For the offer to be valid, it must contain a number of specific dates and times. Your initial offer will be valid for a specific period of time, usually until midnight of the same day or the following day, after which the offer is deemed to be dead. This time frame is called the irrevocable period.
This is the date set for the transfer of ownership of the property negotiated between you and the Seller and can also be referred to as the closing date.
This is the period in which your lawyer must determine if there are any problems with the title of the property and is usually set 14 days prior to the completion date.
A deposit cheque must accompany the offer to the Seller. The amount of the deposit will vary depending upon the value of the property, but usually represents between 5% and 10% of the purchase price.
Fixtures are any items permanently attached to the property. For example, a bathtub, sink or toilet permanently plumbed in would be a fixture. Technically, anything nailed to the building is a fixture while items screwed in (because screws can be removed) are chattels. This is often an area of contention when buying a resale home so be aware of this distinction and, if in doubt, put it in the offer.
Chattels, unlike fixtures, are not deemed to be part of the property and must be specified in the offer if you want them included in the sale. The following are some items you may wish to include in the offer: area rugs, ceiling fans, chandeliers and other light fixtures, draperies, wood burning stoves and accessories, microwave ovens, refrigerators/freezers, stoves and ovens, washers and dryers, window air conditioners, garage door openers, storage sheds, swing sets and other playground equipment, garden furniture, barbeques, central vacuums and equipment.
NEGOTIATING THE OFFER
After signing the offer, your Broker or Sales Representative will register it with the Listing Broker or Sales Representative. A time will be set for the Listing Broker or Sales Representative and your Broker or Sales Representative to meet and present the offer to the Seller. The Seller has a number of options available:
- Reject the offer;
- Accept the offer exactly as presented, making no changes;
- Make a counter-offer back to you with whatever changes the Seller wants, such as price, closing or conditions. You then have the option of accepting the Seller's counter-offer or making your own changes and signing the newly amended offer back to them. This is where your Broker or Sales Representative's negotiation skills come into play.