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Market Update: We’ve had a strong first half of 2024 with the number of sales increasing in Winkler & Morden and a slight decrease in Altona but overall, 2023 and 2024 have been quite similar across the Pembina Valley. Read Post

The time has come – you have looked at several homes and now you have found a house you would like to purchase.

So, what happens from now until you move in? This is the process your Realtor will take you through between writing an offer and putting the sold sign up.

Pre-Approval for a Mortgage

If you will be financing the home with a mortgage, you will want to make sure you have been pre-approved for the purchase price by a mortgage broker or lender. That way you can place the offer with confidence, assuring both yourself and the seller that you will not be rejected for that reason.

 

Offer to Purchase

An offer is the terms and conditions of a transaction – the contract between a buyer and seller, and is written with the help of your Realtor. There are 5 main parts to consider in writing the offer, and your Realtor will advise you of what steps would be best for you.

  • Conditions: The offer you write may be written with conditions or unconditionally, depending on your unique situation.A condition is a requirement the buyer chooses to place in the offer contract that must be completed by an expiration date that you choose. Each condition must be satisfied and removed by that date in order for the house to be sold. Common conditions include:
    • Obtaining financing through bank or lender
    • A home inspection (An expense of $300-$600 paid for by the buyer)
    • Property Discloser Statement to be included (A form where the seller’s disclose any issues they’ve experienced with the house during ownership)
    • Sale of home to be finalized first

If your offer is unconditional (having no conditions), the house is yours once they have accepted it.

  • Deposit: When you make an offer on a property, you are typically required to include a deposit. The deposit acts as collateral and is a sign of good faith that the buyer will complete the contract. A few notes on the deposit:
    • The deposit can be for any amount but the stronger your deposit, the stronger your offer appears.
    • The deposit is held in the listing brokerage’s trust account and is not at risk while buyer conditions are being met. If the deal falls through because a buyer condition is not met, the deposit is returned to the buyer.
    • If the deal is not completed by the buyer once all conditions are met, the buyer may be at risk of losing the deposit
    • The deposit forms part of the down payment and is transferred to the buyers lawyer just before possession date.
    • A deposit can be made by cheque, bank draft or e-transfer.
  • Price: Deciding how much you want to offer can be one of the most difficult decisions to make on the offer, especially in a seller’s market where you are often competing with other buyers. You want to offer a price that’s not too low and is within your budget. Your Realtor can help you determine the right price based on your financial situation, looking at what comparable homes are selling for, assessing the condition of the home, and navigating your competition.
  • Possession/Closing Date: You want to decide on a possession date that will work well for you, but also for the seller. The more you are willing to adapt to the seller’s need, the stronger your offer.
  • Inclusions and Exclusions: You will want to specify on paper exactly what you would like included or excluded. This can be anything from appliances, window coverings, decorative items or furniture pieces. Again, when in a seller’s market with competition, you will want this to be the most appealing to the seller and not turn them away because you’ve asked for a family heirloom.
  • Response: Your offer is presented by your Realtor to the seller’s Realtor. Once the sellers have reviewed your offer with their Realtor, your Realtor will contact you with a response. Your offer could either be accepted, rejected, or a counter-offer is submitted. A counter-offer states that your offer was accepted, but with one or more modifications made (price, possession date, deposit amount, etc.) In the case of a counter-offer, you can either accept, decline, or submit an entirely new offer.
  • Acceptance: Once the offer is mutually accepted, any conditions in the offer will need to be satisfied. You will want to mark these deadlines in your calendar.

When all conditions are satisfied…

Congratulations!

The house is now sold.