Offer to Purchase is Just the Beginning

In a real estate transaction, there's a lot more to an Offer to Purchase than merely the price a buyer is willing to pay. Obviously price will play an important part in your decision to accept an offer -but there are several other factors that must be weighed carefully in your decision making.

These include a suitable closing date, financing, conditions, and items which are to be included in the sale.

For example, someone might offer you the price you asked, but may want an unusually long closing date -which could leave you in a bind if the home you're trading up to has a much shorter closing date. You could also find yourself somewhat restricted if the offer contains an extensive list of conditions.

With so much at stake, homeowners rely on the expertise of a Realtor more than ever.

Closing date: Is it going to cost extra for you to move on that particular date? Are you going to have to store your furniture because of a short closing or face the prospect of carrying two properties for a few months because of an unusually long closing?

Financing: Financing also has a great impact on the offer. For example, if you have to discharge existing debts and mortgages against the property, be sure to verify whether you'll have to pay early discharging fees. If so, this will undoubtedly have an impact on your decision.

Conditions: When it comes to conditions, you'll have to weigh them carefully against the price that is being offered. You may not want to tie yourself to an offer that's conditional on a purchaser selling his/her own property because in the meantime, you could have two or three more offers without any conditions.

Conditions on financing are generally quite short and as a seller, you will want to know if the buyers will be able to get the necessary financing before you accept an offer from them. You may be better off with an offer that's slightly less in price, but has less restrictive conditions.

Items included in the sale: Buyers may want to include certain chattels in the sale of your home

However, you may have formed an emotional attachment to them and be somewhat reluctant to include them in the transaction. You'll have to decide how important they really are to you and what they're really worth before making you decision.

If you do have items you don't want included in the sale of your home, it's a good idea to remove them from sight before you actually put your home on the market.

How a Realtor  can help:

Your Realtor will review all offers with you and help you to view them objectively. Once the offer is submitted, your Realtor will guide you through each section, and help you decide whether you want to accept it, decline it altogether, or make a counter-offer.

Tej Gill is with Bravo Realty in Calgary, AB.

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