Learn How to Write a Real Estate Offer to Purchase
As a buyer, when writing an offer on a property, you want to be able to pay the least possible amount for your
home. Sometimes buyers will offer 5-10% off of an asking price for no reason other than they were told to by a "friend" This is so silly You may want to offer more, you may want to offer less. The only way to make a reasonable offer is to do your homework.
REAL ESTATE TIP #1 - What the seller paid for their home is irrelevant.
REAL ESTATE TIP #2 - What the seller is asking for their home is also irrelevant.
Knowing why a seller is selling is always helpful when you make an offer, but this information is protected by the sellers real estate unless it is allowed in writing to be disclosed. However knowing the reason for selling is still irrelevant on the true market value of the home, as is the asking price. There are several things to take into consideration, prior to making an offer on any home.
- Market Conditions: Is it a buyers market or a seller's market? Knowing what type of real estate market you are in will help you choose an initial offer price. Completing a community absorption rate is the easiest way to know.
- Possession Date: Edmonton Real Estate Agents have access to this information and as a rule of thumb, the quicker, the possession date, the more motivated the seller is. Most homeowners in Edmonton have a 30-day negotiable possession date. If a longer possession date or a set date is asked for, this is an indication which the seller needs a specific date and can be more important than price. Keep in mind, if the property is tenant occupied, tenants do have a 90-day tenant-right. Normally, homeowners with tenant occupied properties or vacant property are more motivated.
- History: Your REALTOR® will know the history of this home. How long the sellers have owned the property, how long they have been trying to sell it and if there have been any price adjustments. Your real estate agent is also required to pull the title of the property which will indicate any recent financial debts including the current mortgage to ensure there will be enough funds to close on possession date.
- Condition and Size: Size is a factor of price more in places like China than Edmonton. The value of a home is in the condition. You may want to go back into the home to take a better look at the overall condition. Is the flooring laminate or hardwood? Are the faucets Walmart or Moen? Has the yard been meticulously maintained properly or neglected? Will you be replacing any fixtures, chattels, windows, shingles in the near future? Look at the property through the eyes of your experienced real estate agent. They will notice things you don't.
- Complete a Buyers Comparative Market Analysis: Examine all recent comparable sales. Only use recent properties that are similar in configuration, age, and location to the home you want to buy. Your REALTOR® can complete this for you.
REAL ESTATE TIP #3 - If the property has been staged, don't be fooled by how pretty it looks. Staging a home does not increase property values.
Read more about purchasing a home in Edmonton with our simple 5 step process
Looking for new homes in southwest Edmonton?
Riverview located at the outer ridges of southwest Edmonton is now building. Similar to the rural West Big Lake district, the Riverview community is nestled away from the big city, south of the Grange and features an urban lifestyle, lined with trees along the Wedgewood Creek ravines. This up and coming community will be filled with the amenities of a modern city including playgrounds, parks, recreation and walking trails integrated with new and modern homes, a variety of restaurants, shops and services.
House prices in Riverview will range from starter home prices to the multi-millions. Also known as River's Edge - the Riverview Area offers some of the cities best country residential homes. The Edgemont community features houses and attached dwellings built in 2016 and later. Residential construction of Uplands and Stillwater is already underway and will be the hottest new home district in Edmonton in 2019 & 2020. View currently listed Riverview homes for sale.
Is it time to Say Goodbye to Your Real Estate Agent
In all relationships, ending a relationship can sometimes be difficult, especially when you are under a signed agreement. Buying and selling homes is more than working with a friend. It is also about making the right choices for yourself and your families best interests. There are expectations when relying on Real Estate Agents to help you Buy and Sell and professionalism should be at the top. If you are unhappy with your real estate agent, there are a few things you can do.
First, communicate your concerns and try to mutually solve the issue with your REALTOR. If you are having difficulty reaching your real estate agent, contact their brokerage. The agreement you entered into is with the Brokerage, not the real estate agent and the brokerage may re-assign a different REALTOR® to you. Most Edmonton Real Estate Brokers are very reasonable and do what they can to help you.
Your agent may also choose to terminate your Listing Agreement or Buyers Brokerage Agreement without any compensation or there may be a clause in your contract with a set dollar amount to terminate the agreement to cover some of the expenses which cost your agent to market the home.
Once you receive the cancellation or termination document, in the province of Alberta, you are free to enter into another agreement with a different real estate agent. Read your termination over before signing. There may be parts in your cancellation agreement that may still be in effect even after the termination.
Below are signs telling you that it may be time to fire your real estate agent.
A breach of Fiduciary Duties (The consumer Relationship Guide) which forms part of your agreement you originally signed with your REALTOR. You have expressed your concerns repeatedly which have not been addressed or worse, have been completely ignored by the other party.
You have no communication with your real estate agent, leaving you in limbo, not knowing what your REALTOR® is doing to sell your home, or the actions being taken to find you a new one. This can be extremely frustrating and you deserve to know what is happening on a regular basis.
