What is the difference between a REALTOR® and a Real Estate Agents?

Often people think real estate agents and REALTORS® are the same, but they are not.

A real estate agent is someone who has has obtained a real estate license and assists in buying and selling properties. Depending on thier specialty, Edmonton real estate agents can work with residential as well as commercial properties.

The definition of a REALTOR® is a real estate agent who is a member of a local real estate board, and of the provincial real estate association in the Realtor's province. They may also be a member of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) however, membership is voluntary.

Most, but not all Edmonton real estate agents are REALTORS®. The majority of Edmonton REALTORS® (including us) are in good standing and belong to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), The Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA) and the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. This allows us to legally help our clients buy and sell real estate anywhere within Alberta. A few of us who do relocation moves also belong to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

Edmonton REALTORS® Adhere to a Moral Code That Has Been in Place Since 1913. In order to be considered a Canadian REALTOR®, real estate professionals must adhere to a code of conduct and ethics that has been in place since the turn of the 20th century. This code is extensive and includes many disclosures to our clients. If a REALTORS® breaks the code, he is no longer allowed to operate as a certified CREA REALTORS®.

If you have questions or would like to know more about our Edmonton REALTOR® code of ethics, it can be found at


How to Write the Right Real Estate Offer

The hardest part of buying a home is house-hunting to find the right property. Once you have found a property you like, the next step in to write an offer. Purchase agreements in Edmonton are standard Alberta real estate contracts and consist of the same clauses. What makes the difference is what you add to the agreement and negotiations skills.

First, we need to add the most important criteria which include:

  • Seller Names
  • Buyer Names
  • Property Address
  • Legal Description
  • General Terms of the Agreement
  • Deposits
  • Chattles
  • A Representation & Warranty Clause
  • Conditions & Terms
  • Closing Procedure Process
  • Additional Attachments id required
  • A Remedy Clause
  • Notice & Document Clause
  • Offer Price
  • Signatures & Dates

Sellers Names: Ensure the property title matches the names exactly as set out on the title. If there is only one person on tile who is married, have a dower consent form validated by a notary or real estate lawyer.

Buyer Names: Offers must be written with the legal name of a buyer and persons obtaining the mortgage or if in the name of a company, additional documentation will be required.

Legal Description: This is the legal address of the property. For Single-family homes, it contains a Lot, Block and Plan number. If it is a condominium, there may be an additional legal address for a storage unit or parking stall.

General Terms of the Agreement: usually include a surplus of items and how they factor into the sale of the property from who is responsible for providing a real property report, determining non-resident status for income tax purposes, who will be holding the deposits, any known defects in the property and other terms.

Representation & Warranty Clause: To ensure the person signing has a legal right to sell the property along with any chattels and the physical property is not situated on a utility right-of-way or encroaching on the neighbours.

Conditions: Are items that say " When I receive _________, I will proceed with the sale of the property." These items are satisfactory financing, satisfactory property inspection and satisfactory review of condominium documents. The Seller may also add conditions such as review of contract from lawyer, final probate or finding another property.

Terms: Are items that either the buyer, seller or both have to agree upon to complete the sale. These items can range from picking up dog faeces in the backyard, to having the property professional clean prior to moving into repairing items found in your inspection.

Closing Procedure Process: Sets out the terms in how the title will be cleared of the existing mortgage caveats or liens against the property as well as who will be responsible for any closing delays. Read more on possible closing delays

Additional Attachments can include a huge list of items, but the most common attachments will be either an addendum, amendment to the original offer, a subject to sale form or disclosure statements

Offer Price: This Will be determined on a set of factors from the current market value, supply and demand, absorption rate, economic factors, property condition and location, how much the buyer & seller are willing to agree upon and the negotiation skills of your Realtor. Ask your Edmonton Realtor for a Buyers Comparative Market Analysis to determine fair market value prior to making an offer.

Need help in writing the right offer? Give us a call at 780-237-7074 and for a small fee, we will help.


A Step by Step Guide to Buying a Home in Edmonton

Step 1: Learn about Homeownership

There are many benefits to owning your home including personal freedom and financial equity building. Every year you live in your home, you gain a higher return on your investment. In 2005, the benchmark for a single-family home in Edmonton was less than $200,000. By the middle of 2007 at the end of our real estate boom, the average price for a house was over $400,0000. Today, we live in a city where house prices are extremely affordable and is a great time to make a real estate investment.

