Although it is the buyer’s responsibility to perform due diligence on the legal health of the property, as a seller, you also have work to do!
This article describes the general process of how selling a home works, and what we at Guertin Poirier do for clients as part of that process. It includes:
- The oﬀer to purchase and conditional oﬀers
- Conditions of purchase
- Our tasks in supporting your successful sale
- The green light
The legal component of selling a home begins with an oﬀer to purchase—the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. As a seller, you decide whether you will accept the oﬀer to purchase from the buyer. This agreement identifies the property you are selling, the selling price and the terms and conditions of the oﬀer.
Terms and conditions may include a variety of items that you and the buyer have agreed on, such as:
- the purchase price;
- the closing date;
- inclusions and exclusions of the sale, such as appliances, drapes, machinery, materials, and other items;
- buyer conditions that may apply, such as a building inspection or ﬁnancing conditions, or the buyer selling an existing home prior to ﬁnalizing the oﬀer;
- seller conditions, such as your right to consider ﬁrm oﬀers and your obligations to the buyer in these circumstances; or
- the dates by which conditions must be waived for the oﬀer to proceed.
You can expect us to review your agreement of purchase and sale and advise you of your rights and obligations, as well as any special clauses.
Most oﬀers are conditional—that is, they do not proceed until speciﬁed conditions have been waived. Throughout the course of formalizing the oﬀer, these conditions must be either waived–allowing the transaction to proceed–or enacted, which can result in termination of the oﬀer to purchase.
Examples of typical conditions are:
- the purchase may be subject to a satisfactory building inspection;
- the purchase may be subject to the buyer selling an existing home;
- the purchase may be subject to the buyer receiving mortgage approval from a lender; or
- you, as a seller, may be required to provide or conﬁrm certain elements that are part of the oﬀer, such as a land survey or disclosure of when stated repairs were done (e.g., a new roof), providing warranty information, and so on.
As part of our ﬁxed price, we will review and ensure you understand any conditional oﬀers and what they mean to you.
When we represent you as a seller, we will assist you with your numerous obligations, such as paying real-estate commissions or paying out your existing mortgage, as applicable. As part of our work, some of the tasks we will take care of include:
- fully review the Agreement of Purchase and Sale from the seller’s perspective;
- review all documentation from the purchaser’s lawyer;
- obtain outstanding amounts on existing mortgage(s) from lenders; and
- arrange for payment of mortgages and real estate commissions from the proceeds of the sale.
Once all conditions have been reviewed and waived, the Agreement of Purchase and Sale is considered “ﬁrm and binding” and your transaction can move forward. As your lawyer, we will perform a variety of duties and tasks designed to ensure you can close on the property per the agreement.