The most common conditions when buying a home in Calgary

While your REALTOR should be able to guide you through the many nuances of buying and selling a home in Calgary, it’s always a good idea as a consumer to educate yourself as much as possible on the process of a real estate transaction both on the selling and purchasing side. 

Purchase contract conditions in Calgary

When purchasing or selling a home, there are conditions that you need to be aware of that a buyer may bring to the table in their offer, these can be negotiated by both parties, but there are often typical conditions that are widely accepted by the selling party in a contract as they’re quite typical in most purchase contracts. 

The financing condition

Many buyers obtain pre-approvals or are pre-qualified by their mortgage brokers, but having this does not mean you should not include a financing condition on your offer to purchase.

Once you have an accepted offer on the property of your dreams, your bank will perform further due diligence, they’ll confirm your financial situation even further, this can include credit checks, further income verification, and more.

In some instances, we’ve seen buyers approach us with a financing condition only to find out that they’re unable to waive as their financial situations have changed since they were first approved. We instruct our clients not to make any changes or major purchases with their finances as this can vastly affect your ability to purchase a property. For example, one of our sellers had their deal fall through shortly after the buyer had waived on their conditions as they were confident that their approval was firm with their bank, but they had not disclosed that they went and purchased tens of thousands of dollars in furniture and decorations for their new home, this predictably affected their purchase power and unfortunately they were teetering on the verge of their max purchase price, with the addition of this new debt and extended credit, their bank refused to give them an approval and ultimately they couldn’t obtain an approval elsewhere, which resulted in a forfeited deposit, leaving our sellers to also find new buyers for their home and modifying their plans, had the buying agent told their buyers this sage advice, they most likely would have been able to close and would have taken possession of the home. 

If you cannot fund most or all of the property, it’s pretty common and highly advised that you include a financing condition on your purchase contract to ensure you’re protected for any unforeseen financing hiccups that could end up costing you a large chunk of money (your deposit).

The Home Inspection Condition

Another condition that we consistently recommend to all of our clients at the Real Estate Partners team, which is consistently seen in most offers we receive from buyers on our listings, and in fact, this condition is so common, much like financing, it’s written right into the AREA (Alberta Real Estate Association) offer to purchase contract. In this condition you must state a date of when you’ll have the home inspection performed and done by, this could be anywhere from 1 day (not common) to two weeks, but is definitely negotiable by both parties, when sellers are looking to have their home sold quickly, they may be more likely to only allow for 5-7 days to have this done as that’s often considered to be a reasonable amount of time, but extenuating circumstances could change this for various reasons, for example we have had sellers who have family over at their place at the time an offer to purchase has come through and they’re unable to facilitate a home inspection time (usually 2-4 hours) for 7 days, and requested that the buyers perform this between 10-14 days after the offer is accepted. 

With a home inspection, many things occur, but ultimately your inspector is looking for material latent defects, inspecting the structure, bones, and main components of a home to ensure that you’re getting what you expect, for inexperienced buyers, this is invaluable and even seasoned buyers and investors often learn a thing or two from an inspection that they might not have seen or expected when buying a home. 

It’s important that you obtain a licensed and professional home inspector to perform this inspection for you as the contract states this explicitly, having your unlicensed but very handy family member come through to inspect can always be helpful, but they cannot be used as a means to not waive conditions on a home as the inspection must be performed by a licensed professional.

Condition to review the properties title

In the city of Calgary, every home that is purchased will have a land title connected to it, this is managed by the Alberta government through the land titles department, this system is one of the best ways to ensure safety and security when buying a property, and also ensures many other things that may impact the purchase of your home.  

A title details important information about the property you’re looking to purchase, including any restrictions the property may have, encroachments, or “lis pendens” which is sometimes referred to as liens on a property, an example of this could be a contractor who performed work on a home for renovations but has outstanding invoices and has filed a lawsuit on the property, your real estate agent should pull the title on any property you put an offer on to ensure that you have a clear and concise understanding of all details on the property from a title perspective. This condition isn’t often added in our experiences, but is one that you can discuss with your Calgary real estate agent to see if it’s a good option for you and your offer.

Condition of your home selling 

Often our team comes across clients who are first looking to sell a home before they buy, but ultimately the home buying journey process begins and next thing we know, our clients have fallen in love with a home that they want to make an offer on, but they have apprehensions on holding two mortgages. Fortunately there is an option for this, and that is the condition of selling your home before you are locked into fully purchasing this new home you’ve fallen in love with. This may sound like a picture perfect scenario for you as a Calgary home buyer, but there are a few catches! Your home will have to be listed within 24 hours if it isn’t already on the market, typically it is often a very difficult condition for sellers to accept in a sellers market as they’re not interested in waiting for this to happen, and there are options for sellers to take on better offers that come through leaving you in the dust, but if this is a route you’re thinking about exploring, it’s definitely worth a discussion with your agent to see if this is something you should consider doing, especially if you’ve fallen in love with a particular property, cannot hold both, and want to take every reasonable step to secure it. 

There are many other conditions you can considered adding to your purchase contract, we’ve outlined some of the most common ones that our team utilizes along with other options for you to consider in your next real estate purchase, these could be for other various due diligence matters, or other various matters that could affect your ability to purchase a home, it’s highly advised that your Calgary REALTOR provides you with advice on these conditions so you don’t forfeit your deposit. 


The information above in this Calgary real estate blog is our best general information, but should not be considered legal or professional advice, as times and rules change, this information could become outdated or inaccurate and it’s always recommended that you discuss any and all details of your next real estate transaction with a professionally licensed Calgary Real Estate Agent or by calling 587-578-7653 and setting up a meeting with a licensed REALTOR through the Real Estate Partners with Re/Max First who can serve and ensure you’re matched with a top agent who can help you navigate the Calgary Real Estate market. 



Posted by Cody Tritter on
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