Purchasing a home, for many, is possibly the biggest financial decision you will ever make. Whether you are a first time home buyer, or if you are a seasoned homeowner and you have made several home purchases, buying a property can be emotionally and financially stressful. There are many factors to consider when buying a property, from financing, picking the right neighbourhoods, the size you need, how much to spend and choosing the right agent to help you through the process.  Our site is designed to help you understand and navigate the process of buying a property, big or small, to live in or if you are making an investment... let us use our experience with hundreds of Buyers since 1998 to help you understand the process and make it EASY to understand.


Step 1 – Determine your Home Buying Criteria

1.1  Tell us what you NEED… and Tell us what you WANT.

Are you tired of paying rent? Have you outgrown your current home? Would you like a larger yard? Would you like to live in a different area? Do you want to move closer to work and shorten your commute? Having a clear sense of your reasons for buying will help you choose the right home.  


1.2   We provide a “Needs Assessment Questionnaire”

This is a working document that we use throughout the process to help determine what your home buying needs are. The document begins when you determine what your wish list is...your needs and wants. Your NEEDS will be different from your WANTS, here are some examples: 


  • Needs:  Number of bedrooms?  Garage?  How many cars?  Neighbourhoods?  Square footage?  Proximity to work/schools?  Price range?  
  • Wants:  Newer kitchen?  Renovated/un-renovated?  Developed basement?  Backyard exposure?  Etc.


1.3   Are you Moving Up? You will need a Current Market Valuation of your home.  We can Help.

Long term Home ownership in Calgary has been a very good investment for many of our clients. Every year you pay down a portion of the initial principal amount of your Mortgage. Over the years you are building up home equity in addition to potential gains added from the market appreciation on your property. Your approximate home equity is a critical piece of the puzzle and your bank will want to know what this amount is if you will require additional financing. 

Step 2 – Mortgage Pre-Approval

Before you begin looking for your dream home, it's a good idea to make some preparations to avoid surprises. 

2.1 Get your Personal Financial Information and Documents in order

One of our expert Mortgage brokers can guide you through the process of obtaining pre-approval. To begin, here is a brief list of the common documents and information the banks will require to secure mortgage financing:

    • Financial statements and Investments
    • Bank account balances
    • Investments 
    • Credit card and/or Line of Credit balances
    • Auto loans 
    • Recent pay stubs 
    • Tax returns for two years
    • Current Mortgage documents (if applicable)
    • Approximate value of your current home (if applicable)
    • Determine funds available for deposit
    • Determine down-payment on new home
    • Determine if interim financing is required.

2.2 Credit Rating and Borrowing History

Your Mortgage specialist will obtain permission to “pull your Credit History”. Your Credit Rating or “FICO score” is based on your current and past credit history, this score will be a factor in what interest rate options the banks will offer you. Poor credit may result in higher interest rates and fewer options.  On the other hand, a good to excellent credit score will result in lower interest rates and banks will compete for your business. Your credit will have a huge impact on interest rates and in turn how much home you are able to buy, and at what price. 

2.3 – Changing Jobs?

If you are planning on making a change in your career path or if you are thinking of changing employers, now might not be the best time to make a change. If you see a potential change in employment in the next 6 months, consult your mortgage specialist about how this may affect your financial picture.

2.4 Be Careful with your Finances

Now is not a good time to make sudden large purchases that require financing.  Decide to lease a new car, finance that new TV or home entertainment system… you may be creating some major issues with your bank at closing time. You want to approach home buying from a position of financial stability. 

Step 3 – Choose the Right Real Estate Agent

3.1 Make it Easy, let a Professional help Simplify the Process

this process requires making many important financial decisions, understanding complex issues and completing a lot of paperwork. It helps to have an expert in your corner when undertaking such a large purchase. Our informed and experienced real estate agents can guide you through the process. We can provide instant access to all of the new listings that suit your needs before many buyers in the general market are even aware of them. 

3.2 Choose the Right Agent

You may not feel that choosing, or committing to, an Agent is important. Some people don’t use an Agent to purchase a property and still have “relatively” smooth transactions. However, if you knew that by choosing the right Real Estate Agent they could help you find the right house, save you time and possibly thousands of dollars, wouldn’t you want to make that choice? The right agent will have the experience to deal with the dozens of potential issues that can arise during the process and provide solutions to keep you moving towards your goals. The best part is that all these services come at no cost to you, the Buyer. In Alberta, Sellers typically pay the sales commissions… the choice seems clear, having an agent in your corner is the right decision. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a Real Estate Agent: 

    • Look for a full-time agent who has experience completing transactions similar to yours. Don’t stop looking until you find the right one.
    • Ask how much time the agent will have for youDo they have a team? Ask if they have administrative support.
    • Ask about their credentials and education: A good agent will continually strive to improve and gain knowledge of the latest real estate trends. 
    • Does the agent return your calls promptly? Time is money when attempting to buy a home.
    • Ask for a list of homes they've sold recently or a list of references. 
    • MOST IMPORTANTLY - Choose an agent who listens attentively to your needs and concerns. Pick an agent you feel comfortable with, one who is able to make suggestions and recommend “course corrections” along the way to achieve your goals. Finding a home is a process, it is not a single event.

3.3 Commit to an Agent and that Agent will Commit to YOU.

Once you have selected your Real Estate Agent, they will help you to narrow down your search, making sure that you see the best properties to suit your needs. Industry guidelines have changed recently and all consumers are being provided with more information and transparency regarding how the home buying process works. RECA states:

Effective July 1, 2014, the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) will require industry members who establish a client relationship when trading in residential real estate, property management, or when dealing in mortgages to enter into a written service agreement with that client. Written service agreements help ensure the role of an industry professional is clear , and when clients are better informed, there is less confusion and typically, fewer disputes.

