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Selling a Home - The Process
Although it is the buyer's responsibility to perform due diligence on the legal health of the property, the seller still has work to do! This page describes the general process of how selling a home works, and what we at Guertin Lawyers do for our clients as part of that process. It describes:
- The Offer to Purchase
- Conditions of Purchase
- Our Tasks in Supporting Your Successful Sale
- The Green Light
1. The Offer to Purchase and Conditional Offers
The legal component of selling a home is the offer to purchase— the agreement of purchase and sale. As a seller, you decide on whether or not 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
- The dates by which conditions must be waived in order 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.
2. Conditions of Purchase
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 acted upon and either waived – allowing the transaction to proceed – or enacted, which can result in termination of the offer to purchase.
- The offer may be subject to a satisfactory building inspection
- The purchase may be subject to the buyer selling an existing home
- The purchase subject to buyer receiving mortgage approval form a lender
- You 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.
3. Our Tasks
When we represent you as a seller, you will have obligations that are specific to selling your home, such as paying real estate commissions if applicable, and paying out your mortgage. When we work for you as seller, these are some of the tasks that we take care of:
- 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
- Arrange for payment of mortgages and real estate commissions from the proceeds of the sale
4. The Green Light
Once all conditions have been reviewed and waived, the transaction is ready to close. As your lawyer, we will perform a variety of duties and tasks that are designed to ensure that you can close on the property per the agreement, and ensuring that your that your previous home sale closes efficiently and your new home investment is legally sound.