Guide to Buying
If something happens where either the buyer or seller are not satisfied with the results of their trying to satisfy their conditions, then they may walk away from the contract at no cost and with no further obligation (deposit cheques are returned). Conditions are most commonly for the buyer, but you may have a seller’s condition as well.
Deposits – In order to write an offer, you will need a cheque and some available money for a deposit. This is initially a show of good faith in a transaction and is fully refundable if the conditions on the purchase are not removed. After the conditions are satisfied and removed in writing, the deposit becomes the seller’s security that you will complete the purchase (non refundable).
Price – There are only two things that are negotiable in a real estate transaction, price and terms. Once you know what terms and conditions you would like on the contract, and have completed your property research, you can now effectively determine the appropriate offer.
The offer price will be determined based on all the variables affecting this specific property. What terms do we need? How many offers are there? How long has the property been on the market? And many, many more. We will not be discussing negotiating strategy here, but remember this: What unique way can we meet the seller’s needs and still achieve our goals. This isn’t always strictly involving price.
The Offer Presentation and Acceptance Procedure – After the offer is written and signed, it is the REALTOR’s® job to present the offer to the seller. This will typicallly happen one of two ways:
First, if the seller is available, the offer can be presented in person or directly to the owner of the home. The listing REALTOR® will be there to represent their client, however this is a good opportunity to meet the seller and present your case in person (much more intimate and effective).
An alternative method is by faxing the offer. This means that you will need to be accessible by phone for negotiations to occur. Once a counter offer is received, or the offer is accepted, all parties will now need to sign the documents.
Step 6 – Satisfy Conditions
Once the offer is accepted, it is time to proceed with satisfying your conditions. This process usually involves arranging and performing a home inspection, getting all your personal information and the property information to your mortgage broker or bank, or simply doing research to gather whatever information is required. As REALTORS®, we play a huge role in gathering this information and making the necessary arrangements to ensure the process continues to run smoothly.
After the necessary information is verified, a decision to proceed (or not) is made, and the appropriate written notice is provided to the seller and their agent. Once the conditions are removed, the sale is considered “firm” and the property will be marked “sold” for advertising purposes (changed from C/S or Pending to Sold).
Step 7 – Preparing for Possession
Typical possessions are 30 – 60 days, however they may be quicker…a much quicker. Get the following items completed as fast as possible, as this will alleviate a large amount of stress.
Lawyers – You may have already chosen your lawyer at this point, however if you haven’t, it is now mandatory that we know who will be handling the transaction. Once you have a lawyer chosen, they will need all the required paperwork prior to you meeting with them. This is usually handled by your REALTOR® to ensure they get absolutely everything they need. You will be meeting with the lawyer about a week before you take possession and will need to provide your insurance information, the balance of your down payment, payment of fees, payment of any adjustments or taxes, sign documents, and finalize anything else that is required before you own the home.
Down Payment – If your down payment is not readily available, make the necessary arrangements to obtain it. You may need to transfer money, cash in bonds/stocks, or move money in another way. It is important to note that liquidating certain assets can take upwards of 30 days, be sure to consult your bank or mortgage broker about this.
Movers – If you are using professional movers, book early. Possession dates commonly fall on the 1st, 30th, or 15th of the month. Movers fill up their schedule very fast, so call ahead and make the arrangements early.