Start learning today

author bio

Recent Articles

What are closing costs when buying a house or a condo?

About to finalize buying your home? What are the closing costs you need to be aware ...

Why you need to inspect your attic and what to look for

In this episode, we discuss why an attic inspection is important, when to check and ...


Popular Articles

What does it mean for a house to settle and what's considered normal?

So you've just bought a new house but started to see some physical issues crop up. W...

What's the difference between a zero lot line home and a traditional lot home?

Wondering how a zero lot line home differs from a traditional lot home? Why would yo...


Most important questions to ask a realtor when buying a house for the first time

“Always pick your yard based on your Summer lifetstyle.”


June 3, 2019 - Karl Yeh

Decide to use a realtor when buying your first home? What are the key questions to ask so you are well prepared? In this episode, we discuss the type of questions you need to ask your real estate agent when buying a home. We also explore realtor specializations, such as product or area, and is product or amenities more important? Finally, we discuss how a real estate agent can help you when researching a home you want to buy. 



Subscribe to our YouTube channel:

YouTube Subscribe 

Prefer to listen?



Hi everyone. I'm Karl. Welcome to another Homebuyer's School video, a channel where you get the latest strategies, tactics, and tips from home buying experts. And remember, if this is your first time on this channel and you want to get the latest strategies from the experts, hit the subscription button below, hit the little notification bell so you don't miss anything.

Today [00:00:30] I'm joined by Kevin French, Realtor with RE/MAX. And the question we're going to answer is exactly:

What kind of questions should you ask a realtor when you're buying a house.

Kevin French:               

When you're purchasing a home, you're going to want to ask the realtor,

A) if they're familiar with the area,

B) it's important to know their availability because sometimes properties come on the market and they're not on the market for very long if they're a good opportunity, and then making sure that the person understands what they're actually selling.

There's a difference between condos, apartment-style condos, town [00:01:00] homes, and then single-family homes or duplexes, so having an understanding of each different product type and mix.

Then the advantages and disadvantages of owning different property types would be key to understanding when you're going out shopping for the first time.

Do realtors specialize in a specific products or audiences or locations?

Karl Yeh:                      

Are there realtors that have a specialization, so realtors that specialize in condos, realtors that specialize in single families?

Or is it are most realtors just generalists, that they can buy any or you can help them use them to buy anything?

Kevin French:               

Yeah, a lot of them [00:01:30] are generalists, but at the end of the day there's more specialization. Inner city, there would be more specialized condo real estate agents.

And then there would be more specialized acreage, obviously on the rural parts.

But as a general rule overall in the city of Calgary and in surrounding areas, there would be every product type they would work with then.

Karl Yeh:                      

And speaking of specialization, I know you touched on making sure that that realtor knows the area, right? [00:02:00]

Are there realtors that just work a specific area of, let's say, a city  or a town or whatever?

Kevin French:               

Yeah. A lot of realtors tend to focus their business on a certain part of the area, typically where they live, and then service those clients within that neighborhood.

However, there's a lot that branch out and go throughout the city.

The advantage of having somebody that works specifically within an area or fully understands it is that they know where to buy within a small pocket or what's a better area within the community

versus a real estate agent who doesn't understand the area completely, wouldn't understand that this is considered [00:02:30] the east side versus the west side, all within the same community.

 In terms of the city, it's named whatever the community may be, Symons Gate or McKenzie Towne. Symons Gate is actually a great example, it's a sub community of Sage Hill so it's not actually its own community in terms of how the Calgary Real Estate Board defines communities.

However, it's a very small pocket that has a lot of different product types. But if you wanted to live within Symons Gate, you have a very limited pool to choose from, so on the resale side, there's more opportunity there for the seller.

Should you ask more questions about the product or the amenities?

Karl Yeh:                      

Well, let's go back in terms [00:03:00] of questions.

When you are talking with a realtor, do you ask more questions specifically to the product you're looking for? Or do you ask questions about the amenities?

