First Time Buyer Frequently Asked Questions

Growing up in Spruce Grove and now being a professional in the industry, I have the opportunity to deal a lot with first time and second time home buyers. Because of the amount I deal with, I have created a streamline process for my buyers that allows for a clear and simple process from today to the day you move in to your new home! My buyer meetings are a great tool that I use to start the process, but if you’re just beginning your research I have compiled a list below of frequently asked questions by first time (or newbie) buyers. If you have a question that isn’t on the list, feel free to send me an email or call/text using the contact information provided!

I am a first time buyer, and I don’t know where to begin. What is my first step?

If you’re a first time buyer, chances are you are not aware of what you are able to spend on a home. You may have been saving for quite some time but spending habits, car loans and credit cards can affect your ability to secure a mortgage more than you think! So before you begin looking at homes, talk to a professional lender or mortgage broker to find out what you are pre-approved to spend on a home. If you

aren’t sure of who to ask in the industry, I have some great professional contacts that can assist you with the pre-approval process. Just ask!

How long does the process take?

Many times, the process surprises people how fast they can find the perfect home. When you hire a professional, they really get to know you and your needs in a home. With local Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Parkland County experience, I am able to pull up properties often times quickly in my head without even searching the MLS that suit you! Of course, some clients like to look at 10-20 homes no matter what, while others fall in love during the first group of showings. Ultimately, it is up to you how long the process takes.

Why use a Realtor?

Just as we use chiropractors when we have back problems, and mechanics when our vehicles break down, buying or selling real estate shouldn’t be a task that you navigate on your own. There are hidden details, industry standards and skills of negotiating that are developed over time. Hiring a professional to navigate the process from start to finish can save you time, confusion and potentially money.

Hiring a professional sounds great, but what is the cost to me?

This is the great part about purchasing a home. You get to hire the professional (me!) and benefit from the services and expertise, all without paying any of our fees. In real estate, 9.9 times out of 10 it is the seller of the home that pays the fees. 

There are so many agents out there, how do I decide who is the best one to hire?

I believe all good business relationships begin with a conversation. I offer what I call first time buyer meetings and that is where we get to sit down at a location of your choice and get to know each other, go over purchasing timelines, process, and what to expect. I find this very beneficial to clients as it gives us a chance to get to know each other, the way we work and begin the home searching process. My best advice is find someone you like, someone who listens to you, someone who you’d want to spend an afternoon with because at the end of the day you will be spending a fair amount of time with your agent!

The purchase process overwhelms me, what can I expect when buying through you, Sarah?

I get it! The purchase process and all of the little details can be a lot to take in. This is why I value meetings such as the “first time home buyer” meetings, and constant “check in’s” along the way. I am all about communication and being open with you. At our first meeting, I provide you with a buyers guide. This is a good resource to check back in with throughout the purchase process. If you're not a reader, that’s OK too! I frequently will be in touch via email, text or call to let you know your next steps, what is expected of you and how to to get there. After all, it is my job as the professional to guide you throughout this journey!

What can I expect for additional costs in buying a home?

This will vary, but the constant is that there are always a few additional costs. A few common costs are:

  • Legal fees

  • Mortgage insurance premiums

  • Title registration fees

  • Property inspection fees

  • Moving costs

  • Small repair costs

What is the deposit for and why does it have to be written into my contract? 

The deposit forms part of the purchase contract and it can be a way of letting the sellers know you are qualified and serious about your offer. Typically, we see a deposit amount of $5000 or larger. This is given to the sellers brokerage in trust. This does apply towards your purchase price, and you do get it back if you do not waive conditions. It does not however come back to you if you back out of the purchase after conditions have been removed. 

What is a home inspection? 

A home inspection is a condition that some buyers put in to the offer to purchase. It is a third party company that is hired to complete a visual inspection on the home prior to the purchase. The main goal of this inspection is to get to know the home, as well as point out any major issues that may need immediate attention. The purpose of the inspection is not to renegotiate the price, rather become aware of the state of the home.

What is condition day and why is it so important? 

Condition day is the last day that the buyer has during the "pending" stage of the purchase. Once conditions are removed it means it is a firm sale. As a buyer, we give ourselves enough time to fulfil conditions and enough time to handle any curveballs that come our way. We should expect to remove or not remove conditions by the deadline written in the contract. The waiver or non waiver of conditions needs to be signed and submitted to the seller by the agreed upon date and time. 

What happens when I remove conditions? 

When you remove conditions you will need to submit the signed waiver, along with the completed purchase contract and any other items that form part of the purchase contract to your lawyer. Staying in touch with your lawyer, mortgage lender and agent between removal of conditions and possession day is a great way to ensure nothing gets missed.

Get In Touch

Sarah Koeckhoven

Mobile: 780-919-1730

Phone: 780-962-8580


Office Info

RE/MAX Preferred Choice

#4 16 Nelson Drive  Spruce Grove,  Alberta  T7X 3X3 

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