Buying a property
6. Draw up an offer to purchase on your future home
How i draw up an offer to purchase on my future home
The offer to purchase is the most important step in the property-buying process.
It’s the document in which you offer to purchase the seller’s property at a certain price and under certain conditions. If the seller accepts and the conditions are met within the specified deadlines, then you are legally obligated to buy the property. You cannot cancel an offer to purchase without the seller’s authorization.
- How to complete the offer to purchase
- Don’t play the counter-offer game
- What about conditional offers to purchase?
- The seller’s answer
- When several buyers make offers at the same time
- When you cannot reach an agreement with the seller
- When the offer is accepted
The offer to purchase is a document that must be completed carefully. That said, it’s a relatively easy document to fill out. Use the Eureka.House Sample Offer to Purchase to guide you through the process.
How to complete the offer to purchase
Don’t play the counter-offer game
Real estate agents often have their clients make an offer to purchase before even beginning to negotiate with the buyer. Negotiations usually begin with a counter-offer, in which the seller comes back with a price and conditions that he would have liked to have seen in the initial offer. Then the agents start negotiating mostly amongst themselves. However, the agents are not allowed to exchange vital information such as the seller’s acceptable minimum price. This way of negotiating is slow, difficult, frustrating…and requires lots of paperwork!
Furthermore, while you’re drawing up your third offer to purchase to the seller’s second counter-offer, the seller can accept another offer from another buyer.
There is only one way to proceed: Use the Eureka.House method!
Reminder: What should be included in the offer
For more detailed explanations, see our page What should be negotiated.
- Feasibility of building modifications
- Absence of warranty against hidden defects (sale without legal warranty)
- Inclusions and exclusions
- Sale date, occupancy date and time
- Deadlines for each condition
What is non-negotiable:
- Obtaining a mortgage
- Satisfactory inspection report
- Reading the Declaration of co-ownership
- Tests (pyrite, vermiculite, water, septic system)
Eureka.Housere commends that you do not make an offer to purchase conditional on the sale of your current property.
Consult the Eureka.House Sample Offer to Purchase.
What about conditional offers to purchase?
Very important: Never rely solely on memory, especially when negotiating. Refer to your notes and use our checklist for buyers. Make sure you cover all the points!
Before signing the offer to purchase:
- Read it carefully, as many times as you need
- Compare your offer with the notes you took during negotiations
- If you’re still not sure about your offer, think about it some more. If you’re overly hesitant about your offer, then it isn’t the right homefor you.
Once you’ve signed the offer, if the seller accepts it, you are obligated to buy the property. You cannot cancel your offer.
The seller’s answer
If you’ve verbally agreed with the seller and both of you have written up the offer to purchase together, then most likely the seller will immediately accept the offer once you’ve signed. Congratulations! You’ve made it through the most important step!
However, it is also possible that the seller will need more time to make a decision. For example, the seller might be in the process of negotiating with another buyer and is waiting to get an offer from that buyer before making a decision.
Here are the seller’s three options:
- Accept the offer
If the seller accepts your offer, it becomes a contract by which you are legally bound. Then, once all conditions have been met (for example, the inspection is deemed satisfactory), the seller is obligated to sell you the property and you are obligated to buy it.
- Refuse the offer
If the seller refuses your offer and the property is still on the market, then you can make a second offer. We strongly recommend that you communicate with the seller first, to find out what was wrong with the first one.
- Do not respond to the offer within the prescribed deadline
This is the same as refusing the offer.
The seller can always make a counter-offer. This is the same as refusing your offer and replacing it with a new one.
We strongly advise you not to get caught in this game of written counter-offers. Instead, ask the seller what he didn’t like about your offer, come to a new verbal agreement and modify the offer to purchase together.
Make sure the seller signs the offer to purchase before it expires. If the deadline has passed, you will have to make a new offer. Ideally, the seller will accept and sign the second offer right away.
If the seller is making negotiations complicated for no good reason, consider buying another property…
When several buyers make offers at the same time
This is the ideal situation for sellers, but not for buyers!
In this situation, sellers are often tempted to start a bidding war. Your seller might even threaten to accept another offer to try to convince you to increase your price or to modify certain conditions.
Just be aware that you’re not the only buyer with whom the seller is playing games.
One of the best ways to beat a seller at this game is to find out what is really important to them. Often, a seller will accept to lower the price in exchange for more suitable conditions.
For example, if the seller cannot move out right away, you can offer him a later occupancy date. This is where being polite and respectful throughout the negotiation process will really work in your favour!
When you cannot reach an agreement with the seller
You’ll be disappointed, but that’s normal. Continue needs looking at properties. The next one you find might be an even better match for you!
When the offer is accepted
Congratulations! Now it’s time to meet the conditions of sale.
Next step : Meet the conditions of sale.