Step 2: Are You Financially Ready

A mortgage calculator will help give you an idea of how much you can afford, but until you have spoken with a mortgage broker and have submitted the proper paperwork, it is only an estimation. Get your mortgage pre-approval before you contact an Edmonton REALTOR®. Sometimes you may think you will be approved, but there is something in your credit that you are not aware of or your debt ration is too high to qualified at this time.

Step 3: Find the best Edmonton REALTOR® for you

Take the time to research to interview a few real estate agents who you feel will best represent you. There are several questions you may want to ask before hiring the right one. After selecting your agent, you will want to schedule a sit-down or virtual meeting. This is an important step to understand how your agent will be working for you and you must be aware of where you stand.

Step 4: Start Your House Hunting

This is the time when the excitement starts to happen and you already know how much you can afford. A licenced agent can simplify this step by adding you to "autoprosecting" with your desired homebuying criteria, saving you time. Once you have found some potential properties, it's time to physically start house hunting. Call your Edmonton REALTOR® and ask them to set up the showings.

Step 5: Writing the Offer

Once you have found the right home, the next step is to write an offer. Your Edmonton REALTOR® will explain the alberta real estate purchase agreement and help you with writing for the best offer a favourable outcome. The main items in an offer to purchase are:

  • Terms: Items that are agreed to and will be upheld, otherwise, there is a breach of contract. In addition to the standard terms that will be reviewed with you when preparing the offer, you can add in whatever else you need to, however, these are open for negotiation.
  • Conditions: Items in the contract that must be fulfilled in order for the transaction to even proceed forward. Typical conditions are subject to satisfactory home inspection, satisfactory financing approval, and satisfactory review of condominium documents. The buyer or seller is then given a few days to fulfil the conditions (usually 7 to 10). This is what it is meant by a property status that is listed as pending.
  • Deposits: In order to write an offer, you will need some available money for a deposit. In Edmonton a $5000 initial deposit is common. In the event a buyer is unable to satisfy all conditions, this initial deposit is fully refunded back to the buyer.
  • Possession: The possession date is the closing date on when the property title has been transferred into your name. The possession date in Edmonton is usually 30 -45 days, However, once conditions have been removed you can physically be in your new home within a week. If the property is tenant occupied, expect 3 to 6 months for possession. Closing dates for foreclosed properties are normally determined by the bank or a judge. 
  • Price: The amount offered for a property is determined by several factors including the sellers and buyers motivation, property condition, location and future resale value. The offer should never be based on what the seller is asking. To ensure that you will not be paying higher than market value, ask your Realtor to complete a Buyers CMA for you.

Step 6: Submitting Offer

Once everything has been agreed upon by the buyer and the seller and all signitures and initials are on the contract, you are now in a pending posistion. This means your offer has been accepted upon your fullfilling the contigencies. Send your offer to your financial institution for the approval. (A pre-approval does not mean the bank has already granted you a mortgage) It needs to go through the system again.

Step 6: Property Inspection

Always have a property inspection especially on character homes and new builds. There is no such thing as a perfect house and a property inspection can save you thousands and thousands of dollars. 

Step 6: Addendums & Amendments

This is the time where you and your Edmonton REALTOR® make any adjustments reguarding the original offer to satisfy your concerns. For example, if the furnace is on its last days, you may want to ask the seller to replace it before you remove your conditions.

Step 6: Condition Removal (The waiver)

Once conditions have been satisfied, there is a final document to be signed called a "waiver". Once signed, you have officially purchased your home. Congratulations!

Other Things You Need To Know

With large real estate companies like our Remax Elite office, we have a conveyancing department that forwards all purchase agreements paperwork including addendums to your lawyer prior to your arrival and has their own trust account to ensure your deposits are secure.

In Alberta, your real estate lawyer will contact you about a week prior to your possession to set a date for you to sign the final paperwork. At this time, you will be asked to bring:

  • The remainder of your downpayment. (Your initial deposit will be added to your downpayment.)
  • An insurance binder (a piece of paper from your insurance company confirming you have proper homeowner insurance)
  • The Lawyers fee and disbursement costs
  • Your identification

Step 7: Possession!

On your closing date (possession day), the buyer's lawyer transfers the mortgage funds to the seller's lawyer. The seller's lawyer contacts the listing agent who contacts your Edmonton REALTOR® and arranges key pickup. This usually happens before noon.

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.