Buying a property
7. Meet the conditions of your offer to purchase
Once your offer has been accepted and you meet the conditions of sale, you are obligated to buy the home and the seller is obligated to sell it to you.
Make sure you meet the deadlines for each condition.
Here are the most common conditions:
Sale date, occupancy date and time
As a general rule, the buyer chooses and pays for the notary. Make an appointment with a notary that also suits the seller.
Before the meeting, ask the notary what information and documents he needs and how to send them.
Hire a qualified inspector.
Make the appointment with the seller andgive the inspector a copy of the seller’s declaration form .
Accompany the inspector during his visit. You might need to access tight spaces (like under the sink, in the attic or crawl space), so wear comfortable casual clothing.
Don’t hesitate to ask the inspector questions or to explain things you don’t understand. After all, you’re paying for the inspection, and it’s your future home!
If it’s an old property, it’s normal that certain things won’t be perfect. Make sure you understand the difference between “normal wear and tear” and “a serious problem that needs to be fixed.”
The inspector will give you a written report. Read it. If anything in the report isn’t clear to you, ask the inspector to explain it.
If the inspector does find a serious problem, then you have two options:
- Cancel the offer to purchase.
- Renegotiate the conditions. For example, the price.
Either way, discuss it with the seller first.
In the meantime, it is very important that you answer the seller in writing before the deadline expires, as specified in your offer to purchase.
- Inspection deadline: June 15
- Deadline to inform the owner of your decision: Four days after the date of the inspection deadline, June 19
Let’s say you have the inspection done on June 12 (before the June 15 deadline). The inspector gives you his report on June 16. The report indicates that the roof is leaking and some walls are badly damaged. You contact the owner on June 17 (before the June 19 deadline) to discuss this. You ask for a price decrease of $20,000 to fix these problems. The owner tells you that the condition of the roof was already factored into the price. You cannot reach an agreement, but the seller tells you he needs a bit more time to think about it and will get back to you.
A few days pass and it’s June 20. The owner still hasn’t received a letter from you saying that you were dissatisfied with the inspection.
What happens next?
Because you haven’t officially responded in writing before the June 19 deadline, the inspection report is deemed satisfactory. At this point, you cannot refuse to buy the home or demand a significant price reduction due to the leaky roof and damaged walls.
What you should do when there’s a problem with the inspection:
- • Discuss it with the seller. Try to reach an agreement. If you do reach an agreement, modify your offer in writing. Ensure that both you and the seller accept and sign this modification before the deadline expires (in this example, by June 19).
- • If you do not reach an agreement, or if the owner has not signed to confirm acceptance of the modification, then cancel your offer to purchase in writing. Specify that it’s because you were not satisfied with the inspector’s report. At the very least, you can always make a new offer.
As needed, read our section on hidden defects and selling without legal warranty..
If the offer to purchase is conditional to certain test results (pyrite, vermiculite, water quality, septic tank, etc.) follow the same procedure as for the inspection..
You don’t need to be at the property for these tests, but the owner does.
Get back to the owner about the test results before the deadline expires, just like for the inspection.
Co-ownership documents for divided and undivided co-properties
The seller must provide you with:
- The declaration of co-ownership
- The building regulations
- Accounting recordsattesting to the financial soundness of the condo association
If you are not satisfied with any of these documents (for example, you find out that you cannot have a dog, or that the condo association does not have the funds to cover major repairs), you can cancel your offer or negotiate a price reduction.
Just like for the inspection, submit your decision in writing to the owner by the deadlines specified in the offer to purchase.
Feasibility of building modifications
Proceed in the same way as for the home inspection .
Obtaining a mortgage
Your mortgage pre-approval is not a mortgage, therefore it does not meet this condition.
You must obtain a mortgage loan without conditions for the home you want to buy. The address of the property must be specified on the loan contract. Make an appointment with your financial institution and respect the deadlines indicated in the offer to purchase.
It is often worth shopping around for the best rate. You could save thousands of dollars! To find out how, see our Shop for the best rate section.
Once all conditions have been met…
You are one step away from owning your new home! All that’s left is meeting with the notary and seller to sign the deed of sale.
It’s usually the buyer who chooses the notary and pays his fees. Make an appointment with any notary you like after making sure the seller is available.
Now is also the time to plan:
- Your move
- The transfer or cancellation of your utilities and services
- Your change of address
- Utilities, services and subscriptions
- Credit cards
- Canada Post
Next Step : Prepare for the notary meeting.