Tag Archives: promise to purchase

Purchasing real estate: Your rights and obligations in 8 questions

Purchasing real estate is one of the biggest investments one can make in their lifetime, which is why it is so important to fully understand the associated legal implications. Can an offer to purchase be cancelled? What is a latent defect? A defect of consent? Interview with Martin Janson, real estate lawyer at Janson, Larente, Roy in Montréal.

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1. Is there a difference between an offer to purchase and a promise to purchase?

The term “offer to purchase” is often used, but the correct term is actually “promise to purchase”. In this document, the buyer proposes an amount to the seller to acquire the property and sets a deadline for a response. Once the promise is signed, there is to a certain extent a contract. One party is obligated to purchase, while the other is obligated to sell. However, the buyer can stipulate conditions to the promise to purchase. The most common are obtaining the necessary financing, the sale of their current property, and a satisfactory inspection report. Continue reading

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For Effective Home Visits

You’ve saved money. You’ve done your research and you’re just about ready to visit properties in the hopes of buying your very first home this year. You’d better make sure that these visits are effective. Here are a few tips.

  • We assume that you’ve defined your needs and priorities before visiting your first homes. Don’t make the mistake of defining them as you go along. If so, you’ll waste precious time.
  • Don’t wait to visit the property before getting the basic information, such as the age of the house, the electricity costs, the taxes, etc. Browse the websites of cities and power companies. They can usually give you this information. The real estate broker’s listings also hold a lot of information. If the house is not listed, a phone call or an email to the homeowner should suffice. If you’re afraid to sound too pushy, tell yourself that the homeowner is probably glad to proceed in that way. He or she will also be saving time.

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Happy young couple getting keys of their new house. Close up of female hand receiving keys from house broker. Closeup of the hand of a real estate agent who give the house keys to a woman while her boyfriend signing a contract.

Understanding the Promise to Purchase

You’re planning on buying your very first home in the near future. You have heard of a promise to purchase (formerly known as an offer to purchase) and you are wondering what its purpose is. Here are the main details.

The promise to purchase is the result of a series of exchanges and promises between the future home buyer and the current homeowner. All the details are written down in this document. The promise to purchase is an agreement, which defines the ground rules between the two parties. If conditions are set forth, the deadlines should be clearly stated and the parties undertake to fulfill them.

The promise to purchase is an important document because, as the title states, you commit to buy the property, but under certain conditions set forth on either side. These conditions are laid down in writing in this document.

The promise to purchase is the step that comes right before the deed of sale, which is the famous contract that officially declares you the owner of the coveted house. Just about every detail written down in the promise to purchase will be found in the deed of sale. The content is very similar. Continue reading

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The Benefits of Working with a Real Estate Broker

Spring is on our doorstep. For many of you, it’s the final race to buy that first home. In fact, why not make your last-minute rush a little less stressful by calling a real estate broker. It comes with a long list of advantages. Here are the major ones.

If time is of the essence, the real estate broker will be more than welcome. Not only will the real estate professional deal with the bulk of the work, but he or she will also work at a fast pace without skipping any steps.

First buyers usually have two common concerns: a possible budget overrun and buying a home with latent defects, which would implicate unforeseen renovation work and maybe even legal complications. Again, the real estate broker is there to assist first buyers and give them the proper advice to minimize those risks.

The real estate broker also helps first buyers to better manage their stress and avoid a ton of pitfalls, such as hasty decisions causing devastating consequences, poor knowledge of the laws and regulations or a lack of communication with the coveted house’s current owner. Continue reading

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How to negotiate a property purchase

“There is never a single fixed price. Every property has both a floor and ceiling price,” says Patrick Juanéda, President of the Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards (FCIQ). On one hand, the seller wants to close the deal and obtain the amount closest to the ceiling price. While on the other, the buyer wants to pay something closer to the floor price. Irreconcilable differences? Not at all. Finding common ground is entirely possible, and that’s what successful negotiating is all about.

The power of negotiation

“The price is always negotiable,” says Mr. Juanéda. Expect the average reduction percentage to be from 2 to 3%.”

The real estate expert does stress however that each situation is unique: “If a house is listed at a “good price” (near the floor price) and it’s located in an active market (single family homes around $300,000, for example) overbidding can’t be ruled out. Do you really want to miss out to save a few thousand dollars?”

On the other hand, you have more room to manoeuver with a property that has been on the market for over six months and seen little activity.

Recognizing various scenarios forms the basis of any negotiation. A qualified real estate agent has the experience and instinct to guide the buyer. Without one, you’d have to study the local house listings and visit a lot of properties to develop a flair for negotiation. Continue reading