There are a lot of details that go into making an offer on a home, and the entire process usually starts and finishes before buyers really have time to think. We do everything we can to help you understand the process while it’s happening but a little prep work can do wonders in helping you know exactly what’s included with the offer you make.

A purchase offer is a comprehensive document that includes a lot of information, so we always recommend having a real estate lawyer assist with the details. We’ll also help you review the documents to ensure all your bases are covered. In the majority of cases, a home offer includes:

  • Your offering price
  • All the financial details of your offer, including the amount of the deposit
  • When you want to take possession
  • Items in the home that you want included, like appliances, fixtures, curtains and carpets
  • A request for the current land survey
  • The expiry date on the offer, which is often within 48-72 hours
  • Any additional conditions you have, like the offer being dependent or mortgage approval or passing required inspections

An offer on a house is legally binding contract, so it’s important to ensure that you are comfortable with all the terms before your offer is made. Never leave something out thinking it can be negotiated later, because that’s rarely the case. Make sure both a lawyer and real estate agent have looked over the offer documents and ensure that you understand every single line.

Once a seller receives an offer, he or she will review the terms and then reply. Sometimes this will be an acceptance, while other offers may be met with a counter-offer. This may be a higher price, a different closing date, or any other number of variables. If the seller choses another offer or doesn’t think you two will come to mutually beneficial terms, they can also reject the offer entirely.

After an offer has been agreed upon by both the buyer and seller, there are a few final matters to take care of. On the possession date, all of the required payments and fees are exchanged, a lawyer will register your house in your ownership, and you will receive the deed and keys. Congratulations!