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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.

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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 areal estate investment.


Pros & Cons of Homeownership

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.


What You Need For A Mortgage Pre-approval

Step 3: Find a Realtor

Take the time to research to interview a few agents who you feel will best represent you. 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.


*Questions to ask when interviewing a Buyers Agent 

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 Edmonton Realtor 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 Realtor and ask them to set up the showings. "


Start Your Edmonton House Hunting Today

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 through 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.


*How to write the right offer


Step 6: Condition Removal

Once the offer is accepted with agreed-upon terms, conditions, deposits, price and possession, it is time to proceed with satisfying your conditions. If you already have your financing in place, this can be completed within 1-3 days. Next is to arrange a home inspection with a certified licenced home inspector prior to your condition removal date. If you are purchasing a condominium, ensure you have received all condominium documents and there is sufficient time allotted for your lawyer to review them. 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 in Edmonton like Remax, we have a conveyancing department that forwards all purchase agreements paperwork including addendums to your lawyer prior to your arrival.


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


On your closing date, the buyer's lawyer transfers the mortgage funds to the seller's lawyer. The seller's lawyer contacts the listing agent who contacts your Realtor and arranges key pickup. This usually happens before noon unless there has been some type of delay.


*Issues at closing (possession)


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

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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 real estate agent is a set of skills that make them a top choice when you’re looking to buy a home. So what are these skills? They’ll vary depending on your needs and your personality, but at the very minimum, you should choose a real estate agent who has these five key qualities.


Good communication

Communication is a key factor in a real estate transaction and being comfortable with your Realtor is key. 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. If you are really social, choose an expressive agent. These Edmonton Realtors can be found via Facebook and are usually dressed in bright colours.


Top 12 Questions to ask a Realtor when Buying

1. How long have you been a Realtor in Edmonton?

Agents that have been in the business for a while will be able to anticipate problems before they arise.

2. Do you have a real estate speciality?

Most experienced Edmonton Realtors have a speciality from condominiums to luxury home sales.

3. 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.

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

If you enter an agent-buyer relationship 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.

5. 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.

6. How does your commission work?

As with any financial transaction, get a good understanding of how your agent is compensated before entering into a relationship with them.

7. Can you explain the home buying process from start to finish?

The process can be long and complicated for first-time homebuyers. Ask your agent to explain the process to you from beginning to end, and take notes, being sure to ask for clarifications you need along the way.

8. 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.

9. Do you work on weekends?

Ensure that the availability to show you properties works for both you and your Edmonton Realtor.

10. 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"

11. Will you provide a CMA for this house?

A CMA or comparative market analysis can help you determine fair market value and determine if it is priced accurately.

12. Do you work full-time or part-time as an agent?

Edmonton Remax Realtors are full-time agents who are more likely to be able to devote more time to work for you than someone who is pursuing real estate on the side.


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

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Where to get a mortgage preapproval

You can get a mortgage preapproval from mortgage lenders, banks, credit unions and other financial institutions. Different lenders may have different interest rates and conditions for similar products. Talk to several lenders to make sure you’re getting the best mortgage product for your needs. It’s important to be comfortable with the lender and the mortgage options they offer you, right from the start. Payout penalties, delaying mortgage payments (if needed), terms and qualifications, the amount of time for a held interest rate in a mortgage agreement will vary with the financial institution.


A mortgage preapproval checklist

Purchasing a home is an exciting process, but gathering all the required documents can be a daunting task. Below is a mortgage document checklist will help you ensure that you have the documentation you need.


  • Employment and Income Verification (Usually last 3 years when self-employed)
  • Confirmation of your down payment or a gift letter
  • Current employment and amount of other monthly income
  • Savings or investments statements within the last 90 days
  • Copy of recent payslips
  • Evidence of recent pay deposited
  • T1 General and associated Notice of Assessment (NOA)
  • Withdrawals from RRSP through the Home Buyer’s Plan, if applicable
  • Previous employment (if required)
  • Additional income sources (if any)
  • Basic financials property details
  • A list of current assets and liabilities 
  • Bank account and transit number for payments
  • A copy of the accepted purchase and sale agreement including the property’s full address, legal description and postal code along with estimated property tax estimates, condo fees and/or heating costs
  • For rural properties, well and septic certificates

Our RE/MAX Realtors have several in-house mortgage brokers to help our clients. Contact us today for a list of recommended associates.

