Great Service and Advice for First-Time Buyers of Newmarket Real Estate


Buying your first home can be an intimidating experience. Discover how Steve Thomas of Sutton Group Solutions found the right real estate solution for these two first-time buyers.

The Clients: Gail and Kevin – Aurora, Ontario

First-time homebuyers Kevin and Gail have been together for 7 years and were living apart, each with their parents, after finishing school when they decided it was time to get their own home. Kevin laughingly explains that they had too much stuff to stay at home any longer. You can imagine the toll that living at home would have on a couple’s relationship. They wanted to be together and getting their own home seemed like the logical next step.

The Challenge: Finding Affordable Housing in Newmarket and Aurora That Meets Their Needs

Gail and Kevin did a lot of research before deciding to buy their first home. They carefully considered their budget and where they wanted to live. With Gail working in Aurora and Kevin working in Mississauga they needed a compromise to ensure that they could both get to work. Additionally, both of them wanted to stay close to their families – just not in the same house! – so that was also a major consideration.

Gail adds, “We knew we needed a certain price range and we wanted a certain size home for that amount of money.” Affordable housing in central York Region (Newmarket, Aurora and East Gwillimbury) has become rare and they knew that they would have a tough time getting exactly what they wanted. But they created their dream list anyway.

Gail explains, “We actually made a list months ago of must haves and what we’d be willing to sacrifice. We gave that list to Steve and he worked with that to get us the main things.”

The Solution: Sutton Group Solutions Realtor Steve Thomas

With such careful planning, it makes sense that they were equally careful about selecting their Realtor. Gail explains how Steve made them feel comfortable right from the beginning. “During our first conversation, he simply asked for our contact information and gave us a list of things to do. He didn’t make us sign up right away and it meant a lot to us that he helped us out a little bit before we committed.”

Kevin and Gail set about completing the tasks on Steve’s list. Having a list made them feel more confident that they were dealing with someone who knew the real estate business – and they were glad that though they were first time buyers, Steve didn’t make them feel ‘stupid’. The list Steve gave them contained several people to talk to and encouraged them to shop around for mortgage rates, a mortgage broker, a lawyer and a home inspector.

When asked if there was anything else that motivated them to work with Steve, Kevin immediately mentions “his cash-back program was the icing on the cake. Depending on how much the house costs, you get some money back.” Steve’s cash-back program, and his lower commission rates, increase his appeal with buyers and sellers. Combined with his impressive track record, knowledge of the industry and negotiation skills, Steve is a Realtor people love to have in their corner.

They also loved his flexibility. According to Gail, “Steve was available at any time, any day of the week. His availability was great. Email, phone, text – he’d respond to any of them.”

The Results: The Right Home in Record Time

Gail and Kevin first talked to Steve in early October and signed up as clients toward the end of the month. Gail remembers, “We went out, looking at houses, over four weekends, sometimes both days and saw about a dozen houses in total. It was kind of a blur. We signed the deal on November 13th – a day after seeing the house.”

Gail and Kevin knew that the York Region real estate market was tight and that they’d have to move quickly when they saw a home they liked. Steve made that easy by signing them up for new listings so they saw them before they appeared on Kevin appreciated Steve’s quick response time. “We’d let him know which ones we wanted to see and he’d arrange the showings. It was usually the next day or the same day.”

Kevin and Gail both appreciated Steve’s diligence and expertise when they were looking at potential homes. Kevin explains, “He told us that he’d look for potential problems while we were seeing all the good things. Stuff like, ‘We’d have to fix those windows’ or ‘That step will need more mortar’. Inside the house, he’d show us how to increase the value, almost from a builder’s perspective. He even suggested we could take out a wall and that it would work better for us and increase the value.”

It was obvious to Kevin and Gail that Steve knew what he was talking about. And why wouldn’t he? With over 30 years in the housing, construction, and real estate sectors he really does know real estate like few other Realtors. Kevin continues, “he’d tell us if a house was over-priced and what to look out for. It really helped us trust that he was on our side and not just out to sell a house.”

Part of Steve’s mission with first-time homebuyers is to ensure that they learn what to look for in a home. Gail laughs about the pop quizzes, “Do you remember what these pipes are for? What’s the first thing wrong with the house? We were so proud when we started to notice things like this one house that had a broken doorbell. It was all cracked and broken and Steve made sure we noticed things like that. Things he would fix if he were listing the home.”

Steve is committed to ensuring that his clients get a great education while they are getting a great home – especially first-time homebuyers who have a lifetime of real estate decisions ahead of them. Steve’s expertise and experience really helped Gail and Kevin when they made their offer. Gail remembers, “we had no idea what we were doing and originally… well, he guided us as to what to offer and how to do it. We were so excited about the house and nervous about losing it and he said, ‘Guys, come on settle down’.”
“Originally we were willing to pay list price and thanks to Steve they ended up dropping it $10,000 from the asking price. After the first sign-back they said it was the final offer and he said, ‘Let’s go back lower’. We were very nervous when he said that, and we knew it was a lot of money and it was another example of how he was on our side.” Kevin and Gail trusted Steve’s experience and it saved them thousands of dollars.

Kevin adds, “he really knows how other people and Realtors think, and he knows how to price things out and why you should get more money or less money for things. We really felt like newbs that night.” The entire process took less than six hours, with the initial offer going in at 4 p.m. on Sunday and the entire deal being done by 10 that night.

“Steve included several conditions that had to be met so we only told our close family that the deal had been signed. He put in conditions that we didn’t think about, for example, that the house had to be clean when we moved in – that kind of thing.” Gail and Kevin really appreciate being walked through the process by someone with the experience to allow them the freedom they needed to find just the right home and to guide them when necessary.

The Conclusion: And They Lived Happily Ever After

“Our expectations with Steve were exceeded. It was easier that we thought it would be.”

Gail and Kevin were avid watchers of real estate shows on TV and they’d seen ‘horror stories’ of purchases taking months and years. They were delighted that they did it in a couple of weeks. “Steve would show us the houses we wanted and the houses he thought would be good for us. It felt like a joint effort, like we were working as a team.”

“When we saw the two houses we really liked he recommended bringing our families to see them, which was good because our families were pressuring us to include them in the process,” says Kevin. “So it was nice to have him suggest including them,” finishes Gail. Their families saw both potential houses and “they all agreed that the one we chose was the best one.”

Kevin concludes, “It was perfect. And the cash back was another huge bonus. We have a home now that is almost exactly what we wanted and it was under our maximum budget…”

“…and now we’ll have independence and our own space. Our relationship was the biggest reason for doing this. We’ll be able to spend more time together, which is what we need now. We’ll get our own sense of family,” Gail finishes.

Steve Thomas has been a professional Realtor for over a decade and involved with the housing construction industry for almost three decades. He is dedicated to providing his clients with the best service possible – and he offers lower fees for his sellers and cashback incentives for his buyers to make sure that every real estate transaction is a win. To find out more about how Steve Thomas can help you with your real estate decisions in southern and central Ontario, contact him at – we know it will be worth your time to try his MLS Real Estate Solutions.

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