Making An Offer To Purchase

After you have found the home you want to buy, you need to give the seller an Offer to Purchase (often called an Agreement of Purchase and Sale). There are 2 ways you can submit an offer:

  1. A Designated Buyer who is under contract with a Buyer’s Agent. It is very helpful to work with a realtor to prepare your offer. they will assist you in drafting and submitting the Offer to Purchase on your behalf. Your agent will ensure that the offer is properly prepared, including all necessary terms and conditions, and will present it to the seller or the seller’s agent.
    Before every offer is written I will go over all the comparable homes in the area, pertinent information about the property to make sure you aren’t paying too much!
  2. Self Represented Person. Alternatively, if you’re not working with a real estate agent, you can submit the Offer to Purchase directly to the seller or the seller’s agent. In this case, you’ll need to draft the offer yourself or seek assistance from a real estate lawyer or other professionals to ensure that the offer is correctly prepared and legally binding.

Regardless of how you choose to submit the offer, it’s essential to include all relevant details and terms, such as the purchase price, deposit amount, financing conditions, closing date, and any other contingencies or special provisions. It’s also advisable to seek guidance from a real estate professional or legal expert to ensure that your offer meets your needs and protects your interests as a buyer.

These items are typically included in an offer that will be handled by your designated agent:

  • Names
    Your legal name, the name of the vendor and the legal civic address of the property.
  • Price
    The price you are offering to pay.
  • Things included
    Any items in or around the home that you think are included in the sale should be specifically stated in your offer. Some examples might be window coverings and appliances.
  • Amount of your deposit
  • The closing day
    The closing day is the date you take possession of the home. It is usually 30 – 60 days after the date of agreement. But, it can be 90 days, or even longer.
  • Request for a current land survey of the property
  • Date the offer expires
    After this date the offer becomes null and void — that means it’s no longer valid.
  • Other conditions
    Other conditions may include a satisfactory home inspection report, a property appraisal, and pre-approval of mortgage financing. This means that the contract will become final only when the conditions are met. 

The Acceptance Process-What Happens After You Make an Offer to Purchase?

Imagine that your realtor has helped you prepare an Offer to Purchase. This offer includes all the details of the sale. To be extra cautious (since you know an Offer to Purchase is legally binding) you may wan to ask your lawyer to look at it before showing it to the vendor. The realtor presents the offer to the vendor. What can you expect to happen next? There are three possible responses.

  • Acceptance
    If the vendor accepts the offer as presented, they will sign the Offer to Purchase, indicating their agreement to the terms and conditions outlined therein. At this point, the offer becomes a legally binding contract, and the sale process moves forward.
  • Counter Offer
    The vendor may choose to make a counteroffer if they wish to negotiate certain terms of the offer. A counteroffer typically involves proposing changes to the purchase price, closing date, conditions, or other terms outlined in the original offer. If the vendor makes a counteroffer, your realtor will relay it to you, and you can decide whether to accept, reject, or counter the counteroffer.
  • Rejection
    In some cases, the vendor may choose to reject the offer outright if they are not satisfied with the terms or if they have received a more favorable offer from another buyer. If the offer is rejected, the negotiation process ends, and you may have the option to submit a new offer or explore other properties.

Regardless of the vendor’s response, it’s essential to review any counteroffers or modifications carefully and consult with your realtor and possibly your lawyer before making a decision. Once both parties have agreed to the terms and signed the Offer to Purchase, the sale process will proceed according to the agreed-upon timeline and conditions.

Competing Offers

In certain market conditions, such as a seller’s market or a highly desirable property, multiple buyers may express interest in a property, leading to a competing offer situation. In such scenarios, both sellers and buyers should carefully consider their options and responses. Here’s what each party should keep in mind:

For Sellers:

  1. Evaluate Each Offer: Review each offer carefully, considering not only the purchase price but also other terms and conditions, such as closing date, deposit amount, financing conditions, and any other contingencies.
  2. Consider Timing: Determine a deadline for all buyers to submit their best and final offers. This allows you to compare offers side by side and choose the most favorable one.
  3. Work with Your Realtor: Rely on the expertise of your real estate broker or salesperson to navigate the competing offer situation. They can provide guidance on evaluating offers, negotiating terms, and selecting the best option.
  4. Maintain Confidentiality: While the number of competing offers must be disclosed to all buyers who have submitted a written offer, the specific terms and conditions of each offer remain confidential between you and your broker or salesperson.