This pre-approval process does not guarantee your approval for a mortgage. Once you have a written offer, both the offer and your financial assessment will go through another check.


IMPORTANT: Do not make any large purchases until you have physically moved into your new home and the title has been transferred. A financial institution reserves the right to pull the mortgage away from you even on possession day. This is usually done due to a job loss or a double check on your credit.

Free Mortgage Preapprovals

Have one of our RE/MAX in-house mortgage brokers contact you for a free ;pre-approval. Simply contact us and we will put you in touch with a mortgage specilists with great interest rates.at your preferred financial intitution.

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"Home Sweet Home" & Covid 19

During the pandemic, Canadians' homes became offices, movie theatres, classrooms, gyms, and "staycation" destinations. As Canadians spent more time at home out of necessity, renovations, additions, moves, and upgrades soared.


According to a recent survey conducted by the Royal Bank of Canada, 40 percent of respondents renovated their property or intended to during the pandemic. And 30 percent intended to purchase significant items for their home


Here is how we have reinvented our houses in Edmonton indoors & outdoors:


Home offices became essential workspaces and online schools. Backyard sheds, spare bedrooms, and attics were remodeled into home offices and schoolrooms. Garages and basements were converted to home gyms. Gardening became a new trending hobby for many Edmontonians and RV became a hot item for nearby camping.



The demand for new homes with potential basement suites and side entrances skyrocketed. Houses with triple garages and acreages within a half-hour of our city also became hot items with the trend still continuing. Another increase in Edmonton home sales is near our river valleys in the Riverbend, Terwillegar, and Riverview districts. 


Condominium owners fell short to make a profit in this pandemic in Edmonton and unless your condo was priced to sell, it sat on the market for a long period of time. Many Edmonton condo owners chose to rent out their units and take advantage of the low-interest rates to purchase a single-family detached house with still acquiring some residual income.

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Top Benefits of New Home Buying

From lower upfront maintenance costs to design flexibility, new construction can provide opportunities for homebuyers navigating a low inventory market. While some homebuyers are holding out for the right house to become available – one with historic charm, outdoor space, square footage, or whatever they’re seeking – others are skipping the search and going straight to new construction. Not only can buyers customize the home to meet most or all of their needs as well as their wants, negotiating the contract can be less complicated. For Edmonton new home buyers struggling to find their dream home in a current low inventory market, Our RE/MAX real estate agents share the top benefits of new construction home.

Less bidding wars when purchasing an Edmonton new build

One of the biggest advantages of new construction is that homes are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. That means no bidding wars – and no need to waive an inspection, appraisal, or other contingencies to make an offer stand out. Appraisers often look at what similar homes in the area have sold for in recent months to help determine a home’s value. That means if it’s been a while since another home has sold in a particular neighborhood, an appraiser may be using outdated information to price a listing in the resale market. Because multiple units are often sold in a new build development section at once, appraisers typically have several recent comparable properties to consider when setting a price for a new construction home.

New constructions homes are more energy-efficient and require less maintenance

An important consideration in any real estate purchase is how much maintenance the buyer is interested in taking on. DIY-enthusiasts may enjoy making an older home their own, while some buyers would prefer something more turnkey. Although all homes in Edmonton will require maintenance at some point, new construction usually requires less upfront work when it comes to upkeep. A new built should come with an Alberta home warranty.
New construction can also offer the advantage of new technology and energy efficiency. Some enhancements can be added to older houses, but it may take more time for the homeowner to recoup the cost of the updates.

Your new Edmonton home will check all the boxes

What I love about new construction is that for the most part, clients get exactly what they want and don’t have to settle for the resale dwelling that didn’t have that extra room or the countertop the way they wanted. Many builders offer a base model with several options for customizations and enhancements. Sometimes buyers may be able to change a layout of a room by moving a wall or adding windows for more daylight.


Although most Alberta builders don’t negotiate the price of design elements, a Realtor can advise which features are worth paying for upfront, and which ones can be upgraded at a later date. Builders will rarely allow buyers to bring in their own contractors during the construction process, but it still may be less expensive to update features – such as flooring – after closing.


