Economy How to make a good purchase offer for a...

How to make a good purchase offer for a home?

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IStock / City Presse

After looking for a rare gem for a long time, you have finally set your sights on an apartment that meets all your selection criteria. But the competition is tough. In order not to miss your chance, you want to make an offer to buy from the seller. Here’s how to do it.

A first step towards purchasing

The offer to purchase is in the form of a handwritten letter in which you express your intention to acquire the property concerned for a given price, generally equal to or less than the amount of the advertisement. Far from constituting a simple wish, this legal act engages your responsibility with the seller. But this promise is your sole responsibility. This is also the reason why this act is also called a “unilateral promise to purchase”. In other words, until they accept it by signing it, the seller has no obligation to you.

On the other hand, once the document has collected the signatures of both parties, the sale is in theory formed. And this even though the law prohibits paying any amount of money at this stage. In practice, this offer can only constitute a “pre-contract” if it is registered within ten days of its acceptance at the registration office at your place of residence. But most often, it is a sales agreement signed at the notary which will confirm this first proposal, before the transaction is definitively concluded.

The weight of words

You may be required to establish your offer to purchase on your own. In this case, you must at least indicate your name and contact details, the address of the property concerned, a summary description of the latter, the price offered as well as a period of validity for this proposal (ten days maximum), in order to not to be committed for too long by this unilateral promise. It is also useful to mention a condition precedent relating to obtaining a loan for example, but also to specify that “the sale will not be legally constituted until the signing of the compromise”. Precautions that will allow you to withdraw if your credit is refused. However, it may happen that the offer to purchase is already pre-filled by the real estate agency managing the desired property. Be careful in this case to check the previously mentioned elements.

Finally, note that once the seller has notified you of his agreement by registered letter or that you have accepted his counter-proposal – after negotiating the price – you have a legal period of ten days to retract, without motivation or penalty. Otherwise, the procedure continues with the signing of the sales agreement.

La check-list

The purchase offer must include several essential elements:

  • Description of the property: specify whether it is an apartment or a house, its exact location as well as its area and any accompanying outbuildings.
  • The price: this amount written in full is to be considered excluding notary fees. Also indicate that it will be fully paid on the day of the signing of the authentic deed of sale.
  • The end of the offer: mention a period of a few days so as not to stay engaged too long.
  • Conditions precedent: for example, obtaining a loan (with amount and rate granted).

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