Stettler Listings News

Choosing your Realtor

Questions you can & should ask

We doubt that you need an article to tell you that selling a home is one of the largest financial decisions you will ever make.  However, what we can tell you from experience that there is a lot of stuff people generally just do not know. This is why we have realtors, to give us information that is essential to improving your home buying experience.  


With the many realtors that are working in your area, how are you supposed to choose the one that best suits your needs? The following questions might help you choose the correct realty professional.


How does the entire home selling process work? 
This is a question that will put a realtor into education mode.  It will convey their communication skills and their in-depth knowledge of their industry.  You want a realtor who understands the process front to back. 

How are you planning on marketing my house?
It is important that your realtor has knowledge of and pursues many avenues of marketing including physical signage, local marketing opportunities, and online strategies.  

Is the area growing or declining? Realtors are professionals at the forefront of housing market trends.  An experienced realtor will be able to gauge if a neighborhood is on the rise, or trending downward.  We all want a home that appreciates over time. 

What are the drawbacks of selling my home?
A realtor with real experience and a keen eye will be able to point out parts of your home that may make it hard to sell.  If they are straight up and honest, while pointing out solutions to these issues, you may have a keeper!

Do you work solo or also as part of a team? 
If they work as part of a large team, you may be dealing with multiple individuals, which can have its own difficulties.  If they work solo, make sure they have time to deal with your workload.

How much experience do you have? 
This may seem like an upfront question, but its important to know you are in the hands of an experienced professional.  

Do you have reviews and client testimony I can access? 

Hear from other happy customers yourself!


Remember, choosing the right realtor is extremely important.  Asking all of these questions of a potential professional can lead to a better experience for you. 

First-time Home Buyers Loan

How does it work?

The Government of Canada offers multiple beneficial incentives for first-time homebuyers.  The intention of these incentives is to financially assist hopeful individuals looking to break into the housing market.  The following will tell you what you need to know about each incentive, if you are eligible for them, and how to apply for them.  


The first benefit offered is called the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive.  This new incentive that began on September 2, 2019, was created to assist first-time homebuyers who can handle the fees associated with owning a home but require a decreased monthly mortgage payment than what the bank can offer.  Eligible applicants are first-time homebuyers who have the minimum down payment for an insured mortgage (5%), with an annual household income of $120000 or less. The Government of Canada created this fund to assist eligible homebuyers with their down payment.  For a resale home, the homebuyer can receive 5% of the home’s value, while for a new home, the homebuyer can receive 10% of the home’s value to put into the down payment. This creates a shared equity mortgage, meaning that any equity created within the property is split between both parties depending on each party’s contribution.  However, it also protects each party from the investment risk associated with homeownership. To apply for this incentive, fill out the necessary paperwork that can be found on the Government of Canada National Housing Strategy website and take this necessary paperwork to your mortgage lender.  


The second benefit is called the First-Time Home-Buyers tax credit.  This is a simple but very useful benefit as it offers a $5000 non-refundable income tax credit to first-time homebuyers.  To claim this Home Buyers Tax Credit on a house you purchased within the tax year, discuss this with your accountant or tax professional.  For all the tax DIYers out there, enter $5000 on Schedule 1, line 369 of your tax return.


This brings us to our third benefit, which is the Home Buyers Plan.  This program allows first-time buyers to withdraw up to $35000 from their RRSPs to make a down payment on a residence.  Now, this money must be replaced, but the replacement period is quite lenient for the program’s participants. Repayment begins the second year after withdrawal and must be completed within 15 years of withdrawal.  To withdraw funds from your RRSP towards the Home Buyers Plan, talk to your accountant or tax professional, they will instruct you to fill out a T1036 form. 


For eligible families and individuals, these incentives can be financial game-changers.  If you are struggling to either aggregate a large enough down payment or to handle monthly mortgage costs, these incentives can help to create a solution for you.  The purchase of a home can be one of the largest and most important transactions you make in your life, so make sure to be well- informed on programs and incentives like these.  


For advice and help with your decision, call Sherri & Colby about the Stettler listings and how you can purchase your first home. 403.742.3096