You can still leverage the guidance and expertise of our Remax Realtors

A new construction project can differ from purchasing a home on the resale market in several ways – but the value our experienced Realtors can bring to the transaction remains the same. The benefit of having an experienced Edmonton Realtor in new construction is having someone to fight on your side when construction isn’t going like it should and knowing your real estate agent is working on your behalf and NOT the builders. A new build purchase has many of the same milestones as an existing home purchase – such as the appraisal, inspection, and, of course, closing date.


The most important thing to keep in mind when purchasing new construction is patience. Although some builders have completed properties ready for move-in, buyers looking for a custom new build home should plan on at least 8 months to a full year for construction completion. But while a buyer is waiting, their current home could be already growing in value. Once a new development sells out one section of homes, they often sell the next group for a higher price.


See all MLS listed new builds in Edmonton

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How Realtors help Edmonton home buyers

There are several reasons why buyers prefer to work with real estate agents when buying a home, even when a buyer has sold their existing home via "For Sale by Owner". A few of these reasons include knowledge of the ever-changing markets, expertise in both negotiations and communities, experience and exclusive real estate tools.



A large portion of Canadian Real Estate Agents has earned their ABR (Accredited Buyers Representation) designation, which means, these REALTORS® have completed the education needed to service buyers with a higher standard. REALTORS® who are representing buyers expect to get paid for their services at some point in time. It is usually within a few weeks of the buyer taking possession of their new home. In the province of Alberta and to ensure real estate agents are compensated for their services, a mandated agreement by RECA (Real Estate Council of Alberta) will need to be signed. It explains how much, the term of the agreement, what services will be provided and other relevant information.


If you have questions - ASK. Never sign anything you do not fully understand. Real Estate Agents deal with forms on a daily basis, and most of us can explain listing and purchase agreements without even looking at them. A good REALTOR® should have gone through each agreement and address questions or concerns you may have had. Near the bottom of both the Buyers Agreement and Sellers Agreement, there is an acknowledgement clause prior to signature placement. In an Exclusive Buyer Representative Agreement, it states...


  • 14.1 You acknowledge that:
  • (a) you have read this agreement.
  • (b) you have received and read the Guide.
  • (c) this agreement creates a sole agency relationship with us, as the Guide describes.
  • (d) you had the opportunity to get independent advice from a lawyer before signing this agreement.
  • (e) this agreement accurately sets out what we and you agree to.

This means you can obtain legal prior to signing or you may want to take the agreement home to read over more thoroughly. These agreements are not rocket science, but knowing what you are signing is important.


  • REAL ESTATE TIP#1: "The Guide" is referring to the Consumer Relation Guide which explains how the professional relationship including fiduciary duties and the real estate agency will interact with each other.
  • REAL ESTATE TIP#2: Buyers Real Estate Agents, normally do not charge an extra fee above what is offered by a seller, unless otherwise agreed in writing.

Have a real estate question? We are here to help. Contact us anytime

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Questions to Ask a Buyers Real Estate Agent

Below is a great question list for all Edmonton new home buyers. Purchasing a home is one of the largest investments you will make in your lifetime. Choose your REALTOR carefully. Don't be afraid to ask questions.




What type of properties do you mostly sell?


Purchasing a single-family detached house is different from buying a condominium, new builds or luxury properties. It is important that the Edmonton Real Estate Agent you choose has in-depth knowledge of the type of property you are planning on purchasing.


What is your negotiation style and experience in multiple offer situations?


Even in a buyers market, you may be in a multiple offer situation and great negotiating agents have personalized techniques for winning bidding wars. Some agents can be too aggressive and will lose due to their unlikeability, other agents can be too passive. Choose a real estate agent who is creative and on your side.


How many homes did you sell last year?


This is a very important question. The average real estate agent in Edmonton sells about 8 properties a year. Some agents will sell over 100 properties per year. If you want a REALTOR® who will spend time with you, is knowledgeable and experience, choosing a real estate agent who sells 25-50 homes a year is your best bet.


Do you have other professionals you work with on a regular basis?


Again, another very important question. Agents have relationships with other real estate providers and depending on how this question is answered, it will give you an insight on how long they have been in real estate, but more importantly on how they conduct their business.


Are you a full-time real estate agent?


Not all Real Estate Agents are full-time REALTORS®. You don’t want someone doing this part-time or as a hobby. Looking at properties for fun is not the same as having fun when looking at homes. When viewing homes, great Edmonton real estate agents will point out the flaws of each home and they all have them, not commenting on how pretty the bedroom is set up. All REMAX Realtors® are full-time agents.


Do you normally work in my price range?


Most Edmonton real estate agents work a wide range of prices, but if they usually help home buyers purchase million-dollar homes, you might not be a top priority. Similarly, if you want to purchase new build homes and they normally work on older properties, the agent may not have the right connections for Edmonton home builders.


Will I be required to sign a buyers brokerage agreement?


If any Edmonton Real Estate Agents answers "No", find another REALTOR®. The Canadian Real Estate of Alberta has mandated to work with all residential buyers under an agreement. There are 2 types of agreements - Exclusive & Non-Exclusive.


Do I have to work with your recommended service providers?


If the agents say “yes”, it’s illegal. Find another REALTOR®. Good real estate agents in Edmonton should have solid recommendations for other service providers, but you should never feel pressured to use their recommendation. A good agent doesn’t do everything on their own. They have a team of other professionals including mortgage brokers, home inspector, contractors, Conveyancers, real estate lawyers, etc.


Can I review all documents before I sign them?


A good real estate agent will take the time to explain the documents and provide you with ample time to review important documents. Never feel pressured into signing. Real Estate Contracts are a binding agreement and it is important you understand them thoroughly prior to signing.


Do you use e-signature or DocuSign?


An e-signature is an electronic signature and gives you an indication of how internet-savvy the real estate agent is. the electronic signature also eliminates the need to print, fax, scan, and ship documents and are time documented. During this conversation, your agent will also mention auto-prospecting, which is a system to keep you updated the moment a new home that meets your criteria arrives on the Edmonton or surrounding area market.


How long have you been a licensed real estate agent?


This question is one that cannot be missed. Experience in the real estate industry is important. The longer a real estate agent has been selling real estate, the more transactions they have likely completed.


Do you attend the inspections?


Again - a very important question. (especially with new homes). When a concern arises during your home inspection, your agent will be there, as a professional working in your best interest, to ask the inspector the right questions to help you make an informed decision about the property.


LEARN MORE ON HOW TO BUY A HOUSE IN EDMONTON

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Do you really need a property inspection when purchasing a home in Edmonton?

A real estate property home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. It is for the sole benefit of the purchaser and is usually subcontracted to a certified licensed residential real estate inspector, paid for by the buyer, and can take one to four hours depending on the size and condition of the property. At the end of your inspection, a standard home inspector’s report will be supplied covering the condition of the home.



A home inspection can identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights which can lead to unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties in the future. Buying a home can be the largest single investment you will make and spending a few hundred dollars for peace of mind is money well spent.


Home inspection components covered include:

  • heating system including furnace and hot water tank
  • the central air conditioning system
  • carbon monoxide and fire alarm detectors
  • interior plumbing using both visual and water residue tools
  • mold issues and water damage
  • electrical systems
  • the roof & attic
  • visible insulation of walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors using a thermal ray tool
  • foundation & basement
  • other structural components which may need major repair or replacement.

Depending on your chosen property inspector, there may be some things that will not be inspected such as things that can not be seen visually and appliances. You may want to check that these chattels are in working order.


Foreclosures:

If a home inspection is not allowed on a bank foreclosure offer to purchase, it is still a good idea to have one done, prior to putting in an offer.


New Homes:

In Alberta, builders must supply a new home warranty at closing, however, new homes should ALWAYS have a home inspection done. Building a house takes time and there are always things that get missed. It is easier to address these concerns before you remove your inspection condition.


What if the report reveals problems? No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t buy the house. Talk it over with your real estate agent. There are a few options to address any concerns you have.

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Welcome to our Open House!

When real estate agents host an open house, the ultimate goal is to sell the home. The agent who is hosting the open house is representing the seller, has already spent time and money making the property show its best and anyone who walks through the door needs to understand, the agent will be asking you questions.




If you are only looking for decorating ideas or you are already under a Buyer's Brokerage Agreement, let the hosting real estate agent know as soon as you walk through the door. We have Rules, Regulations and a code of Ethics, whereof, we are not allowed to interfere with other REALTORS® Clients. However, if you are not currently working with a real estate agent, REALTORS® are always looking for new business and will be able to answer questions you may have.


If you are interested in the property under a buyer brokerage agreement with another agent and would like more information on the home, call your current agent. Anything you tell the hosting real estate agent may be disclosed to the sellers and in the event, you write an offer on this property, information can be used against you in negotiations. It is our job to work in the best interest of our clients which would include informing the sellers of all interested parties.


Real Estate Agents are also responsible for ensuring the proper care of the home while showing. If you have children, please hold their hands and don't be offended if the REALTOR® is following you everywhere.


If you are just starting your new home search and would like a list of upcoming open houses in Edmonton or need a real estate buyer representative to help you through the process (for free), contact us. If you are like most home buyers today and want to do more research on buying a home in Edmonton, be sure to check out our blogs on "Buying Houses in Edmonton".


Also, see "HOW TO HOLD A PRODUCTIVE OPEN HOUSE"

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Buying a Condominium in Edmonton?

When deciding between purchasing a single-family house or a condominium, one of the largest factors is the price. Currently, in Edmonton, there is a surplus of condominiums for sale and are a great real estate investment whether you are a first-time buyer or are looking for residual income as a rental property.



Purchasing a condominium in Edmonton comes with both perks and downfalls, especially if you are not familiar with the history of the condominium. When you buy a condo, you are buying a share in the complex, similar to other investments, you will own a portion of the common area - both capital gains and loses. If you are familiar with what you need to know before purchasing an Edmonton condominium, you are leaps ahead. The first thing you need to know is your money (condominium fees) will be spent.


Condominium Bylaws


The bylaws may also play a key part in purchasing a condominium. Bylaws overall are pretty standard, but read them anyway or take them to your lawyer to read. There may be items in there which can be important to a buyer which may have been overlooked. A few examples are: No pets allowed, Extra costs occurred as a rental property, or no bar-b-ques allowed on a balcony. If you have any concerns with the bylaws, feel free to contact the management companies and ask questions.


Condominium Fees


Depending on the type of condominium you are purchasing, will depend on what the condo fees cover. Sometimes these fees only cover exterior maintenance. Complexes with more amenities such as exercise rooms and pools will always have higher fees due to the maintenance cost of purchasing a condo with several units is, in the event, there is a special assessment on the building, the cost is shared by a larger number of people.


Reserve Fund Study


A Reserve Fund Study is one of the most important documents. With every condominium complex in Alberta, it is now mandatory to have a new Reserve Fund Study completed every five years (New condos are exempt until they are five years). The reserve fund study is a physical study completed on the building and indicates any foreseen structural issues with the building. It is laid out in the same manner as any business plan with predictions of structural deficiencies and repairs and how they will affect condo fees.


Condominium Documents


There are several documents to review prior to purchasing a condo in Edmonton Alberta. Like any investments, it is extremely important to view the financials of the complex. Below is a list which you should add as a "Satisfactory Review" condition to your purchase to offer.


  • a statement setting out the amount of any contributions due and payable in respect of the unit
  • the particulars of:
    • i. any action commenced against the corporation and served on the corporation
    • ii. any unsatisfied judgment or order for which the corporation is liable
    • iii. any written demand made on the corporation for an amount in excess of $5,000 that, if not met, may result in any action being brought against the corporation
  • the particulars of, or a copy of, any subsisting management agreement
  • the particulars of, or a copy of, any subsisting recreational agreement
  • the particulars of any post-tensioned cables located anywhere on or within the property that is included in the condominium plan
  • a copy of the budget of the corporation
  • a copy of the most recent financial statements, if any, of the corporation, including the most recent year-end and month-end statements
  • a copy of the bylaws of the corporation
  • a copy of the most recent approved and most recent draft minutes of the annual general meeting
  • a copy of the minutes and draft minutes of meetings of the board of directors of the corporation for not less than the past 12 months
  • a statement setting out the amount of the capital replacement reserve fund
  • a copy of the reserve fund report
  • a copy of the reserve fund plan
  • a statement setting out the amount of the monthly contribution (commonly referred to as condominium fee) and the basis on which that amount was determined
  • a statement setting out any structural deficiencies that the corporation has knowledge of, at the time of the request, in any of the buildings that are included in the condominium plan
  • a copy of any lease agreement or exclusive use agreement with respect to the possession of a portion of the common property, including a parking stall or storage space
  • a copy of the registered condominium plan
  • a copy of the condominium additional plan sheet certificate (CADS)
  • a copy of the insurance certificate
  • the amount of any homeowner association fee
  • a copy of any proposed special resolution awaiting a vote
  • a copy of any easement, covenants and restrictions (ECR) agreement
  • a copy of any other building or site report such as a building assessment report, building envelope report, geotechnical report, technical audit, performance audit
  • any other relevant information
 

We know that buying a condo in Edmonton is a bit more complicated than purchasing a single-family home, that is why, here at RE/MAX, we want you to feel confident with the ins and outs of buying a condo. Never hesitate to call us at 780-237-7074 if you have any questions or concerns during your buying process we are here to help.


SEARCH EDMONTON TOWNHOUSES & ROW HOMES FOR SALE

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How to get Mortgage Pre-Approvals

Depending on who you have chosen, for your Edmonton Realtor, the brokerage may have several in-house mortgage brokers or you can make an appointment with your current financial institution with a mortgage specialist.



A mortgage pre-approval is the mortgage underwriting approval process, which consists of gathering all necessary paperwork, prior to house shopping. This paperwork will consist of the last two years of your T4's or last 3 years if you are self-employed, most recent paystub, confirmation of downpayment and closing costs, all debts including support payments, charge card debts and vehicle payments, other income, and any other relevant documentation.


Once all of the paperwork is gathered, it is sent to the underwriter who will review it, check your credit and take into consideration any other factors which will affect your debt ratios.

STEP BY STEP PROCESS IN HOME BUYING


REAL ESTATE TIP: When you have completed your pre-approval process, this does not guarantee you will be approved for your home. If anything changes or if a "surprises" arrives prior to possession of your new home, your financial institution can still pull your mortgage pre-approval.


If you are putting less than 20% down you will need to pay a CHMC Fee. This is an insurance fee for your financial institution and can be rolled into your mortgage. Rule of thumb. The higher your down payment, the lower the CHMC Fee.


If your credit is border-line, it is great to have a mortgage broker who has personally met you and is willing to vouch for you to the underwriter if needed. All mortgage lenders have, at least internally, a turn time." That is simply the time from submission to underwriter review and their decision. The turn time can be affected by a number of factors big and small. However, if you go to a big bank you can expect a more lengthy approval process and may not make your condition deadline. It is what they do. Let your agent know whether you are using a mortgage broker or someone at your financial institution.


Once the underwriter has had time to review the documents, they will typically issue one of three dispositions - approved, denied or suspended - to your application. If approved underwriting will typically assign a set of conditions you will need to clear to obtain full approval. Clarification on a late payment, a large deposit, past life transgression or simply a missed signature here or there is normal requests. If suspended, which is not completely unusual, underwriting is confused and needs clarification on something.

RECEIVE A FREE MORTGAGE PREAPPROVAL TODAY

REAL ESTATE TIP: Once you have approval from your bank, ask them to send you and your real estate agent something in writing and remove your finance condition. Congratulations, you are now a real homeowner.

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Are You Paying too Much for Your Edmonton Home?

Before you offer any seller a price for a property, there are a few facts you should know. The asking price or the city assessment of a property does not necessarily reflect the "market value" of the home. Below are a few questions you should check into prior to making an offer.



Is the property tax assessment accurate? If not, find out why


For the city of Edmonton, you can find out the tax assessment value of any residential property at https://maps.edmonton.ca/map.aspx. Although the amount the city thinks the property is worth does not necessarily reflect the true value. It is only used as a starting point.


Are real estate prices going up or coming down?


What is the latest real estate trend in that community? To determine if Edmonton community property values are going down or to tell if it is becoming one of Edmonton's hot spots, use the absorption rate tool.


