Eight Basic Elements of an Offer
1. Basic Details
This includes the address and legal description of the property, and the names of the vendor, purchaser and brokers involved.
Depending on the market conditions, your opinion of the value of the home and the information provided by your RE/MAX Associate, the price you offer may be different from the seller's asking price.
3. Chattel - Inclusions and Exclusions
Items within the home that will be included in the purchase price such as appliances, fixtures or decorations such as drapes or mirrors are referred to as chattel. Don't assume that anything will be left behind. If you want it, put it in writing.
The deposit shows your good faith and will be applied against the purchase of the home when the sale closes. Deposits are usually no more than 3-5% of the purchase price, but a larger deposit can show the vendor that you're serious. Your RE/MAX associate will advise you on the appropriate amount, and you may wish to stipulate that some interest be paid on it in the meantime.
These include the total price of your offer as well as the financing details. You may arrange your own financing or may ask to assume the seller's mortgage, especially if it has an attractive interest rate. There will also be an expiration date and time after which the offer is no longer valid.
These might make your offer subject to home inspection, to your obtaining financing or to your selling your property.
7. Closing or Possession Date
Generally, the date the title of the property is legally transferred and the transaction of funds is finalized between 30 and 90 days from the date of the offer. This is often a good negotiating point as vendors usually have a fixed date in mind.
8. Request for a Current Survey of the Property
If the vendor does not have one, you may wish to make one obtaining a land survey a condition of the closing. In most cases, the vendor will not pay for a new survey. As discussed earlier, you can ask the vendor to provide a "Declaration of Possession" or you could buy a "Title Insurance" policy instead. If however, you are planning to add to the house or build a garage, the best idea is to request a new survey - you'll likely need it to get your building permits.
It's a day filled with nervous anticipation. This is the day on which all of the legal and financial promises in the offer are met. It's the day when you get the keys and begin a new phase in your life. Your RE/MAX agent and your lawyer will give you all of the details on steps and timings. All of the small details will be taken care of ahead of time, so in most cases it will be just a day of waiting by the phone.
Also, remember that this is a hectic day for the seller, too! Very often it's moving day and they're trying to gather all of their belongings to leave as the purchaser is trying to move in.
In brief, here's what takes place before the actual closing day:
1. A copy of the offer will have been forwarded to the office of your lawyer. Your lawyer will have reviewed the conditions of the sale. You will have made your lawyer aware of how you, and any co-buyers, will be registered on the title of the property.
2. All of the conditions in the offer to purchase must be satisfied by the closing date. If one of the conditions in your offer was a house inspection, it should have been completed by the closing date, and you should be satisfied with the report.
3. All of your financing details will have been finalized and ready to fall into place on the closing date.
4. If the vendor did not have an up-to-date land survey, you'll have had one done. Your lender will insist on it.
5. Your lawyer will search the title of the property to ensure that you can purchase the home without any legal problems. Your lawyer will also make sure that tax payments have all been made and there are no liens on the home or the personal property the vendor has agreed to sell you as part of the deal.
6. You'll want to make sure that you've contacted all of the utility, cable, and phone companies to ensure an easy transition of service and billing.
7. Your lawyer will prepare a statement of adjustment. This confirms the selling price, adjustments, and the balance (less the deposit you provided with the offer). Your lending institution will draw up a certified cheque for your lawyer to hold in trust.
8. Additional settlement charges will have to be paid:
Your lawyer's fee and disbursements
Condo and co-op fees (Remember to ensure there is an adequate Reserve fund in place and that the condominium has a proper Technical Audit and Reserve Fund Study completed by competent professionals.)
Tax and utility adjustments; if they have been pre-paid, you'll have to pay the vendor for the portion of the service you assume
Land transfer tax; based on the price of the home, this fee ranges from 0.5% to 4% of the selling price
9. You'll want to make sure your homeowner's insurance policy will be in place to cover your new home and property once the deal is closed. Your lawyer will need a copy of the policy before closing.
What to expect on Moving Day
Saying good-bye to one neighbourhood and discovering a new one is an exciting adventure. But let's face it, at the end of your home-buying process you may find yourself exhausted. After all, the other obligations in your life have not paused.
What's more, now there's another cost -- moving. Whether you hire professionals or strong-arm friends into helping, be prepared for the cost of the move. Here are some suggestions on how to reduce the cost of your move, but let's first look at how to prepare for the big day.
You will have noticed that your possessions expand to fill the space allotted. Guess what, if you're moving into a larger home, you'll be gathering more stuff, so start out right.
Don't take it all. Before you pack it all into boxes and cart it to a new location, take a good look at everything and find out what you can live without. This is a great time to have a garage sale and what doesn't sell, you can give away to charity.
Have all of your change of address cards filled out months in advance. You'll want to notify friends, family, businesses, organizations you're a member of, etc. Have the cards ready to mail once the deal is closed. Redecorate before the move. Sometimes it isn't possible, but if you have the chance to work without the obstructions of furniture, you'll find that you can get twice the work done in half the time.
Put the utilities in your name. Hydro, water, gas are the first companies to call. But don't forget to coordinate your telephone and cable service. Of course, you'll want to let the companies servicing your old home know when to disconnect service there.
You'll want to ensure that each item you own is well packed to minimize damage during travel. Whether you're moving around the corner, across town or across the country, the moving process is always the same.
To Hire Movers or Not to Hire Movers?
If you hire movers to pack for you, they'll descend on your home with a crew of experienced packers who will seal, pad and itemize everything you own in a day or two.
During the move, you'll want to make sure you're insured while your belongings are in transition. Many moving companies also offer additional insurance.
On moving day, go through the house with the crew supervisor and have him take note of any special instructions. If there are items you will need first in your new home (like a crib) make sure they put it in the moving van last. The movers will also make note of the condition of your goods on a master list. It is your responsibility to make sure it's accurate.
After the van is unloaded and your goods are unpacked, inspect everything and make note of any damage. While movers do unpack, they don't put dishes or linens away.
If you are undertaking the packing process by yourself, it will take time. Pack well in advance, and take note of what you can really live without. You'll have items that need special attention and other items that need to be disassembled. Label each box in detail and, if you know where it will go in your new home, put the destination on the box.
Pack what you need most last!
Label each box carefully!
Designate a destination!
You'll also want to pack a box of essentials.
These are items you're likely to use once you arrive in your new home. Include items like:
toothbrushes and toothpaste
garbage bags (a lot of them!)
paper plates, cups and plastic utensils
hammer, screwdrivers, pliers
some light bulbs
snacks and drinks