For Buyers

Our Buying Guide:
The Key to Buying your Home

Buying a home can be both exciting and sometimes overwhelming. This guide outlines the steps we follow to make your search is a successful one.

Determine What You Can Afford

Purchasing a home involves one-time costs and monthly expenses. The largest one-time cost is the down payment, which typically represents between 5 – 25% of the total price of the property.

In addition to the actual purchase price, there are a number of other one-time expenses that you might be expected to pay for.  These are outlined below.

Obtain a Pre-Approved Mortgage

A pre-approved mortgage protects you against interest rate increases while you look for your new home and gives you a clear idea of what you can afford, saving you time by limiting your search to only viable options. 


Once you’ve found the home you want to purchase you’ll require the following in order to confirm financing:

1  A copy of the real estate listing of the property.
2  A copy of the Offer to Purchase or the building contract.
3  Documents to confirm employment, income and source of pre-approval.

Typical One-Time Expenses

Expense Paid
Mortgage Application & Appraisal Fee (if applicable) When you apply
Property Inspection (optional) At inspection
Legal Fees Closing
Legal Disbursements Closing
Property Survey (sometimes provided by seller) Closing
Land Transfer Tax or Property Purchase Tax 
(in Quebec within 3 months following signing)
Mortgage Interest Adjustment & Take Over Fee (if applicable)     Closing
Adjustments for Utilities, Property Taxes, etc. Closing
Mortgage Insurance (and Application Fee if applicable) Closing
Home and Property Insurance Closing & Ongoing

Monthly Expenses

Typical monthly costs incurred with home ownership are mortgage payments, maintenance, insurance, property taxes and utilities - and in the case of a condominium, monthly condo fees.

The Major Elements of an Offer


Depending on local market conditions, your opinion of value, and marketing information that we provide you, the price you offer may differ from the seller’s asking price.


The deposit is typically 5% of the offer price. It shows your good faith and will be applied against the purchase of the home when the sale closes. If your offer is declined your deposit will be returned


This includes the total price offered and the financing details. You may arrange your own financing or ask to assume the seller’s mortgage, especially if it has an attractive interest rate. 


You can decide to make a "firm" offer, which means that you're willing to buy the property exactly as it is.  Or, you could make the offer "conditional" on things like a property inspection, approval of financing or the sale of your existing home. We will advise you on the options you may need to consider.

Inclusions and Exclusions

These might include appliances and certain fixtures or decorative items, such as window coverings or mirrors.

Closing or Possession Date

Generally, the day the title of the property is legally transferred and the transaction of funds finalized unless otherwise stated. 

How to Make an Offer

When it comes time to make an offer, we can provide current market information and will assist you in drafting your offer at your chosen offer price and terms.

We will communicate your offer, sometimes known as an Offer To Purchase*, to the seller, or the seller’s representative, on your behalf. Sometimes there may be more than one offer on a property coming in at the same time. We have a lot of experience dealing with multiple offer situations and can guide you through this process.

*Offer To Purchase: a legal document which specifies the terms and conditions of your offer to purchase the home. The offer can be Firm or Conditional.

Firm Offer To Purchase

Usually preferable to the seller, because it means that you are prepared to purchase the home without any conditions. If the offer is accepted, the home is yours.

Conditional Offer To Purchase

Means that you have placed one or more conditions on the purchase, such as “subject to home inspection”, “subject to financing”, or “subject to sale of buyer’s existing home”. The home is not sold until all the conditions have been met. In the province of Quebec, this is referred to as a “Promise to Purchase”.

Acceptance of the Offer

Your Offer to Purchase will be presented as soon as possible. The seller may accept the offer, reject it, or submit a counter-offer. The counter-offer may be in reference to the price, the closing date, or any number of variables. The offers can go back and forth until both parties have agreed or one of you ends the negotiations. 

Hire a Legal Professional

A legal professional is there to represent your interests and to provide the legal documentation required. 

They will advise you on the steps to be taken before the keys to your new home are presented to you. 

Team Balan can provide you with names of legal professionals who specialize in real estate. 

Have the Home Inspected (optional)

We consider this to be a best practice. Having the property inspected by a qualified home inspector will give you the added confidence that you’ve made the right decision (costs vary). When the procedure is complete, you may wish to ask for a full written report plus estimated costs for any necessary repairs.