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). It is very helpful to work with a realtor (and/or a lawyer/notary) to prepare your offer. The Offer to Purchase is a legal document and should be carefully prepared.
Before every offer is written I will go over all the comparable homes in the area to make sure you aren’t paying too much!
These items are typically included:
Your legal name, the legal name(s) of the Seller(s) and the legal civic address of the property.
The price you are offering to pay.
- Things included
The multiple lisitng will indicate the items in or around the home that are included in the sale must be specifically stated in your offer. Some examples might be window coverings and appliances. Buyers can also add itemds not included and see if the Seller is willing to include them.
- Amount of your deposit
- Typically the depsoit should represent a minimum of 5% +HST of the offering price.
- 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 It is not recommend to include the survey as part of the offer. It should be requested to be provided within 10 days of acceptance of the offer.
- Date the offer expires
There is an expiry date set on all offers during the negotiating. If sign backs are not met within this this date the offer becomes null and void — that means it’s no longer valid.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 and a waiver of these conditions is signed and given to the Seller.
Negotiating-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. Ask your lawyer to look at it before showing it to the Seller to be extra cautious (since you know an Offer to Purchase is legally binding) . The realtor presents the offer to the Seller. There are three possible responses in the negotiating process.
- Response 1
The Seller accepts your offer. The deal is concluded and you move on to the next steps in the buying process.
- Response 2
The Seller makes a counter-offer. The counter-offer might ask for a higher price or different terms. You can sign the offer back to the Seller, offering a higher price than your original offer, but lower than the Seller’s counter-offer. If the Seller accepts this counter-offer, the deal is concluded.
- Response 3
The Seller makes a counter-offer, asking for a higher price or different terms. If a counter-offer is returned to you at a higher price, ensure that you know exactly how much you can afford before you start negotiating. You don’t want to get caught up in the heat of the moment with costs you can’t afford. You reject the counter-offer because the price is still too high or you can’t agree to the conditions. There is no deal.
More than one buyer maight be interested in a property in certain market conditions. This is a competing/multiple offer situation and creates unique conditions in a real estate transaction. Both Sellers and Buyers need to consider how to respond when presented with a competing offer situation. Working closely with your realtor will ensure that you understand the process.
In Ontario, the Seller’s realtor is required to disclose the number of competing offers to all buyers’ agents who have submitted a written offer. However, the terms and conditions of each offer are confidential to the Seller and their realtor.
Working with a real estate Broker or Salesperson
The Seller’s realtor represents the interests of the Seller in the transaction. The Seller makes the decisions about how offers are presented and responded to as well as which offer is accepted (or not accepted).
The Buyer’s realtor 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.
In some situations, the realtor will represent the interests of both Seller and Buyer or multiple Buyers. Buyers will get guidance from their realtor if this situation arises.
Tips for Buyers
In a competing offer situation, Buyers may be tempted to offer more for the property than they planned to and/or remove conditions from offers that are intended to protect them.
Before participating in a competing offer situation, Buyers should consider factors such as:
How much can the Buyer has been pre-approved for to offer on the property and how much is the property worth? A high offer could enhance the Buyer’s chance of success. However, it may not be the best long-term financial decision for the Buyer. A competing offer situation does not necessarily mean that a property will sell for more than the asking price. Similarly, an offer that meets or exceeds the asking price will not guarantee that a Buyer’s offer is accepted.
Buyers should be aware that pre-approval for a mortgage does not safely eliminate the need for a financing condition in an offer. Although a buyer may be pre-approved, a house may not appraise at the amount offered. The Buyer would have to come up with the balance of the difference between the bank will finance and the price paid for the home.
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.
- You must give the down payment (minus the deposit) to your lawyer. You must also give the remaining closing costs.
- The bank gives your 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.
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.
Plan for cleaning expenses. You will need to give your old home and your new home a thorough cleaning at moving time. Whether you’re buying cleaning supplies, doing it yourself or hiring someone to clean for you, the costs can really add up.
You will most likely 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.
You will have to buy them when you move into your new home if your offer to purchase didn’t include appliances and if you don’t have your own. Some appliances might have installation charges.
Tools and Equipment
You’ll need to own some basic hand tools and possibly some gardening and snow clearing equipment. When you own your own home you can no longer call the landlord to do repairs.
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