When you are ready to write up a contract, the next step is to decide on the price you wish to offer the seller and under what conditions you wish to make the offer. Common conditions of sale are: subject to finance, a builder's report, sale of another property, solicitor’s approval of the contract or specialist inspection or approval.
The seller can accept your offer, reject it or counter sign it. Counter signing usually occurs when the seller is not satisfied with the price offered and/or conditions included and subsequently alters them. The contract will be brought back to you for your consideration. If you accept, you initial the seller’s alteration and the property is under offer to you subject to any conditions that the contract may contain. Alternatively you also have the right to counter sign. Your sales consultant will continue negotiations between you and the seller until you are both in agreement.
This process generally does not occur when buying at auction.
The dangers of offering too low
Once they find the property they wish to purchase many buyers are tempted to “start low” with their offer.
We understand, but would not be giving you complete service if we did not warn you of what can happen.
- The seller could feel insulted, and become difficult to negotiate with from then on.
- The seller may think you are a bargain hunter “having a go” without serious intention to buy and dismiss your offer altogether.
If you are serious about purchasing the property it is wise to make a genuine offer that reflects your serious intentions and appreciation of the true value of the seller’s home.
Common conditions of sale
Along with the standard terms of the contract both buyers and sellers are able to insert further terms and conditions of sale. When writing in any special condition the key parts are who is going to do it; what are they going to do; when are they going to do it by; what standards will apply; what happens if it is not satisfied and who can waive it.
Once an inserted condition has been satisfied notice will be provided to the other party usually by the solicitors involved.
A condition can be either satisfied or waived. If you have inserted a condition but it has not been met by the required date you can choose to waive that condition. If the condition is neither satisfied nor waived then the agreement will be terminated and any deposit paid by you shall be immediately refunded.
Some common conditions of sale are:
- Conditional on sale of purchaser’s property
- Conditional on sale of purchaser’s property becoming unconditional
Inserting these clauses allows you to sell your property before purchasing.
Conditional upon Finanace
Conditional upon obtaining Solicitor's Approval of the Contract
Conditional upon obtaining a Builder's Report
Each of these conditions should be clearly worded and the dates for confirmation made clear.
Paying the deposit
Once all parties have signed the contract you will be asked to pay a deposit. This usually equates to 10% of the purchase price. We can refer you to Mortgage Express who can assist you with this.
You are responsible for the insurance cover of the property you are buying from the first business day after the contract has been signed. Your Harcourts consultant can provide you with more information.