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Receiving an Offer

     An Offer to Purchase is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions under which a purchaser is prepared to buy. An Offer to Purchase will include general information such as both parties' names, the address of your property and all necessary dates. It will also include a negotiable purchase price; this being the first price offered and a list of the contents that may be sold with the home (the chattel). It will also include all financial details such as, the proposed down payment, amortization rates and terms, as well as the closing and expiration dates.

     Purchaser's who are seriously considering buying your house will include a deposit; the larger the deposit, the more serious the prospective buyer. If you accept the offer, it will be held in good faith by your realtor until the closing day when it will be applied to the purchase of your home.

     Offers have expiration dates and as such, you must respond to an offer before the specified date, usually one to two weeks after the initial offer. As the current homeowner, you can either choose to accept the offer, provide a counter offer, or reject the offer. Even if you choose to receive the offer, you can still negotiate the terms by way of a counter offer. A Counter Offer may propose a new price, change the closing date, as well as add or take away items that are to be sold with the home. After the Counter Offer has been finalized it is then submitted to the purchaser's representative. The buyer's have the option to accept the new offer, submit their own Counter Offer or reject the offer completely. This process may take a while to complete, as both you and the buyer can exchange offers for as long as it takes to come to an agreement.

     Before you can go any further, you and the buyer must negotiate the conditions of the offer. This conditional offer outlines any stipulations to the sale of the home and all conditions must be met before the home will be sold. Such conditions include, the purchaser's ability to acquire a mortgage, a successful home inspection or the sale of the purchaser's present residence. Once these conditions have been met, the Offer to Purchase becomes legally binding.

     One of the last things you must do before 'closing the deal' is to obtain an up to date survey of your property and forward it to your lawyer who will in turn forward it to the purchaser's lawyer. Though it is usually the vendor who pays for the survey, you may include a clause in your Counter Offer indicating that the buyer must pay for the survey.