If you’d like to learn the basics of writing an offer, find the following page in this wiki: Standard Forms > Agreement of Purchase and Sale.
This page is more of a script to use during a client’s first offer for information to collect prior to writing the offer. Whether they are first-time homebuyers or not, this information will prove useful to them.
When writing an offer, there are a few pieces of information you’ll need to come up with every time. Here’s a list with the required information in bold, and explanation scripts following.
Purchase price. This one can be determined by asking yourself "how much would I like to pay for the home?".
Deposit amount. This money has to be available to you within 24 hours following the seller accepting your offer, meaning it ideally will be liquid (not invested, nor in a bank account with delayed or difficult access).
There is no set deposit amount required for any offer. You can offer as little or as big as you want.
In a normal real estate market, this amount most often equals about 1-2% of the purchase price (if you were offering $500,000 as an example, your deposit amount could be between $5,000 and $10,000.)
The higher the deposit amount, the more desirable your offer looks to the seller. This amount can be as high as you'd like, but even in a very competitive market where you'll often be competing with multiple bids, I wouldn't advise you to submit more than 4-5% of the purchase price as a deposit.
It's entirely up to you to decide on your preferred deposit amount, as it could be even lower.
The deposit amount would be returned to you if you have conditions in your offer, but it could be kept by the seller if you enter a firm and legally binding agreement to purchase the home with no conditions, and later have to default on the purchase.
The deposit amount forms part of your down payment if you're utilizing a mortgage.
Closing date. This is the date where you'll get the keys for the home you've purchased. Some buyers prefer this date sooner rather than later, while others may currently be renting a home month-to-month and want at least 60 days to give notice to their landlord. The standard closing date in the industry is somewhere between 30-90 days after the offer date, but there's no real rule here and almost any date goes. We may ask the sellers to share their preferred closing date prior to submitting your offer.
Conditions in the offer.
A condition in an offer is a way of saying I'm only going to buy this home if I'm able to satisfy these requests of mine.
For a condo, the most common conditions would be (1) financing, and (2) a review of the status certificate.
For a freehold property (not a condo) connected to municipal water & sewer, the most common conditions are (1) financing, (2) home inspection and (3) insurance.
For a rural freehold property (not connected to municipal water & sewer), there are possibly added conditions of (1) sewer system inspection and (2) well water testing.
A condition of financing gives you an opportunity to make sure you can afford the home you're about to purchase before going forward with buying the home. This would involve consulting with your lender to make sure they'll loan you the required amount for this specific property.
A condition of review of the status certificate allows you to consult a lawyer to make sure the corporation which handles the operation of the condo building is in good legal and financial standing. This is important because if they are not in good legal or financial standing, owners of units in the building could face financial consequences should the building corporation have to pay a settlement, a compensation or repairs to the building (they'll raise the needed funds from the condo units’ owners).
A condition of home inspection allows you to complete an inspection with the help of a home inspector.
A condition of sewer inspection allows you to complete an inspection of the sewer system with the help of a qualified sewer inspector.
A condition of well water testing allows you to inspect the well water for pathogens.
Once we've come up with those facts, writing the offer is all on me to complete on your behalf. I'll simply need to see a piece of picture ID from yourself (via a picture, or video chat) to help me complete the offer & its supporting documents as accurately as possible.
Once the offer documents are ready, I'll send them your way for review before we have you sign them. You'll then sign them electronically with the help of my e-signature software - it's very simple, quick and straightforward and you won't need access to a printer nor a scanner. A mobile phone or personal computer to access your email and internet browser will suffice.