Understanding the Offer Process When Buying a Home in Canada

Buying a home is exciting, but it can also feel overwhelming if this is your first time doing it. Don't worry. We've got you covered. From finding the right real estate agent to signing on the dotted line at closing, we'll walk you through what it takes to buy a house in Canada. Buying a house may require patience, but with the right help, you'll move into your new home before you know it.

Preparing to Make an Offer on a Home in Canada

Once you’ve found a home you want to buy in Canada, it’s time to make an offer. But before you do, there are a few things you need to prepare.

Financing

Make sure your financing is in place. Work with a mortgage broker to determine how much you can borrow and lock in an interest rate. Have a down payment of at least 5-20% of the purchase price.

The offer

Draft an offer to purchase that includes the legal property description, your offered price, closing date, conditions like financing approval, and other terms. Submit it to the seller’s real estate agent.

Negotiating

The seller may accept your offer, reject it, or counter with their offer. Be prepared to compromise by negotiating in good faith. If you reach an agreement, you’ll sign the final offer to purchase.

Inspections

Schedule professional inspections of the home within the inspection period in your offer. You can back out or renegotiate if major issues are found.

Removing conditions

Meet all conditions in your offer, like financing approval. Your agent will submit a notice to the seller removing your conditions. Your deposit, typically around 5% of the price, is now non-refundable.

Legal documentation

Review and sign the final legal documents, including property transfer documents. Your lawyer will ensure documentation is complete, and registration will be processed on closing day.

Closing Day

On the closing or completion day, legal documents are signed to transfer ownership to you officially. Make your down payment, get the keys, and welcome to your new home!

Submitting and Negotiating Your Offer With the Seller

Once you’ve found a home you’re interested in, it’s time to make an offer to the seller. This starts the negotiation process to determine if a deal can be reached.

  • Gather all the details about the property like the asking price, square footage, number of rooms, year built, and any recent renovations. Research comparable properties in the neighborhood to determine a fair offer price.
  • Connect with a real estate agent to draw up an official offer to purchase. They can advise you on an appropriate initial offer based on the average selling price of similar homes. Your offer will include the price you’re willing to pay, conditions like a home inspection, and a closing date.
  • Submit your offer to the seller, either directly or through their agent. They may accept your offer, reject it, or counter with a different price or terms. Be prepared to negotiate back and forth until you reach an agreement.
  • Once your offer is accepted, the property is officially under contract. You’ll proceed to the home inspection, financing approval, and closing on the scheduled date.
  • The closing, or completion day, is when you sign the final paperwork, get the keys, and the property is legally yours! It typically takes 4 to 6 weeks from an accepted offer to close, so start planning your move.

With some patience and compromise, you'll navigate the offer process successfully. Keep your eye on the prize—those keys to your new home! Stay determined, and don't get discouraged. You'll make it to the closing table if it's meant to be.

Completing Inspections and Securing Financing

Once your offer has been accepted, it’s time to complete the necessary inspections and secure financing to close your new home.

Inspections

Hire a professional home inspector to evaluate the property. They’ll check that the plumbing, electrical systems, foundation, roof, and structure are in working order. You’ll receive a report outlining any issues found. Negotiate with the seller to have repairs done or lower your offer price.

Appraisal

Your lender will appraise the property’s market value and ensure it’s worth what you’re paying. The appraiser will assess comparable properties recently sold in the area. You may need to renegotiate or pay the difference if the appraisal is lower than your offer.

Mortgage

Meet with your mortgage broker or lender to review and sign documents like the mortgage application, agreement of purchase and sale or offer to purchase, and other disclosures. Provide documents confirming your income, employment, and down payment and that you qualify for the mortgage amount.

Home insurance

Shop for home insurance to protect your new property. Compare quotes from different companies and choose a policy covering the home’s structure and contents in case of damage from fire, theft, or natural disasters. Your lender will require proof of insurance before finalizing the mortgage.

Down payment and closing costs

The down payment, typically 5-20% of the purchase price, is due when you close on the home. You’ll also need to pay closing costs like legal fees, property taxes, and title insurance, which average 2-5% of the purchase price. Make sure you have enough in your account to cover all costs.

When all conditions have been met, you’re ready to sign the final paperwork and get the keys to your new home! The closing or completion day is when the property legally transfers into your name. Enjoy this exciting milestone—you did it!

Signing the Purchase Agreement and Waiving Conditions

Once you’ve found a home you want to buy and the seller has accepted your offer, signing the purchase agreement is time to make things official. This crucial step will outline all the deal terms, like the closing date, purchase price, conditions you want to include, and more.

Waiving conditions

As a buyer, you'll want to do your due diligence by including conditions like a home inspection or financing approval. However, there may be cases where waiving certain conditions could make your offer more appealing to the seller. You'll need to weigh the risks and determine what's most important to you. If you do waive conditions, be sure you fully understand the implications.

Closing date

The closing date is when you officially take possession of the home. Work with your real estate agent and lender to determine a realistic timeline for any remaining conditions to be met before setting this date. Legal documents are signed to transfer ownership on closing day, and keys are exchanged.

Purchase price and deposit

The purchase price and deposit amount are specified in the agreement. The deposit, typically 5-10% of the purchase price, is paid as a show of good faith. It's held in trust by your real estate brokerage and goes toward the down payment at closing. If financing falls through, the deposit may be at risk, so make sure you're pre-approved for a mortgage first.

Additional clauses

Other clauses may be included, like property disclosure, appliances included, tenant status, etc. Carefully review all terms with your agent and lawyer to ensure your interests are protected before signing. Don’t feel pressured to sign anything you're unsure or uncomfortable with.

Signing the purchase agreement is a big step, but if you go in prepared with a trusted team of professionals, you'll navigate it confidently. Do your due diligence, understand all terms, and don't hesitate to ask questions. The keys to your new home are almost in reach!

Closing the Deal and Taking Possession of Your New Home

After the conditions in your offer have been met and the closing date arrives, it's time to sign on the dotted line and get the keys.

You'll meet with the seller to officially transfer ownership. Bring a government-issued ID, a void cheque for property tax payments, and a certified cheque for the downpayment and closing costs.

Sign the closing documents, including the deed and title, to legally transfer the property to you. The seller's lawyer or notary will register the transfer, and you'll pay the balance owed.

Once registered, the property is officially yours! Meet your real estate agent to get the keys. They'll walk you through the home one last time, demonstrating any systems and leaving instruction manuals.

Congratulations, you now have a place to call home! But there are still a few final steps.

  • Notify utility companies to transfer or set up new hydro, water, and gas accounts. Arrange insurance for the property and your belongings.
  • Consider changing the locks for security. Meet your new neighbors and explore the neighborhood.
  • Set up mail forwarding to your new address. Throw a housewarming party! Enjoy settling into your new home.

The home-buying process in Canada requires patience, but with the right real estate agent and financing in place, you'll be moved in before you know it. Best of luck in your new place!

Conclusion

Congratulations, you made it to the end of the process - it’s time to celebrate! Buying a home is no easy feat, but if you’ve followed all the steps, dotted your i’s, and crossed your t’s, the keys to your new place should now be in hand. Pat yourself for navigating one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make. Now, the real fun begins as you make the space your own. Enjoy turning that house into a home, and good luck on this exciting new chapter of homeownership! The paperwork is done, and the deal is closed, so go ahead - pop some champagne, you’ve earned it!

 

Post a Comment