When you find a property you like, your agent will help you with the preparation of an offer. Step one is to determine whether the price is properly priced, by performing a market evaluation. Using comparable recent sales, your agent will give you an idea of the appropriate price to pay for the home. Although listing agents (those who are representing the seller) recommend selling prices to their clients, remember it’s always the decision of the homeowner as to what price to list the home at – so you will see properties that are overpriced on the market. Your agent will determine whether the property you are interested in falls into an appropriate price band.
If you determine that the home is priced properly, you should remember that the majority of homes that are listed at the right price will sell at between 96-97% of the list price. Your negotiation will likely end up with you paying fair market value – although, during a buyers market, buyers have more ‘clout’ in the negotiation, meaning that they always have the power to go buy a different home.
The agreement to purchase and sale in Nova Scotia is typically between 5-7 pages (depending on what type of property it is, and is very protective of the buyer during the ‘conditional period’. Your agent will also take this time to do some required disclosure work, and so the paperwork portion of the offer can be very onerous. It’s important that you have a full understanding of your rights before signing the agreement.
Usually, you will hear back on your offer within a 24 hour period, unless you are purchasing a bank-owned property or one that’s been passed to an estate. The seller will reply with either an acceptance of your offer, a rejection, or a counter to your offer, which you will then get the opportunity to make a decision on.