What’s involved in making an offer.

I had clients contact me on Tuesday night to say they had found their dream condo and wanted to make an offer.  The property wasn’t yet on the market, but they had found out it was  about to be listed, so they wanted to move quickly.

The first step  was to check GeoWarehouse (that’s the database with tax information and legal description of the property) to find out who owned it. Then I checked MLX (our back end system for MLS) to see if the property had ever been sold before, and get further details. My clients knew who the listing agent was going to be: I called him to get details. We probably spent an hour on the phone that evening, on and off, gathering information. He offered to send me what he had on his file: that included a seller’s property information statement, a draft feature sheet, and some information concerning asbestos in the complex, all of which was greatly appreciated.

We talked about what the terms of the deal might include: a good chunk of what I do as a realtor is negotiate as many of the terms as I can with the other agent before I put pen to paper so that things can go smoothly.

Then I met with my clients again. Now that we knew about the asbestos, we needed to find out if it had ever been remediated, so I needed a clause in the offer to protect them in case it wasn’t and to make sure we got full disclosure of information. I’d also learned that the wood-burning fireplace had never been used; that meant another clause to have it inspected by a WETT-certified technician. And there were other clauses needed to protect their interests as well; I spent several hours on that part, made a little more difficult because there was no MLS listing to work from. (I didn’t even know what commission was being offered until later on!)

We arranged a showing — both the other agent (who was great to work with, by the way) and I felt it was important that even if the deal was going to be done “privately” and quickly, before the property hit the market, my clients needed to be certain this was the place for them. We walked through again yesterday, and discovered  more information that was pertinent to the offer: that meant redrafting the offer with new protective clauses.

An hour or so later, I was done with my side of the paperwork. We signed up the offer, as well as the Confirmation of Cooperation and Representation (which indicates the commission to be paid to the cooperating brokerage, ie. mine), and the Buyer’s Representation Agreement (which is legally required before I can present an offer). The other agent and I exchanged the documents in front of the unit. Off he went to meet with his client inside, while I met with mine to talk about next steps if the offer was accepted and some of the options available to them to sell their own home as well.

A few hours later, with only some minor tweaks, we had a conditional offer and  two very happy clients!

Now comes the even busier part: making sure that the details are confirmed and that all of this goes smoothly. I’ll process the trade paperwork today, and drop off the deposit cheque to the other agent. I’ve lined up the inspections needed and provided my clients with contact information for the other professionals they need to speak with. Documents have been emailed to the lawyer who will be representing them. And I will be in regular contact with my clients as we work through the terms of the agreement and meet the various deadlines involved.

My clients were astonished that in such a short time — between Tuesday night, when they first told me they wanted to buy the place  and Wednesday afternoon –that we had a deal!

Updates: One week later, they have a firm deal for the condo of their dreams! Congratulations to Kevin and Dorothy — it’s a beautiful property!

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