Making an Offer

Time to make an offer Magnifying glass

After you have found the best mortgage deal for your dream property, it's time to make the offer. Though this is an exciting part of the home buying experience, do not let it overshadow the importance of making the right decision. Once an offer is made it is legally binding.

You can make an offer by presenting the vendor with an offer to purchase or an Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Take note that your offer should include the following information:

  • Property details, including the name(s) of the seller(s) and the buyer(s)
  • The sum being offered for the property
  • Mortgage details and deposit amount (lawyer will finalize the mortgage paperwork)
  • Possession date
  • Expiration date at which the offer becomes void
  • A list of items which are to be left in the house (fixtures and fittings) as agreed verbally between seller and buyer
  • A statement of adjustment that confirms the price, balance of the deposit, and any other adjustments.

If you have any doubts as a buyer, you can make a conditional offer. Conditional offers protect the buyer in the event they cannot get a mortgage or the property fails home inspection.

The seller also has the ability to put in a counter offer if they are unsatisfied with the purchase offer, suggesting changes to the offer price, closing date, or any other aspect of the offer. As the buyer, you may negotiate the counter offer. You must keep your budget in mind, no matter how much you want the property. If the counter offer becomes too high that repayment of the mortgage will be difficult, do not act on emotion. Offer what you can afford.

Remember that your deposit (usually 10 per cent of the purchase price) is also required when you make an offer. The deposit amount is held by the seller's lawyer/agent and deducted from the purchase price when the offer is accepted. If you change your mind after the offer is accepted, you default your deposit. If the offer is not accepted, your deposit will be returned.

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