So, you have made that big decision to move and the house of your dreams is in sight. But what comes next? You can’t just walk up and take the keys, the house isn’t yours yet. It’s paperwork time…and it’s not as straightforward as it sounds, but with the help of your Realtor or lawyer, you can get the job done. In order to draw up an offer to purchase there are some factors that you should consider ahead of time.

Let’s take a look at some of these elements. Taking the time to organize your thoughts on these points before writing up the offer will make the process that much easier.

Price

Determining the price to offer can be a difficult process. Offering too low may offend the seller and close channels of negotiation or cause you to lose the property to another buyer. On the other hand, you don’t want to pay more  than the house is worth. In order to come up with a reasonable price you need to be able to understand and assess the local market. This can be done by having your Realtor show you comparable homes, both sold and active in the market. Other factors to take into consideration can include: the condition of the house, the length it has been on the market, and if there is any competition from other buyers. If there is competition you have two choices, walk away or compete. When it comes to competition, you should have a good idea of what you would do in such a situation so you don’t make a quick decision and regret it later.

Deposit

The deposit is an amount the buyer makes to show their commitment to the deal and is applied to the purchase price of the home when the deal closes. The offer will detail when it is due, the agreed amount, where it is held, and what happens in the event that the deal falls apart. Be sure to consult your lawyer in regards to possible situations in which you may lose your deposit if the deal does not close. One instance may be if you walk away from the deal illegally. This can include you not being able to get a mortgage before closing or simply changing your mind. This is one important reason why conditions are included in the offer. If conditions are included in the offer and they are not fulfilled, the buyer would normally get the deposit back.

Inclusions and exclusions

When making your offer there are usually some items that you may want to ask for as part of the purchase. These items can include appliances, window coverings, pool equipment, or furniture. Any item that is not fixed to the property is referred to as a chattel. There is usually a section on the offer where you fill out which chattels you wish to include. As for exclusions, these typically refer to fixtures, which is anything fixed to the property and is usually expected to be included in the purchase of the home. In most real estate transactions there aren’t any fixtures excluded, but there may be an instance where a seller wants to bring something with them to the next property either because its unique or has some emotional meaning. If that is the case, the sellers are responsible for making sure the “fixtures excluded” area of the offer has been filled out correctly. Make sure you are aware of any excluded fixtures so that you are willing to accept or negotiate such items.

Conditions

Conditions are clauses placed within the offer to purchase which must be completed or fulfilled before closing. Both parties must agree to the conditions in order for the offer to be valid. Most common conditions include the need for obtaining financing, home inspection, or selling your current home. These conditions are extremely important as they protect the buyer and give them the opportunity to cancel the deal if they need to. If you are unsuccessful at obtaining financing or if the home inspection leads to discovering severe property damage, you are protected.  You can also list any other items you want the seller to pay for such as repairs, cleaning, or credits for discovered issues at home inspection, assuming you included that clause. Experienced real estate agents typically have a set of special conditions that they place in an offer to make it better for you. Each sale is unique in nature and requires different conditions, talk to your Realtor about what is best for your situation.

Closing day

In Canadian real estate transactions, closing day is the day you become the official owner of your new home. It is a date you and the seller have agreed upon where the title of the property and funds are legally transferred. Once the property deed and mortgage are officially recorded, the home is yours! The legalities vary in some provinces, some say the possession date is 1-3 days after closing, so find out how it works where you are located.

Once you have figured out all these details with your Realtor he/she will write up the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Make sure you go over it carefully to ensure all details that were discussed are present in the offer before signing it. Be sure to consider the seller’s point of view during negotiations as this will typically lead to a positive outcome for both parties. When all have been satisfied, you can take a deep breath, smile, and look forward to moving into your new home!

A blog helping people understand more about Real Estate in Ontario and Canada

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