Buying a home: How to make an offer

Put-your-offer-in-writing-with-help-from-a-solicitor_157_6004265_0_14101768_300When you have finally found on a property you love, the next step on the ladder is purchase. Buying a home can be one of the biggest decisions of your life and with so much money at stake, it’s extremely important to understand as much as possible about the process. Before you are legally or financially bound to the home, the first thing to do is make an offer. Here are a few things to understand about this aspect of the buying process.

What is a sales contract?

By law, a seller must draw up a sales contract before putting a property on the market. This will normally include a zoning certificate from the local council, a copy of the title to the property as recorded in the Land Titles Office and any documents outlining other registered interests in the property.

It’s vital that you have a solicitor or conveyancer look over a copy of the contract before you proceed. Be aware that you can ask for a copy of the contract at any point, not just when it comes to sign. Having this checked for loopholes or mistakes will save you a lot of time and energy later on, especially if you need to push the sale through quickly.

How do I make an offer?

An offer should include how much you are willing to pay for the property and any conditions on the sale (such as repairs or a timeframe).  Your intentions should be as clear as possible at this stage, so put your offer in writing with the help of solicitor or conveyancer.

Generally, after you have made an offer on the property, a vendor may ask you to pay an initial deposit as an expression of interest. This does not secure you the property exclusively, nor will the seller take it off the market – it simply indicates that you are serious about purchasing the property.

Once you have set down the deposit, the agent is obligated to provide a receipt and confirm a number of points in writing. It’s useful to have a sense of what to expect – this will stop any hiccups in the early stage.

First, the agent will confirm that they are under no obligation to sell the property to you and, similarly, you do not have to buy the property. They must, by law, let you know straight away if another party makes a late offer on the property. They will also guarantee that your deposit will be refunded if the sale falls through at any point.

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