The Art of Buying a Home - During the Purchase

Once your preparations have all been completed, you are ready to buy your home! We know that the home-buying process can be complicated and stressful though, so we compiled everything you need to know during the process of buying a home in Quebec in this article!

The Promise to Purchase

What is a Promise to Purchase?

Whether it’s the first house you see or the last of a long string of exhausting tours, placing an offer on a home is an exciting and often nerve-wracking experience. However, once this offer is accepted it can be quite satisfying.

One of the first things you have to do is discuss the details of the promise to purchase with your broker. This is a written agreement that defines all conditions of the sale of the home. Once it is accepted by the seller, it has to be respected! Think of this less as a conventional “promise” and more of a binding contract.

We highly recommend running it by your broker or notary before sending it to the seller just to make sure everything is in order.

What does it include?

The promise to purchase needs to contain all of the details of the sale. This includes:

  • The price offered

  • The amount of the down payment

  • All goods included in the sale

  • The date of the title transfer and occupancy (OACIQ, 2020)

The promise to purchase becomes official when all these conditions are met. We always recommend adding an inspection clause with all offers to help make you aware of any potential issues with the home. Although these are visual inspections and sometimes issues can be overlooked, you would be running a much greater risk not to do one.

Finally, once all of this is prepared, simply get it signed by a notary and you’re off and running!

The Counter-Proposal

What is a counter-proposal?

Once your promise to purchase is finalized and sent to the seller’s broker, they will have a discussion on whether or not to accept the terms. They have the option to accept it, refuse it entirely, or make a counter-proposal.

In order to make this counter-proposal, they have to fill out the OACIQ Counter-Proposal form.

What does it include?

Essentially, the counter-proposal form lists the conditions that you would need to change for the seller to accept your offer.

According to the OACIQ, the most popular of these changes are:

  • Including or excluding certain items (or making a minor clarification)

  • Changing the selling price

  • Changing timelines such as the date of occupancy

  • Making any other specific changes to the offer

Don’t worry!

We feel like it’s important to mention that the proposal/counter-proposal process can be very stressful, especially for those with little experience in negotiations. Don’t be afraid to talk to your broker about anything on your mind regarding this process.

An experienced broker is also an experienced negotiator, and will almost certainly calm you down and reassure you. You can also always change your offer if you receive a counter-offer to satisfy both parties.

The Declarations by the Seller of the Immovable

What is it?

We know it’s a mouthful, but, as a home-buyer, it’s pretty important to understand what the Declarations by the Seller of the Immovable is.

It is a form that provides you, the buyer, with details on the condition of your new property. It is completed by the seller and their broker, and forms a vital part of their brokerage contract.

This form will help you make informed decisions regarding your property, and help both you and the seller avoid any legal complications in the future. The declaration by the seller form should be carefully read before even drafting an offer.

What does it need to include?

The OACIQ compiled a list of things that the “Declarations” document must include. When going through the document, we recommend keeping an eye out for any of these:

  • Year of construction and year of purchase of your property

  • Current mortgage status

  • Servitudes

  • Water infiltrations

  • Soil contamination

  • Presence of pyrite, radon, dry rot, asbestos, etc.

  • Condition of the roof, plumbing, heating

  • Any repair or renovation work done, with documentation if possible

  • Income (for an income property)

The Inspection

What is it?

Inspecting a new property is something that all home-buyers know they should do, but most do not know what to look out for, or even where to start. We hope that this article will help simplify the process to make sure that everything goes smoothly.

Briefly, a home inspection gives you the opportunity to hire an expert to search the new home for any issues, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant. Once they’re done, they will offer a report that outlines the home’s condition, which notably includes what requires maintenance or renovation.

We recommend comparing this report with the Declarations by the Seller of the Immovable document that you received. There will likely be things that need attention that the seller was unaware of, and you can always request the seller address these repairs or give you credit toward the cost of repairs.

This report will also allow you to choose which repairs are of the utmost importance and which ones are relatively minor.

Finding an Inspector

The best piece of advice that we can give you regarding finding an inspector is simply to ask your real estate broker for the names of several inspectors. Since they are experienced in the whole home-buying process, you should expect solid and trustworthy recommendations from them.

You can also do independent research and even ask your friends and family members for contacts.

The Inspector

The inspector, as the name implies, will walk through the property and thoroughly inspect the property’s main systems and accessible components. They will document the general condition of the property while noting down all defects and signs of potential problems.

You should expect the inspection to cost you between $400-$600 for a property valued at $150,000 (OACIQ, 2020); a small price for what can potentially save you thousands of dollars in repairs.

If you need to sell or buy a home, a Qube REALTOR® can help you navigate the market safely and with professional insight. Qube supports Quebec residents by providing full-service real estate experiences with incredible rewards: sellers save thousands in commission and buyers receive cash back when they purchase a home with one of our REALTORS®. Visit our website here or call 1-877-410-7823 to learn more.