Your Real Estate Agent keeps pushing for price reductions without providing the reason. If your home, needs a price adjustment, there will be a reason, whether it is negative feedback from other agents who have shown your home, not enough showings (normally in Edmonton, you should be getting a few showings every week with the exception of multi-million dollar homes), a surplus of recent inventory in your neighborhood, recent economic factors, etc. This information should have been discussed prior to you signing the agreement during the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) stage.
If you are still interested in selling your home and would like an experienced marketing real estate team to work with you in your best interest, contact us.
BUYING A HOME WITH A 5% DOWN PAYMENT
Investing in Edmonton's real estate market is relatively simple. For a small amount of money down, usually, five per cent, (plus closing costs) and can own an asset worth significantly more and build your net worth. Your down payment must be from your own savings or a gift from a family member. You cannot use a loan or line of credit.
To use the 5% down payment option, the following rules apply:
The home must be your principal residence - in other words, you will actually live in the home. So if you plan on buying a condominium or other property for residual income, you won’t be eligible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s 5% down payment option.
To calculate your GDS or Gross Debt Service ratio, factor in your monthly mortgage payment, utility costs, property taxes and condo fees, if applicable. This number cannot exceed more than 32% of your gross taxable income. Plus, all your consumer debt, loans, and housing-related payments cannot exceed 40% of your gross taxable income: this is your Total Debt Service ratio or the TDS.
Finally, you must have good credit and a minimum of one year with your current employer.
ALSO SEE: 5 Steps to buying a home
Keep in mind, as of January 1st, 2018, the government has imposed more qualifying restrictions on Canadians and you must now qualify at two-per-cent higher interest than your current rate. Once you have your pre-approval completed. Contact an experienced real estate agent with their ABR designation and start house shopping!
How real estate agents help home buyers when buying
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". The 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.
Which 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
How to find a QUALIFIED buyer
Finding a QUALIFIED buyer for your home is not easy. Everyone wants to own real estate, but not everyone can qualify. If you have been trying to sell your property and are finding it difficult to find a buyer for your home, there are some tricks to the real estate trade. Especially now with the government restrictions put upon us with qualify at 2% higher than your interest rate.
Open Houses in Edmonton can be hit and miss. You can't put up signs and expect a buyer who is in a position to purchase, who thinks your home is perfect and is qualified to purchase to walk off the street and put an offer on your home. It is not that simple. Keep an open mind. Most buyers attending Open Houses are still in the "looking stage". Open Houses can receive constant foot traffic if done right. Read more on how to have a productive open house.
Adjust your expectations
Not everyone who inquires on your home is really interested. There is no such thing as a perfect home. You may love your home, but the reality is, your home is only a tangible commodity. Appraisers, inspectors, lawyers, financial institutions, and BUYERS can appreciate the effort of any upgrades, but it really comes down to money. Even if you find a buyer who is willing to pay more for your home because it staged, does not mean it will be appraised at the agreed-upon price, therefore cannot sell.
Talk to REALTORS
Expect calls from Edmonton Real Estate Agents. Listen carefully. You will know in the first few minutes if they are looking to help you sell (list) your home or have a qualified buyer who has inquired through them. Buyers who are working with real estate agents in Edmonton, are under a signed Buyers Brokerage Agreement and must fulfil their obligations if interested in your home. The real estate agent will be asking questions, lots of them. The agent is working in the best interest of their client buyer and is working in the best interest of their client.
The agent may be looking for more business and is calling to list your home. Take the time to talk. You may not want to list your home at this time, but if you are the one asking questions, you may learn something which will help you sell your home on your own. There are many real estate agents do not deal with buyers and specialize in listings only.
There is more to marketing a home than putting your property on the MLS which impacts Realtor.ca, putting a sign in the front yard and adding a key box to your entrance. Advertising by word of mouth is a big advantage. There are almost 4000 Real Estate Agents associated with the Edmonton Real Estate Board who talk to each other. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, doctor, dentist and everyone you meet. Marketing your property to attract buyers who are qualified and in a position to purchase a property takes work and experienced, tech-savvy REALTORS have the know-how. This includes knowing the absorption rate in your community.
Understanding Buyers Brokerage Agreements
Buyer Brokerage Agreements have been around for several years, and only recently has been mandated for real estate agents to have buyers under the agreement when working in a "client status". This legal change created security for both consumers and real estates in Edmonton and throughout Alberta. This form states the responsibilities of both the buyer and their real estate agent including:
- The mandated Fiduciary Duties, to protect interests of the buyer
- The buyer cannot hire more than one broker or real estate agent to represent them
- The term of the agreement. Depending on the real estate market and how long the real estate agent chooses to work with a buyer, this agreement is normally 30 Days to 1 year and allows enough time for the buyer to purchase a home. If the buyer has not purchased a home during the time frame, they may extend the agreement or sign with another agent.