Do you ask questions about, let's say, the neighborhood? What would be kind of the starting point, how do you go from there?

Kevin French:               

Most important would be to choose what works for the lifestyle of the buyer, so they're looking at whether they want schools, whether they want to be nearby amenities, whether they want quick access to main roads so they can get to work easier for travel.

That's going to be key.

And then working from there would be creating your wishlist and then [00:03:30] working with what the buyer wants within those communities that tick all those boxes.

What should your realtor help you check on a home your are looking to buy?

Karl Yeh:                      

Got it, got it. Once you've settled on an actual house, what kind of I think things that you would want to check or work with your realtors in terms of checking for that product or home?

Kevin French:               

Once they've found the home that they're looking for, then they're going to want to go through the home, obviously, in detail and understand the quality construction, any renovations that's ever been done, that's absolutely key, making sure there's permits for all the work that's been done.

Buying a home without that is obviously [00:04:00] a bit scary.

And then having an overall feeling for how well the home was taken care of, a lot of that will come down to the property inspection, so after you've purchased you'd be going through the home with the home inspector room by room.

Obviously there's been damage here, before there was a leak here, making sure that all that's taken care of and all have been properly fixed.

But doing a good thorough walkthrough with the inspector after the purchase is obviously key, yeah.

Karl Yeh:                      

And if you want to know more about walking through a home, check out our video above and in the description below.

Karl Yeh [00:04:30] :                      

Do you actually need a checklist in terms of when you're actually buying?

Kevin French:               

It's recommended, but the checklist, the generic one, I wouldn't really go by.

I would recommend that you create one that's tailored to your needs.

You can work with your agent, of course, to say, "These are my wants, these are my must haves, these are the things that I'd like to have." But ultimately, I think that the number one thing is you choose what works for the lifestyle.               

A lot of people will say, "I want a nice new home and I have X budget," and then that kind of defines where they're going to purchase. [00:05:00]

And then when you get down into it, they say, "Well, I don't want to commute more than 20 minutes to work." Well, that definitely doesn't work for a lot of their criteria, so if they're buying in a satellite community and they're getting the brand new home at the price point but they're driving an hour to work, they're probably not going to be happy once they move in.

It's about adjusting that to make sure that they get the best of both worlds, which typically takes some compromise, but that's the reality of it.

Karl Yeh:                       Perfect. Do you have anything else to add?

Kevin French:                No, I'm good.

Question of the Day

Karl Yeh:                      

Awesome. The question of the day I have for you [00:05:30] is

What questions did you ask your realtor when buying your last home? As well as what are some of the critical questions that you believe helped you make that home purchase?

Let us know in the comments section below.

If you want to watch more videos about home buying, check out these videos here.

As well as don't forget to subscribe to our channel to learn more from the experts. Thank you for watching.

We'll catch you at our next video.


Your turn:

Let us know if you have additional mortgage or financing related questions that we can answer by submitting them in the comments section below. 

Homebuyer's School publishes new content weekly so subscribe or check back regularly for the latest information, strategies and tips from home buying experts.  

About Kevin French:

Kevin French is a Calgary and area based realtor with a client focus.  He specializes in a stress free home selling process that is built on customer service.  Understanding that your home is one of your largest investments, Kevin employs a marketing mix that ensures you will maximize returns on your home sale. Diligent market research coupled with an in-depth understanding of the Calgary and area markets, allows Kevin to pinpoint the perfect price for your home.

In addition to perfect pricing, Kevin offers a suite of additional services such as professional photography  and an interior designer to ensure your home shows its best. Kevin French has become a trusted name in real estate because he is results driven and works closely with his clients to produce the best results.

New call-to-action

Latest Articles

New Call-to-action


Continue your education

Join your fellow homebuyers to get the latest strategies and tips to help you find your perfect home.



Watch the latest home buying video so you’re prepared for your next home purchase.


Latest Videos

Watch the latest home buying video so you’re prepared for your next home purchase.

Watch & Learn