Common Conditions You Should Include Or Drop In Your Offer 

Common Conditions You Should Include Or Drop In Your Offer 

Written by Zoocasa
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated July 11, 2022

Buyers in the Ontario real estate market finally have more negotiating power. For two years, many buyers were placing offers without conditions because of the high demand for homes and low inventory seen across Canada. As the market continues to shift following interest rate increases, buyers are finally including conditions in their offers again. Which conditions are included ultimately depends on the type of home, its condition, and the buyer’s finances. Certain conditions can make an offer less appealing, and too many conditions may cause the sellers to look to other offers. It’s important for buyers to understand what type of conditions they should include in their offers to protect themselves and which ones aren’t as important. Here is what the real estate agents at Zoocasa suggest

Common Conditions To Include In Your Offer 

1. Financing 

Including a financing condition ensures that your offer will only be valid as long as you can confirm you are able to get mortgage approval for the home you want to buy. If your mortgage application is denied or your appraisal came in too low, including this condition will void your offers. Sellers love unconditional offers so not including this may be something you consider, but if you’re not approved you could lose your deposit, be required to follow through without the proper financing or even face potential legal penalties. 

2. Home Inspection 

The intention of a home inspection is to identify any major problems with the house and to get an idea of what’s involved in remedying these issues. Many people tend to buy older homes that have the potential for more problems. The home inspection is an opportunity for you to learn more about your future home and also to prepare financially for any work you may need to do immediately or in the future. The inspection is done at the buyer’s expense and is conducted within a certain time frame, usually a week or so. If the inspection comes back negative, the offer could become null and void. 

3. Re-Visit Home Prior To Closing 

You may want to visit the home after your offer has been accepted but before closing, to decide on furniture, paint colours, and future renovations. It is also an opportunity for the buyer to make sure the house is in the same condition it was when last viewed and that appliances work properly. If any major repairs were agreed upon, this is an opportunity to ensure that they were carried out. The number of times you’re able to revisit a property is usually included in the agreement – normally two times – with a minimum notice period provided to the seller. 

4. Sale Of Buyer’s Home 

This is a popular condition in a buyer’s market. If you’re buying a new home and you’re concerned you won’t be able to sell your current property, this condition will ensure the sale of the buyer’s home is dependent on you selling your current home. Both parties will agree upon timing, and this condition can often be paired with an escape clause. This clause states that if the sellers receive another offer, you have a short period of time to drop your stipulation and fulfill your conditions, or the seller can nullify the agreement and move on with the other offer(s). 

5. Status Certificate (Condos Only) 

This is a document that contains essential information about both the unit and the financial situation of the condo corporation. This includes things like the condo fees and any known anticipated increases, as well as special assessments, legal disputes the corporation is involved in and the size of the reserve fund. This certificate can take some time to arrive, usually a few weeks, so this condition normally has a longer period of time attached to it. 

Common Conditions You Can Drop To Make Your Offer More Appealing 

1. Clean And Tidy 

This is one of the most common conditions included in offers. Buying agents can include a clause that says the sellers must leave the home in “broom-swept condition”, agreeing to remove general debris like paint cans, garbage, lumber, furniture etc. However, if you’re willing to clean the house yourself or pay to have it cleaned, it could save the sellers some time and also the money required to clean the house to this standard, potentially making your offer more appealing. 

2. Repairs 

This condition is intended to make sure any damage to the property you want fixed is done so before you move in. A buyer can include this condition to have the seller fix it for them by a certain date either on or before closing. If you choose the latter, you can include an amount to cover repair costs if the seller does not fulfill this condition. They will only receive this amount once repairs are complete, and if not finished by closing the buyer retains it. If you don’t anticipate any large repairs are required or are willing to do repairs yourself, foregoing this condition can speed up the closing process. 

3. Window Treatments And Light Fixtures 

Window treatments and light fixtures can include chandeliers, drapes, and curtains that can easily slide off a rod. Understandably, if a seller has a matching bedspread or duvet to go with these, for example, then they may consider them personal property and want to take them when they move house. Removing any condition related to these could prove to make your offer more tempting than someone else’s. 

Bottom Line

The type of conditions you include in your offers may vary from property to property and be based on the market or other competing offers. No matter what type of property you’re considering purchasing or in which market you’re looking, a real estate agent will help you navigate the market and decide which conditions you should include to protect yourself, and others that you can drop to secure your offer.

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