indicatorHome Buying and Mortgages

What actually happens once you've made an offer on a home?

By ATB Financial 3 August 2020 2 min read

So you’ve found your dream home, and you’re ready to make it yours. Here’s a handy timeline of what happens from when you make an offer to when you close the deal on your new place.


Make an offer

You can make one of two kinds of offers: conditional or unconditional. Most people go for conditional, so that you’ll get your full deposit back if your conditions aren’t met. Otherwise, you could lose your deposit if anything compromises the deal.


Make friends with your lawyer

It’s your lawyer’s job to protect both you and the seller from when you make an offer until the deal’s done.


Transfer your deposit

This shows that you’re serious about your dream home, and proves to the seller that you’ve got the cash (in the form of a down payment) to back it up.


Get final mortgage approval

This takes about two weeks. If you have an insured mortgage, the insurance provider, as well as the bank, will have to provide approval. The approval process should be complete before any documents go to your lawyer.


Get a property appraisal

Your mortgage provider will advise and order an appraisal if you need one. For conventional mortgages or if you’ve gone through a mortgage broker, keep in mind that you may have to pay an appraisal fee. An appraisal fee for a property in an urban hub is usually around $250; in rural areas it’s likely to be closer to $450.


Get a home inspection

Trust us, you won’t regret this. A home inspection makes sure you aren’t in for any nasty surprises in your new home.


Get final approval & send documents to your lawyer

After all conditions are removed from the purchase contract you’ll be given a waiver of conditions to pass on to your mortgage provider. Once the transfer of land has been registered with Alberta Land Titles through your lawyer, you’ll be able to take possession and move in (cue happy dance!).


Buy title insurance through your lawyer

Title insurance protects you from any legal issues that you don’t know about before you take possession of your new dream home.


Transfer the rest of the down payment to the seller & take possession

Typically the seller won’t allow you to move in until they’ve received the funds, but title insurance should let you move in on the possession date, even if there’s a delay in land registration.


Celebrate, because you've got yourself a new house!

No matter what stage of your home buying journey you’re at—Googling listings or ready to make an offer—we want to help. Take a look at our complete guide to buying a home in Alberta. We wrote it for house hunters just like you to give you a little extra guidance with your search.

Need help?

Our Client Care team will be happy to assist.