The 10-day ‘cooling-off’ period is only for new homes
Joe Richer: Protect yourself on a re-sale purchase with conditions in the offer
I’m looking to purchase my first home. Will the 10-day cooling off period apply if I change my mind about buying a place?
The “cooling off” period will apply only if you buy a new condo directly from a builder or developer. If you end up going that route, you’ll have a 10-day window after you sign the purchase agreement to change your mind for any reason and get out of the contract.
There is no equivalent grace period when it comes to re-sale transactions. In fact, most offers will likely include an “irrevocable period” during which the offer cannot be withdrawn.
If your offer is accepted during that period, a binding contract is formed. If you walk away from a firm agreement, you risk losing your deposit and face legal action from the seller.
Work with your real estate professional to include terms in your offer that reflect what you expect to be included in the sale. For example, indicate what date you’d prefer to take possession or specify that you want the barbecue included in the sale.
It’s also a good idea to include conditions in your offer that protect you in case you can’t get the necessary financing or the home inspection suggests some major unexpected repairs are needed. If a condition isn’t met, you’ll have the opportunity to withdraw the offer.
In the case of re-sale condos, you may request a document called a “status certificate” that sets out the financial status of the condo corporation and any plans for physical repairs to the building. You can make your review of the status certificate a condition of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, so that if you aren’t happy with it, you can walk away from the deal with your deposit.
Joseph Richer is Registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). He oversees and enforces all rules governing real estate professionals in Ontario. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org . Find more tips at reco.on.ca, follow on Twitter @RECOhelps or on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/RECOhelps .