When someone offers to buy your home, they will prepare a written offer on a standard form known as the Contract of Purchase and Sale. Your REALTOR® must present you with all written offers and if you receive several at one time, you are under no obligation to accept one over the other.
When you receive an offer, you can accept it, refuse it, or make a counter-offer to the buyers, with the changes you want.
An offer usually contains subject clauses that the buyer needs to remove by a specific date. A subject clause is a special condition that must be met before the sale can take place. For example, a buyer may want to have a certified home inspection done before they commit to the sale. Once the subjects are removed and you've signed the offer, it becomes legally binding.
The Contract of Purchase and Sale will specify a completion day for the sale. On this day, legal ownership of the home will transfer from you to the buyer.
Before the completion day you should hire a lawyer or notary public to handle the completion procedures. Your REALTOR® will be able to recommend some lawyers or notaries. The lawyer/notary will:
- Ensure that your mortgage has been properly discharged.
- Arrange for you to sign papers transferring title.
- Confirm that all payments you are responsible for have been made.
- Give you a cheque for the balance .
Although you will receive a payment upon the sale of your home, there are still some costs you need to be prepared to pay. They include:
- The REALTOR®'s commission.
- Legal fees.
- Any penalties for paying off your mortgage early.
- GST on the commission and legal fees.
- Your portion of the property taxes.