part owners of a greater area and may even become part of the managment board)

Disadvantages of Condomium Ownership:

  • Condo fees (In addition to your mortgage you must pay monthly condo fees)
  • Less Privacy (Depending on the style most condos share at least one wall with thier neighbor)
  • Restrictions (Depending on the complex there may be restrictions such as noise, odor, pets, ect)

Pros of owning houses:

  • Freedom to do what you want from demolishing the house to adding additional rooms, gardens, garage or basement suites for residual income.
  • Even if the value of the structure itself depreciates, the land on which it sits can become more valuable
  • Backyard BBQs & entertaining outdoors

Pros of owning townhouses:

  • Semi-private yards
  • If there is a major upgrade, the cost is sharded by each unit
  • Your own parking spot/garage
  • You can change anything in the interior of the home from kitchens to fresh paint
  • Your neighbour can keep an eye on your property while you are away


  • There will be a monthly condo fee
  • You are responsible for maintaining the interior of the property
  • You are living close to your neighbour
  • Condo fees can increase

Pros of owning apartment condos

  • Condo fees usually cover the cost of heat & water and sometimes electricity and cable costs
  • No exterior yard work
  • Less cost to homeownership


  • Less privacy. Your neighbours will know when you come home and when you leave.
  • There may be rules on the type of flooring you are allowed to put in your property
  • Must abide by all bylaws
  • Pet restrictions 
  • Condo fees can increase

Pros of owning new builds:

  • Alberta new home warranty
  • You will be the first person to live there
  • Everything is fresh
  • New appliances 


  • The cost of new builds is higher than resale.
  • Added GST (usually already hidden in the price)
  • If there is an issue, you will need to deal with the builder
  • You will be responsible for adding fences and completing landscaping
  • The cost of finishing a basement
  • Annual HOA Fees
  • New builds are on the rise due to a higher lumber cost

If you have questions about buying a home in Edmonton or the surrounding area, we are here to help. Contact us today!

Copyright 2023 by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. All Rights Reserved.
Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.
The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by CREA and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA.