If you are a first-time homebuyer in Calgary, you likely have many questions that need answering! There are many moving parts when it comes to buying a new home, and if this is your first time doing it, you will rely on your REALTOR® to guide you through the process. It’s important to ask the right questions when you begin interviewing real estate agents so that you can feel as confident as possible when it’s time to look at houses, make offers, negotiate, and close the deal. Here are some FAQ’s and answers that can help if you are a first-time homebuyer in Calgary.
Q: How much do I pay a REALTOR® to help me buy?
A buying agent almost always gets paid when the seller’s agent closes the deal, meaning it costs you nothing to have a Calgary REALTOR® show you homes, negotiate on your behalf, write offers, etc. In Alberta, real estate professionals must have a contract with their clients explaining what their services are and the amount they get paid for their services. In short, it costs you nothing as the buyer to have representation.
Q: How much of your business is referral or repeat clients?
Asking this question is one of the best ways to gauge if a REALTOR® is who they say they are. We have built our business here at Realty Unleashed primarily based on referrals and repeat clients. During his MBA, our broker, Chris Squires, made over 300 calls to learn that over 70% of consumers would never use or refer their REALTOR® again, a shocking number considering so many real estate agents claim service to be their main priority. With this in mind, Chris and his co-founder Jen began building Realty Unleashed to help you change what you expect from your REALTOR®. You can read more of our client testimonials here.
Q: Should I get pre-approved before looking at homes?
Yes. Save yourself time and energy by getting a pre-approval letter from a mortgage professional before you even begin looking at homes. Most REALTORS® will ask if you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage before showing you homes because it can be very disheartening for buyers to find a home they love only to discover they cannot afford it. If you are a first-time homebuyer in Calgary, it is good practice that you have a letter of pre-approval to give yourself a leg up in the market.
Q: Is a home inspection non-negotiable?
While you have the option to opt out, you should always get a home inspection. Some first-time homebuyers in Calgary are tempted to skip the inspection, but it is a necessary part of the purchase process. A home inspector’s job is to evaluate potential safety concerns, hazards, or property violations, and they will notify you of any red flags that could come up. Once they give you all of the information they’ve gathered on the home, it’s your choice whether you’d like to move forward with the property. Identifying any potential issues with the property allows you to negotiate repairs with the seller. If your inspector makes you aware of any poor structural designs or leakage in the basement, for example, you can expect to incur high costs later. Investing in a professional to inspect a property may cost you money now, but rest assured that it will save you money in the future.
Q: How much can I expect to pay for the down payment?
The price of your down payment will depend on the purchase price of the home you are buying. A down payment is a portion of the home price that you pay out of your own pocket; this is not part of the mortgage loan. If you are a first-time homebuyer in Calgary, the good news is that you can buy your home with a minimum down payment of 5%; you can learn more about the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive here!
Working with Realty Unleashed
If you are looking for a Calgary REALTOR® to help you in your buying journey, we would love to hear from you! Realty Unleashed has helped many clients buy and sell homes since we opened in 2018, and we would love to be part of helping you in this very exciting time as a first-time homebuyer in Calgary. Please fill out the form below, and someone from our team will get back to you soon!