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The standard steps involved in selling a property

Brokerage contract

You must sign a brokerage contract when selling your property through a broker. This contract joins you and your broker for a fixed period of time. The obligations of each party are detailed below. The following key elements are required in a brokerage contract:

  • Identification of the parties

  • Name and address of the broker

  • Name(s) and contact information for the owner(s)

  • Purpose and duration of the contract

  • Description of the property

    Certain important information will be required up front such as lot size, tax amounts, deed of purchase, certificate of location, cadastral designation, etc.
  • Selling price

    Please refer to the selling price and negotiation section to find out how to establish a fair selling price. If the owner wishes to change the asking price during the contract, an "Amendments and Notice of Fulfilment of conditions" form must be completed.
  • Reimbursement costs

  • Inclusions and exclusions

  • Occupancy and signing the act of sale

    These dates must be specified in the brokerage contract. The buyer may propose different dates subject to approval by the seller.
  • Broker compensation

  • Declarations by the seller

  • Seller and broker obligations

Promise to purchase

The promise to purchase is a contract whereby a person agrees to buy a property and in return, the seller agrees to sell the property, once the promise to purchase is accepted. It is important to read and understand a promise to purchase since several significant issues are covered in this document. My role is to guide you in reading and thoroughly understanding the promise to purchase, however here are some important points to remember:

  • Statements:

    All statements contained in your brokerage contract should appear on the promise to purchase. If you wish to add missing elements to the document, you may do so by means of a counter-proposal.
  • Cadastral designation:

    Make sure the cadastral designation is correct and accurate (number, area, or district) and the plot size is precise.
  • Dates verification:

    Make sure the dates listed on the promise to purchase suit your needs whether pertaining to the act of sale, allocations, or occupancy dates.
  • Conditions of inclusions and exclusions:

    Make sure you agree to the included items and that the excluded items all appear on the promise to purchase. In addition, make sure that each condition has a feasible deadline.
  • Receipt of the promise to purchase:

    As soon as your property goes on the market, you as the seller have the right to receive all submitted promises to purchase. To avoid conflict down the line, follow up on each promise to purchase you receive.

Counter-proposal

As the owner and seller you have the right to accept or reject any promise to purchase you receive. You may also signal your refusal of a promise to purchase by submitting a counter-proposal containing more acceptable terms.

A counter-proposal allows you to modify the price, certain terms and conditions, or simply to clarify a specific selling point. The buyer may then accept, reject, or present their own counter-proposal in response to your counter-proposal and so on.

Each subsequent counter-proposal nullifies all previous counter-proposals made by either the buyer or seller. It is therefore important to repeat the inclusions and exclusions and verify all details relating to the promise to purchase.

The promise to purchase, as amended by the last counter-proposal, acts as a binding agreement between the buyer and seller.

Transfer of ownership

Once the promise to purchase or counter-proposal is accepted and all conditions implemented, it is time to formalize the transaction. This step requires the services of a notary. The notary will perform a title examination and ensure that the property as well as the certificate of location is in compliance with the bylaws.

Once the title examination is completed, the act of sale is prepared and signed thus formalizing the sale of the property. The notary then registers the transaction with the Bureau de la publicité des droits (land registry office).