Everything You Need to Know About Making an Offer to Purchase on a Home in Canada

Everything You Need to Know About Making an Offer to Purchase on a Home in Canada

Purchasing a home is a huge step, and we’re here to help you every step of the way. There are specific steps to take when making an offer to purchase a home. The market to purchase a property is often very competitive and fast paced. There are also rules and regulations that must be adhered to. If this is your first time purchasing a property or making an offer, this may seem very confusing or complicated. This article is here to clear things up and explain everything you need to know about making an offer to purchase in Canada in a simple and concise manner. We’ll be discussing how and when to make an offer on a home, how to write an offer to buy a home, and much more.

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How to Make an Offer to Purchase on a Home in Canada

The first step to making an offer to purchase in Canada is preparing your offer. Your offer should contain the following;

  • Your full legal name
  • The name of the seller
  • The address of the property
  • The amount you’re offering to pay
  • The amount of your deposit
  • Earnest Money
  • Contingencies such as appraisal, home inspection, approval of loan, etc
  • The closing date (usually 30-60 days after the contract is signed)
  • The expiry date of the offer

The following are a few ways you can make an offer to purchase.

How to make an offer to purchase (the standard way)

The standard way to make an offer is to ensure all the following listed above are included along with your preapproval letter. Although many resources will encourage writing a personal buyer’s letter as it will help you get the property, it is not mandatory. 

How to make an offer to purchase with a realtor

If you have a realtor, you won’t need to worry much about preparing all the property documents and files. Realtors are very experienced in this field and know what to do. When making an offer to purchase with a realtor, you want to ensure you’re both on the same page about the property selected and the price being offered.

How to make an offer to purchase without a realtor

If you do not have a realtor, do not fret, you simply need to make an offer to purchase in the standard way. This entails following the first method listed above. Once this is done, and your offer is accepted, the next step is to finalize the details of your mortgage.

5 Ways To Get Your Offer Accepted In A Seller's Market

Getting your offer to purchase accepted can be difficult, especially in more competitive areas. In this section, we’ll share 5 ways to get your offer accepted in a seller’s market.

1. Earnest money

Earnest Money refers to the amount of money a buyer gives the seller in order for the seller to take the house off the market. This is usually around 1-3% of the price. Earnest money shows the seller that you are serious about purchasing the property.

2. Larger down payment

A larger down payment shows financial capability and strength; therefore, the seller is more likely to accept your offer.

3. Offer to pay for moving services

 In some cases, the seller might currently reside in the property. Another way to stand out is to offer to pay for the moving services the seller will need to move out. It is important that you offer this politely.

4. Offer an appraisal gap

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, an appraisal is simply an estimate of the worth of the home. Appraisals tend to be lower than the actual worth of the property. If you’re looking to catch the seller’s attention, including an appraisal gap, which is offering to pay more than the appraised cost, is a great way to start.

5. Be ready to close fast

In a fast-paced market, you should be ready to close deals fast. Sellers often want to sell quickly, especially if they do not reside in the home. Therefore, you’ll need to get all the necessary documents and items ready.

When Can You Make an Offer on a House?

When you should make an offer on a house depends on a few factors. The first is how prepared you are, and the second is how long the house has been on the market. If it is a house that has been on the market for over three months, there’s a good chance it’ll be on the market for some time. You should make an offer to purchase as soon as the items needed are ready. This is especially important if it’s a house that has just been listed. You’ll want to make an offer as soon as you’re prepared.

Do You Need Pre Approval to Make an Offer to Purchase?

Preapproval or a preapproved letter is a letter from a lender which states that they would be willing to lend the buyer up to a certain amount. This letter shows the seller that the buyer is financially capable. Now, do you need preapproval to make an offer to purchase? Although sellers do not require this letter, it is highly advisable to have one before making an offer to purchase. 

Preapproval letters are great because they place you a step closer towards owning a home, help you know the loan amount you can get/afford, show the seller that you can get financing to purchase the property, and prove your creditworthiness. However, it’s important to do this with caution. Frequently getting preapproved can affect your credit score.

Can a Buyer Back Out of an Accepted Offer in Canada?

Yes, a buyer can back out of an accepted offer in Canada. As long as there is no legal contract, signed documents, or payment/consideration made, the buyer can back out of an accepted offer.

In Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, or Newfoundland and Labrador, a formally accepted offer means the buyer and seller are legally bound. Anyone who walks away from the deal will be liable for damages suffered by the other party.  

As long as the buyer has not signed a purchase contract or given the seller the contract deposit, they are free to back out of an accepted offer.


In this article, we provided a clear and definitive layout on what to expect when making an offer to purchase. We discussed how to make an offer to purchase, when to make an offer to purchase, 5 ways to get your offer accepted in a seller’s market, the pros and cons of pre approval, and everything you need to know about making an offer to purchase. Feeling a bit stressed out about purchasing a home? Here’s how to reduce the stress associated with home buying.

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