Understanding the offer

Prior to showing your home and after a thorough evaluation with a Real Estate Professional, you should have the following: a realistic idea of the price; how low you will settle; what conditions you will accept; and what terms would be agreeable.

With this information you are prepared. When an offer is presented, you will be able to compare it to your initial guidelines. Your Real Estate Professional will evaluate these offers and hopefully, arrive at one that comes closest to your objectives.

At the same time however, your Real Estate Professional will likely exercise some leveraging power with any other negotiable items. A Real Estate Professional works on your behalf, considering all the factors, you as a buyer, and the seller, to work at an agreement that is satisfactory for both parties. It comes down to persuasion and negotiation. Your Real Estate Professional has specialized training in this important area.

Evaluating the offer

An interested buyer will present an offer to your Real Estate Professional through his or her agent. Your agent will discuss the offer with you, ensuring you understand all aspects. The offer is a legally binding contract which contains the following elements:

  • The names of the potential purchaser.
  • Your name.
  • Property description
  • Conditions of purchase including:
    - price
    - closing date
    - conditions, easements, caveats
    - survey
    - home inspection
  • An irrevocable date (you have until this date to accept or sign back a counter offer).
  • Mortgage details (such as assumable mortgage, seller’s buyback or other arrangements)

Keep in mind that the purchase price is not the final price you will receive. That is because you will have additional fees to cover from the sale of the home including:

  • lawyer
  • real estate agent
  • bank (for the balance of your mortgage and for any prepayment or discharge penalties)
  • taxes (if there are any outstanding)

You and your agent should thoroughly review every detail. If there is anything you do not understand, ask!

Before you accept and sign the offer, it is a good idea to have your lawyer review the offer. This way, you can be confident nothing has been missed, everything is legally accurate and your interests are protected. (see additional article - Seek legal representation)

Accepting the offer

When you are satisfied with the offer, you will want to accept it. To secure this contract, your Real Estate Professional will ask the buyer for a deposit. Your agent will hold the deposit. Upon closing, the deposit will be applied to the commission owed.

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