- The retainer fee (normally $1000 - $2500) which is held in trust by the real estate agent/broker and forms part of the buyers down payment.
- Remuneration is stated in the agreement and can not be changed without written consent from all parties. This protects the agents' commissions and allows the buyer to know how much the REALTOR receives for their services. (usually paid for by the sellers real estate agent)
- While under the agreement, If the buyer elects to purchase a property without the help of their real estate agent, they will owe the agency the commission set out as per their Buyers Brokerage Agreement.
- This agreement also lays out the obligations and duties of the real estate agent ensuring the agency is working in the buyers best interest. Some of these obligations may include
- Showing you all properties you may be interested in as soon as possible
- The duration of the agreement
- Advertising for properties which meet your search criteria
- Pulling titles to ensure closing capacity
- Setting you up on Auto-prospecting.
- Fiduciary Duties of the real estate agent
- Explaining and helping to prepare the offers to purchase
- Negotiate favourable terms for the buyer
- Provide a Buyers CMA to ensure you are not overpaying
- Inform you on all aspects of your offers including any counters
- Assist you with a chose of mortgage brokers, inspectors, lawyers, etc
- Any other relevant services you may require
For more information on working under a Buyers Brokerage Agreement, feel free to contact us.
Top 5 Interview Questions to Ask Edmonton Realtors when Selling
With so many types of residential real estate, Edmonton agents are beginning to specialize in a wide range of residential fields. Over the last decade, there have been ample changes in the real estate business and specializing has become the norm. These fields can range from buyer agency, infills and new builds, relocation, luxury homes, seniors, military, condominiums, foreclosures, etc. There are over 3500 real estate agents licensed with the Edmonton Real Estate Board, most actively practising, allowing homeowners several choices finding a Realtor who can properly target market their property. Below are the top 5 questions to ask any Edmonton Real Estate Agent.
How long have you been in the business?
You may have found an agent online, because they are extremely tech-savvy, but may lack experience. An "old-time" REALTOR® may have several years of experience but lack the marketing knowledge they need to expose your property to qualified buyers. A long time in the real estate business is always a benefit because it creates the experience. Agents who have been in the real estate business for a few decades have experience in both good and bad markets and will know how to adjust. These real estate agents usually have larger databases, are the most creative and think outside the box.
Do you have another part-time job?
Listen carefully to the answer. REALTORS® who are not full time, may not be as motivated to get your home sold. Real Estate is an expensive business with company fees, licences, photographers, graphic designers, vehicle maintenance, office tools, conveyancing fees, signage, desk fees, websites, internet syndication systems, etc. and if an agent needs another part-time job to survive - that agent may not care whether your home sells or not. Every REALTOR® must be full-time to join our Homes & Gardens team to ensure our client's top-notch service.
How do you prefer to communicate and how often?
This is a two-way question. As licensed real estate agents in the province of Alberta, we are obligated to work in our clients best interest. Which means, if you prefer to be notified of showings via phone calls, emails or text messages, your agent will need to know this. Some agents will only send you a text and assume you received it. Ask how and how often you will be notified of feedback from other agents who have shown your home. Ask how they plan to stay in touch with you. You do not want an agent to list your home and you don't hear from them until either you receive an offer or your home is about to expire. Select an agent who communicates well to eliminate confusion.
Do you do Open Houses?
Listen carefully to the answer. REALTORS® who are not full time, may not be as motivated to get your home sold. Real Estate is an expensive business with company fees, license, photographers, graphic designers, vehicle maintenance, office tools, conveyancing fees, signage, desk fees, websites, internet syndication systems, etc. and if an agent needs another part-time job to survive - that agent may not care whether your home sells or not. Every REALTOR® must be full-time to join our Homes & Gardens team to ensure our clients' top-notch service.
Other Questions you may also want to ask include
- Education. Ask about degrees and certifications.
- How many transactions have you been involved within your entire career?
- How many transactions have you handled year-to-date?
- Have you ever been subject to disciplinary action?
- Are you a listing agent or a buyer's agent?
- What price range do you generally work in?
- Do you have a network of other productive agents which you work with?
- What would you say are your strongest attributes as an agent?
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 than 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.
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 which 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?
- Inspections are a contingency or buyers condition when purchasing a home. If any real estate agents in Edmonton or the surrounding area, tells you don't really need one, find another REALTOR®. You may think an inspection for a condominium or a brand new property is a waste of time and money, but have an inspection can save you thousands of future dollars and find unforeseen issues. New Home warranties have limitations.
How will I know how much to offer when I find a home?
- Listen carefully to how the real estate agent answers this. If the REALTOR® pulls title and does a buyer's Comparative Market Analysis or CMA, congratulations, you have found yourself a great Buyers Real Estate Agent.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need help with purchasing your dream home.