For Buyers:

  1. Submit Your Best Offer: In a competing offer situation, it’s crucial to submit your best offer upfront. Consider offering a competitive price, a sizable deposit, and favorable terms to increase your chances of being chosen by the seller.
  2. Be Flexible: Be prepared to be flexible with terms such as the closing date, financing conditions, and other contingencies. Offering more favorable terms can make your offer more attractive to the seller.
  3. Act Quickly: Act promptly when notified of a competing offer situation. Consult with your real estate broker or salesperson to prepare and submit your offer in a timely manner.
  4. Consider an Escalation Clause: An escalation clause allows your offer to automatically increase by a specified amount if another buyer submits a higher offer, up to a maximum price set by you. This can help ensure that you remain competitive without overpaying for the property.

In Ontario, it’s important to note that the seller’s real estate broker or salesperson is required to disclose the number of competing offers to all buyers who have submitted a written offer. However, the specific terms and conditions of each offer remain confidential to the seller and their broker or salesperson. Working closely with your real estate broker or salesperson can help ensure that you understand the process and make informed decisions in a competing offer situation.

Working with a Real Estate Broker or Salesperson

The seller’s real estate broker or salesperson represents the interests of the seller in the transaction. The decisions about how offers are presented and responded to, as well as which offer is accepted, are made by the seller.

The buyer’s real estate broker or salesperson represents the interests of the buyer in the transaction. The buyer makes the final decisions related to their offer, including the important decision of whether or not they want to participate in a competing offer situation.

Before participating in a competing offer situation, buyers should carefully consider several factors to make informed decisions and protect their interests. Some key considerations include:

  1. Maximum Budget: Determine the maximum amount you are willing to pay for the property and stick to your budget. Avoid getting caught up in the heat of competition and offering more than you can afford.
  2. Financial Pre-Approval: Obtain a pre-approval from a lender to determine how much you can borrow and demonstrate your financial readiness to the seller. This can strengthen your offer and reassure the seller of your ability to secure financing.
  3. Non-Price Terms: Consider including non-price terms in your offer that may appeal to the seller, such as a flexible closing date, a larger deposit, or waiving certain contingencies. These terms can make your offer more attractive without necessarily increasing the purchase price.
  4. Contingencies: Evaluate the risks of removing or modifying conditions from your offer, such as financing, home inspection, or appraisal contingencies. While removing conditions may make your offer more competitive, it also exposes you to potential risks and liabilities. Proceed with caution and consult with your real estate agent and legal advisor.
  5. Property Value: Assess the current market value of the property based on comparable sales and market conditions. Avoid overpaying for the property in a competitive situation by conducting thorough research and seeking guidance from your real estate agent.
  6. Emotional Attachment: Be mindful of your emotional attachment to the property and avoid letting emotions cloud your judgment. Stay focused on your financial goals and priorities when making decisions in a competitive offer situation.
  7. Backup Plan: Have a backup plan in place in case your offer is not accepted or you decide to walk away from the deal. Consider alternative properties or be prepared to reevaluate your options if the competing offer situation does not result in a successful outcome.

By carefully considering these factors and consulting with your real estate agent and other advisors, you can navigate a competing offer situation with confidence and make decisions that align with your financial goals and priorities.

Closing day is the day when you finally take legal possession and get to call the house your home. The final signing usually happens at the lawyer or notary’s office.

These are the things that happen on closing day:

  • Your lender will give the mortgage money to your lawyer/notary.
  • You must give the down payment (minus the deposit) to your lawyer/notary. You must also give the remaining closing costs.
  • Your lawyer/notary the bank gives the lawyer the balance of money to close
  • Your lawyer forwards the funds to the seller ‘s lawyer
  • Title is transferred to the buyer and the lawyer releases the keys to the buyer. 

Post-Closing Costs 

Changing the Locks 
When you move into your new home you’ll want to change the exterior door locks for security. After all, you want only the people you choose to have the key to your new home. You can change the locks yourself or call a locksmith to do the job.

Both your old home and your new home should be given a thorough cleaning at moving time. Whether you’re buying cleaning supplies and doing it yourself, or hiring someone to clean for you, the costs can really add up. Plan for this expense.

You might want to re-paint, replace some light fixtures, refinish the floor, re-carpet, or do any number of other decorating tasks. Plan your budget, and consider postponing some projects for a period of time.

If your offer to purchase didn’t include appliances, and if you don’t have your own, you will have to buy them when you move into your new home. Some appliances might have installation charges.

Tools and Equipment 
When you own your own home, you can no longer call the landlord to do repairs. You’ll need to own some basic hand tools and possibly some gardening and snow clearing equipment.