It doesn't matter if you're buying a home or selling a home; you will always have at least question during the process...even if you've been through it a couple of times. The fact is, each sale is unique. Every sale follows the same outline, but with so many changing factors (different buyers, different sellers, different negotiating skills, different property values, different market fluctuations, etc) each sale is different in its own way. Realtors have lots of experience navigating through all of these differences to get to the end result efficiently. So when you have a question, who better to ask? We've put together a list of questions that we hear more frequently. If you're new to this all or going through the experience again, you can reference these questions and answers as many times as you need! Let's begin:


Number One

Can I buy a home with 5% as my down payment?

Yes you can! You can buy your second, third and fourth home with 5% down. You can do it as long as the home you are purchasing will be your primary home, and your previous home is sold. You can buy your next home with 5% down. A second home ( for immediate family such as a child, parent, etc) can also be purchased with 5% down. Rental properties require a minimum of 20% down of purchase price.


Number Two

Is it better to buy or lease a commercial property?

There is no cookie cutter answer to this one. You must consider the pros and cons to each option, and consider how each benefits or hinders your needs.

For example, it would be better for your business to buy a property if the location is excellent, if your profit is stable, if you plan on staying in the community for years, or if current leases on the market are getting too costly anyway. However, if you don’t have enough working capital, your business needs aren’t as stable, or you don’t want the hassle of owning, leasing a property might be a better option for your business.


Number Three

Should I continue to rent, or should I buy a home?

If you’re ready to make the change, you should consider these questions before home searching:

Am I financially fit? How is my credit? Do I have enough money saved for a down payment? What are my needs/desires in a home?

Be realistic when answering these questions; extras can be added on as time moves forward. A realistic comparison of income vs. needs gives you a clearer picture of the financial neighbourhood you’re in. Check out our website to see all the MLS listings in the community that fit your budget. Then you can call up your favourite Century 21 agent, and you'll review, negotiate and work contracts together.


Number Four

Why should I get pre-approved for a mortgage?

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage streamlines the house hunting process. Your lender checks your credit standing and verifies your financial information. You then get to see what you can afford; down payments, monthly payments and total cost. You have a clear idea of your financial neighbourhood and can search accordingly.


Number Five

I'm selling my home. What happens if/when my listing service contract expires?

If your listing service contract expires before your home is sold, your listing agent has to remove your listing from all websites, as well as removing the “For Sale” sign from your property within ten days of the expiry date. This is required by the Real Estate Agents Act of Saskatchewan. If you’re not planning on taking your home off of the market, renew your listing contract prior to expiration.


Number Six

What exactly is equity?

Equity refers to how much you own. In the case of home ownership, equity is the amount of the house that you actually own. For example, if you have a $250,000 home and you still owe $150,000, you have $100,000 in equity. The more equity you have, the more financial flexibility you have. If you purchase a new house, you can use your equity as a down payment. This large down payment reduces the monthly mortgage payments for your new place, making it more affordable than your last home.


Number 7

Can Century 21 Realtors REALLY show me ANY home?

Yes! If that home has an MLS number, it is part of the Multiple Listing Service database. This database holds all the listings from every agency. C21 is connected to this database. So not only can we show you any home, but we can represent you if you wish to make an offer - regardless of which agency originally listed it. This means that you spend less time searching for listings under a specific agent or agency, and more time searching for listings in your desired location.


Number Eight

Why do I have to talk to the bank before I talk to a Realtor?

Imagine looking at a $300,000 home and falling in love with it. You’ve found your dream home and you must have it! Now imagine the heartbreak when you find out that you can only afford a maximum of $250,000. Don’t do that to yourself! It’s important that you talk to the bank first so that you know where you stand before you look. They also prepare you with an outline of the expected costs associated with buying a home.


Number Nine

How much money do I need for closing costs?

Closing costs are your fees paid at the closing of a real estate transaction. You should budget for closing costs based on a percentage of a home’s purchase price. Closing costs include the fee of your home inspection, property taxes, mortgage default insurance (if your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price), home appraisal, land transfer tax and lawyer. The price of all these fees typically range from 1.5 to 4 percent of your home’s purchase price. For example, on a $250,000 home the closing costs could be anywhere from $3,750 to $10,000.


Number 10

Can I purchase farm land through a Realtor other than the listing agent?

Yes, you can. In fact, it may be to your advantage to have your own real estate agent to represent you during the negotiation process, since they will be representing only your best interests. That agent will be working for you and only you. If the same agent represents both the seller and the buyer, that agent must remain impartial. They cannot favour the needs of one client over the other. This is also true for every type of property, whether it's residential, commercial or rural. You can purchase any type of property through a Realtor other than the listing agent.


Number Eleven

I'm looking to buy a home. How long does the seller have to respond to my offer?

There is no standard deadline that a seller must meet when you make a purchase offer. It can take anywhere from 12 hours to 4 days. Time on the market and potential number of offers are general indications you can use, however. For example, a home that’s been on the market for a few months likely has a seller that can give your offer some serious consideration, which requires time. You may want to give them a day or so. A home that’s newly listed often gets multiple offers. Response from the seller is usually quick, since there are more people involved.


Number Twelve

What if my offer is rejected?

If your offer is rejected (where the seller says no and does not give a counter offer), you have the right to present another offer. The same applies to offers that haven’t received any response. It’s uncommon for a seller not to reply with a counter offer, so don’t worry too much!


Number Thirteen

I'm selling my home. Should I be present during the open house?

No. The main reason a seller should not be present at a house showing is because of potential buyers. They may feel uncomfortable about talking openly with their Realtor about your home and how it may or may not fit in with their needs. It’s no reflection on you - they wouldn’t want to offend you, the seller. You have already spent the time presenting your home in its best state. It’s best to let your home speak for itself!



Is there a commonly asked question we should have included in this list? Leave a comment!

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