Making an Offer to Purchase

You may want to read the previous chapter on finding out and negotiating the price for your new home here.


Official Purchase Offers

When you proceed to making an official offer, make sure it clearly states all the important points and conditions in writing.  Your offer to purchase document is known in British Columbia as an Contract of Purchase and Sale.  A well-written Agreement should not lack the following:
  • the price you offer for the house,
  • a fairly detailed breakdown of what is to be included in the sale (such as appliances, furniture, doors, fixtures, etc.),
  • the terms upon which the sale is contingent, such as secured financing, satisfactory results of a home inspection, a successful sale of your current home if applicable, etc., these are referred to as Subjects or Conditions
  • disclosure provisions to ensure that you know of any defects in the home, protecting you in case something breaks after the offer has been accepted
  • seller’s concessions, if any
  • a smaller deposit tendered immediately or when subjects are removed should there be any, towards the down payment (typically no less than 5% of the price)
  • a suggested closing date, possession date and date of adjustment (see below for tips on Closing dates)
  • an expiry date that requires the seller to decide whether they take the offer or not (a short expiry date will force the seller to make a decision in a haste, which might be positive for you as a buyer).
Once you’ve prepared all of the above, you submit the offer to the seller and wait.  If you want to pay less than the asking price, propose other terms that will make your offer more attractive to the seller, such as a speedy closing with no conditions.Once he or she reviews the offer, the seller lets you know whether he or she accepts it or rejects it.  The seller may write a counter-offer derived from your initial offer and send it back to you for reconsideration.  This process may repeat itself, but, with any luck, will resolve one way or another within a few days.Don’t worry, however.  Although this is serious negotiation, the agreement is not binding until both parties actually accept and sign the contract.

Tips on Closing/Possession Dates

It is hardly a good idea to arrange your closing and possession dates at the end of the month (or, even worse, the end of the year).  These times are busy for everyone.   You will also have better luck with moving companies. If you are renting consider a closing date a week to 10 days before the end of the month so you don't lose too much in rent but also aren't moving out on the same day as other tenants.  Ensure that the date of Completion (the day money changes hands) is not a Friday - early to midweek is always best, just in case there are any problems with the bank or Land Titles Office. 

Now that you know the important highlights of making an offer find out how to turn it into a firm deal and close it!

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Michelle Vaughan

Mobile: 604-839-3000

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Royal Le Page Sussex Realty

2397 Marine Drive  West Vancouver,  B.C.  V7V 2K9 

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