Written service agreements help industry professionals clearly and confidently communicate with clients about:

    • the relationship between the parties;
    • the services to be provided by the brokerage;
    • the obligations and responsibilities of the parties;
    • consent for collection, use and distribution of personal information of the client;
    • method of calculation of remuneration or how the industry professional will be compensated

Step 4 – The Search Begins! Time to Find your Dream Home.

Depending on your time frame for buying a property, we will determine the best possible time to go look at the list of properties you want to view. We will ensure that you have enough time scheduled to view each one in detail. Here are some of our recommendations based on our experience with hundreds of buyers:


  1. Review your Search Results - Review all of the properties we send you from your customized and personal home search portal.
  2. Take a Drive - Get to know the neighborhoods you are interested in. Drive around and get a feel for what it would be like to live in the area. Start getting a sense of the schools, amenities and the homes available that have been sent to you from your customized searches in those neighborhoods.
  3. Create your List of FavoritesIn your custom search, select the homes that interest you the most and have us make appointments to visit them. Depending on how many homes are available, we often recommend having a “possible” list too.
  4. Showing Tours - It is best to begin with the favorites list first, 95% of the time the homes you like best online are also homes you like in person, in our experience. 
      • If you have a long list we recommend a maximum of 8-10 properties per showing tour. Seeing more than this at any given time almost always results in information overload and all the properties blend together.  
      • We recommend a schedule based on seeing 3-4 homes per hour for your first look.
      • We will point out the pros and cons of every home that we view, making sure that the important details are not missed, allowing you to make an informed decision.
      • If the market allows for it, we suggest that we book “second showings” for the homes that you are seriously considering.  This gives us the chance to take more time to learn as much as possible and determine if one of these homes is in fact “The ONE”. 

Step 5 – Time to Make an Offer!

5.1 – You Have Found “The ONE”

Once we have finished viewing your list of available homes and we have found “The ONE’, it is time to write an offer. We will thoroughly guide you through the market evaluation process and help determine what “fair market value” is for the home, offering suggestions on how to best structure an offer based on current market conditions and to make an informed decision.  

5.2 – Make a CLEAN Offer

Once we determine the price you would like to pay we will determine a negotiation strategy that will provide us the best chance of achieving the price, conditions and terms that you find acceptable. Our best chance of success is submitting a clean offer. This is a contract that is clear and concise, one that protects you AND one that a seller can accept with confidence and have clarity of expectations. The four main components of an offer are as follows:

    • Price
    • Deposit amount
    • Conditions and Terms
    • Possession date

5.3 – Protect Yourself

Your offer should contain conditions that protect you. The Condition period allows you a set amount of time, typically 5-7 business days, to allow you to protect your interests and complete your due diligence. The contract is not a “firm” legally enforceable contract until the conditions are removed, via waiver, after they have been fulfilled to your satisfaction. Conditions can come in many forms for many reasons however the most common conditions we see today are:

        • Property Inspection Condition
        • Financing Condition
        • Condominium Documents Condition (if applicable)

5.4 - Accepted Offer!  What’s Next? 

A “Conditional Sale” occurs once we have agreed on terms, conditions and price with the Seller and it is now time for us to get to work. Depending on the conditions you have agreed to in your purchase contract, now is the time to address them. We have a limited time to do this and a good agent can keep the wheels moving and work within this timeframe.

    • With a Financing Condition we will immediately send your Mortgage Specialist all of the paperwork required to finalize the approval process and help coordinate any additional requests. The final approval is based on your pre-approval information, the contract, the house itself and occasionally an appraisal.
    • With a Property Inspection Condition we can recommend a Certified Home Inspector.  We recommend only the most experienced, highly trained inspectors in the city. These inspectors use the latest tools and technology during the inspection to provide you the most comprehensive report possible. 
    • With a Condominium Documents Condition we recommend having the documents professionally reviewed. This review looks at the overall financial and physical health of the building and will provide insight into whether the Condo Corporation is being managed proactively and if they are protecting the investment of every owner by maintaining the property following provincial legislation.

If you run into issues with any of your conditions, as your Agents we will help you to find the best solutions to resolve the issues so that you can either decide to buy the property or, if there are too many problems, we can help you to exit the transaction as well with no penalty.

5.5 – Removal of Conditions… it’s SOLD!

Once all conditions have been fulfilled to your satisfaction, we send a waiver to the seller removing your conditions.  Once this waiver is sent we have a FIRM contract where both you and the seller are legally committed to the agreed price, possession and terms outlined in the contract.

Step 6 – It’s Closing Time!

6.1 Your Tasks before Closing Day

Our team will guide you through the process and send reminders of important meetings and timelines and explain the process up to closing day.  We will also be sending you a comprehensive moving checklist that includes information on setting up utilities and services, forwarding mail and setting up insurance.

6.2– Meeting with a Lawyer

The lawyers will deal with executing the contract, transferring title, registering your mortgage and transferring all funds to the seller’s lawyer on closing day. We are able to recommend an excellent Real Estate lawyer with competitive pricing.

6.3 - Taking Possession

All properties transfer ownership at noon on the day of possession as long as all terms in the contract have been met by all parties and the lawyers agree that everything is in place. As your Real Estate Professionals, we have the experience to navigate any obstacles and work with your Lawyer to ensure that your closing goes smoothly and the keys are released and available to you on time. We do a comprehensive walk through of your new home to ensure all goods included are present and there is no damage to the home.  Don’t expect problems, however if there are concerns we will advise you on your options and help find solutions to remedy any issues.

Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.