Realty Executives Gateway Realty

The Whole Deal: From Offer to Closing

It would be great if closing a real estate transaction was like buying a new bike or TV, just a cruise through the aisles, pick your favourite model and head for the register. But this just isn’t the case. Real estate brokers, buyers, sellers, attorneys, inspectors, appraisers, lenders and sometimes contractors. Because of this, even the simplest transaction today typically takes between 30-45 days to close.


Here’s an overview of how the process will typically work once an interested buyer has submitted an offer.


Dealing with Offers


When a buyer or a buyer’s agent makes a formal offer, we will review the offer in its entirety together. It will include the offer price, as well as the terms and conditions to the offer.


Offers will come on a legal form, and if accepted, you will be entering into a legal contract with the buyer.


When we evaluate offers, we’ll of course consider the offer price, but also need to review:

  • All of the terms and conditions of the offer. Home buying offers regularly include terms such as what should be included in the sale of the home, possession date, financing, and scheduling a home inspection.

  • Anything that is an unusual request or requirement of the purchase offer. We’ll want to explore the full implications of anything odd that the buyer is including in a purchase offer.

  • Whether or not there are other offers on the table that are a better fit for you.

After a buyer submits an offer you can accept, reject, or counter the offer. We will prepare any counter offers together, and I will submit that to the buyer’s agent or the buyer and guide you through the negotiations.


On a typical home sale, here’s how things will run:


Once we’ve received an acceptable offer and entered into a buying contract, there are several steps that will need to be completed before the transaction and transfer of your property is complete.

  1. The buyer submits “earnest money” that is deposited into your real estate broker’s account.

  2. We will set a closing date with the buyer.

  3. The buyer will order an appraisal and an independent home inspection.

  4. The buyer will remove the “conditions of sale” after the appraisal and home inspection

  5. You will need to complete any agreed upon requests for repair that were submitted by the buyer before the closing date.

  6. Closing is scheduled and complete. Your house is sold!


Understanding Property Disclosures


You will be asked to fill out a property disclosure statement during the listing appointment on your home. This statement will list “material facts” about problems you are aware of regarding the condition and history of your home. By law, your real estate agent cannot complete these forms for you.


The general rule of thumb is that you must disclose anything that would:

  • Lower the perceived value of the property

  • Affect the buyer’s decision to purchase

  • Change the price and/or terms the buyer offers

As you fill out these forms, just remember that you should strive to answer all of the questions to the best of your ability. Don’t sweat the small stuff, but make sure you disclose everything that you’d want disclosed to you if you were the buyer. If you don’t know the answer to  a question (such as the exact age of the roof if you’re not the original owner or the like ), answer “Do not know.” But not having precise facts about defects you know exist does not permit you to answer “Do not know” to every question. This will always raise a red flag.


If you feel like you don’t properly understand the disclosure requirement, just ask us, we’ll be more than happy to explain anything for you.


Prepare for Closing


Understanding the steps and terminology used for the closing procedures are key, and we are happy to help you with a quick rundown of the process in our local area. There are a few things you will need to do to prepare.


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