Home shopping can be daunting and complex. With a REALTOR® at your side, it’s easier to stay focused and on track. Remember, a REALTOR® works for you and must, by law, look after your best interests.
Make an offer
When you find the perfect property, it’s time to begin the process of making it yours. You have to make a successful offer, one that the seller will accept.
Prepare your offer
Your REALTOR® can prepare the offer for you. Here are some terms you'll see:
Buyer – that’s you
Seller – the present owners of the property
Purchase price – the amount of money you propose to pay for the property
Deposit - A cheque you write to the seller or the seller's broker. This is your way of saying 'my offer is serious'. The size of the deposit is up to
Chattels and fixtures included – find out whether the property’s “extras” such as the washer, dryer, draperies, and light fixtures are included as part
of the property sale. Don’t leave this to chance.
Irrevocability of the offer – the length of time you give the seller to consider your offer; usually less than 48 hours.
Completion date – the official day you take possession; can be 30-60 days after signing the final sale papers.
Clauses particular to this agreement – conditions that must be met for the sale to proceed; ie: a thorough home inspection
Your REALTOR® can help ensure no details are overlooked in your offer.
Submitting the offer
You’ve signed the paper work and your REALTOR® has submitted your offer to the seller. Two things can happen. The seller can either accept or reject your offer.
Rejected offers are common, and your REALTOR® can investigate why the offer was turned down.
The seller can also submit a counter-offer to you. This means they want to alter some part of your original offer – usually it’s the price and they will ask for a higher amount.
It’s now your turn to consider whether or not to accept the counter-offer.
Find a reliable home inspector
When buying a home, scrutinize every last detail. Home inspections rarely cost more than a few hundred dollars, and can save you from unpleasant surprises and long-lasting regrets. Your REALTOR® can provide contact for reliable home inspection companies.
You may want to make a satisfactory home inspection part of your conditional purchase offer.
If the seller does not want to allow a home inspection, be very cautious about proceeding with your offer.
Work with a qualified home inspection professional. Ask for credentials or membership with a recognized professional organization.
Home inspectors typically check:
Plumbing and electrical systems
The condition of the roof
Visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, and windows
The foundation’s integrity
The presence of lead paint, asbestos, mould
Out dated and dangerous electrical wiring
Evidence of pests such as mice, squirrels, racoons, or termites
Be part of the inspection. You may join the inspector as s/he goes through the property. If problems are detected, you’ll see them firsthand and get
some maintenance advice from a pro.
Get the inspection report in writing. The inspector will prepare and deliver a summarized review of the property’s condition.
New homes should be inspected, too. A new house does not equal perfect, and construction quality can vary greatly. In some provinces, repairs in new homes may be covered by a government or industry-sponsored warranty program. Bad news doesn't necessarily mean it will cost you.