How much was the bank property appraisal?


Financial institutions base their appraisals on the "Emily System", which is an accumulation of recently sold comparable properties. If there are no relevant sold Edmonton properties or if your home is more unique, independent appraisers can do a "cost to replace" appraisal. A good Edmonton real estate agent will complete a "Sold Comparative Market Analysis" (CMA) for you, prior to submitting an offer to purchase.


Is the property staged to avoid any defects?


Don't be fooled by the staging in a property. This is one of the biggest mistakes a buyer can make. When viewing a home, overlooking the nice furniture and freshly painted walls. Take a close look at the overall condition of the property. An easy way to know if a dwelling is shifting is to open and close the windows and doors.


Do you know what a realistic offer should look like?


No matter if you are buying a home in Edmonton in a buyers market or a seller's market. Submitting a realistic offer is important. When a home is priced accordingly to the real estate market, don't try to "low ball" the seller, you will end up paying more because you have insulted them. Do your research.


For more information on submitting real estate offers in Edmonton and find an experienced buyer's agent, contact an Edmonton Remax Agent.

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Should I get title insurance in place of a real property report?

If possible, it is best to have a current Real Property Report with compliance when buying or selling a home to ensure all property buildings are within the municipality guidelines. If an RPR is not an option, title insurance is a good substitute.


Title insurance without a Real Property Report and compliance is acceptable to most major mortgage lenders and will often provide coverage for the lender for known defects. Unlike other insurance products, there is only one premium paid at the time of closing which provides coverage to the owner throughout their ownership of the property. It also offers a wide range of protection for issues that are not covered by an RPR and compliance.


Title Insurance Benefits include

  • Intervening registrations – Anything registered on the title between the time the lawyer submits to the Land Titles Office and the time of actual registration.
  • Unknown Liens, encumbrances, tax arrears or defects in the title to a property.
  • Unknown special assessments on condos that were implemented prior to closing.
  • If an RPR or compliance is not obtained, it covers any defects that would have been revealed by an accurate up-to-date RPR and compliance.
  • The forced removal of an existing structure with the exception of a boundary wall or fence where there is only limited coverage
  • Forced compliance with work orders or deficiencies on an existing building permit.
  • Loss of priority due to matters such as construction liens, agreements on a title, and other mortgages.
  • Another party claims an interest in the property.
  • Protection against title defects or encumbrances that were unknown or undiscovered at the time of closing.
  • Protection against identity theft, mortgage fraud, and fraud against the title.
  • Cost savings. Typically, the cost for title insurance is far less than the cost of an RPR and compliance and is available on short notice

Drawbacks of Title Insurance

  • It is an insurance product. This means when an issue arises, it may not be covered by the policy and if there is coverage the insurer can decide the method used to solve the issue which may not be the preferred choice of the insured party.
  • There is a lack of disclosure and certainty, especially for the buyer, at the time of closing. If an issue is discovered later, it is more difficult to pursue the seller for a fix after closing.
  • There is no coverage for known defects, except for some coverage for the lender only.
  • There must be some form of enforcement or government action to trigger coverage in most cases. For example, the previous owner did renovations that do not meet the requirements of the building permit or development permit. The title insurance will only pay for the cost to fix these deficiencies if there is some form of enforcement and not simply due to the deficiencies.
  • It does not guarantee that all structures will remain in the current state. For example, if the municipality mandates the alteration or destruction of a certain structure, the title insurance company may pay for the cost of appealing that decision however they cannot guarantee a favourable result.
  • The coverage of Title Insurance is for the buyer only (not the seller).
  • If a buyer or their lawyer purchases a lender only policy that is sufficient to close the deal however the buyer still has no title insurance protection.
  • There is no specific protection or coverage for the seller. If a claim is made and the title insurance company determines it is the seller who created the deficiency, the title insurance company can pursue the seller for recovery of the costs they have paid.
  • In most instances, title insurance only defers the need to deal with a particular issue. It does not solve it. The issues will still be there when the property is resold.
  • Title insurance cannot be passed onto a new owner. Every new owner must purchase their own policy.


For more information on real property reports and the effects on the resale of your residential dwellings and a free Edmonton Home Evaluation, contact one of Remax Elite Realtors.

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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.