Do I need a pre nup when buying a property with my new partner?


I visited several houses and I love them all. Can I make an offer for each of these properties? After all, an offer to purchase is not a contract … right?  See mediation property matters below.


What is an offer to purchase? 


An offer to purchase (or “promise to purchase”) is a preliminary contract that, once signed, binds both parties. The term “pre-contract” means that another contract, in this case the contract of sale, must be signed so that it can be considered that the right of ownership has been transferred from the seller to the buyer. The offer to purchase is not a sale as such, but it still produces significant legal effects: by signing, the buyer is obliged to buy and the seller to sell.


When you want to add, delete or modify certain terms or clauses of the offer after having accepted it, you must obtain the consent of all the parties involved. Otherwise, the text of the offer is final.


A well-written 

offer to purchase An offer to purchase should contain all the information relevant to the transaction. Indeed, the more precise the offer, the less it will be subject to interpretation. It should contain, inter alia:


  • Information on the identity of the parties (buyer (s) and seller (s) and his / her spouse in some cases);


– The most precise description possible of the coveted property;


  • The price and how it will be paid;


  • The date on which it is planned to sign the sales contract at the notary and take possession of the property and the date on which the buyer occupies the premises, these dates being different in certain cases;


  • The name of the notary who will receive the bill of sale;


  • the guarantees requested;


  • Conditions precedent to the sale (eg pre-purchase inspection, obtaining a mortgage loan with the amount of the buyer’s loan, etc.);


  • obtaining, by the seller, a recent certificate of location establishing the current situation of the property;


  • Seller’s statement, as detailed as possible, regarding the state of the property and compliance with the by-laws (including by-laws) and applicable laws;


  • Any other clause relevant to your situation.


Of course, the offer to purchase must include the signature of the offeror and the seller. It is sometimes mandatory to obtain, in addition, the signature of the spouse of the seller. This is for example the case where the property is a “family residence” within the meaning of the law. In addition, the offer must be signed within the deadlines provided for therein.

How to cancel an offer to buy? 

If any of the conditions mentioned in the offer are not fulfilled within the time limit, you may terminate the offer by following the terms and conditions provided for this purpose in the document.

However, if all the conditions of the offer are met, your commitment is normally irrevocable unless the offer contains a clause called “faculty of withdrawal”. It alone allows you to withdraw from your obligations within a given period. For example, if you buy a new home from a developer or builder and you intend to live in it, the offer must provide that the promisor-buyer can withdraw (or withdraw) from the offer to the buyer. within a period of 10 days. The promoter or builder may demand an indemnity the amount of which is governed by law, but it can not force you to waive this right.


Finally, the parties may provide for a clause allowing them to opt out of the signed offer to purchase, but on the condition that the party who withdraws pays the other party a sum in compensation for the damage that this situation may cause. cause.

What happens if I do not respond to the offer?

The signed offer is binding on both parties. The refusal of the buyer or the seller to follow through by signing the deed of sale may lead to a legal action called “action for the award of the title”.

A formal notice will first be sent to the recalcitrant, asking him, within a given time, to meet its commitments and sign the deed of sale on the conditions mentioned in the offer. If the latter does not take action, the party who wants to finalize the sale is entitled to bring the action. The action in the award of title may also be accompanied by a claim for damages. The amounts claimed as such are usually the damages suffered by the claimant resulting from the delay in obtaining title to the property. If the judge agrees, his judgment will take the place of an act of sale and will have all the effects.


It is therefore essential that any purchase offer is drafted with clarity and precision. Otherwise, the consequences can be severe. Whether buyer or seller, the importance of such a document should always encourage caution and reflection. In this sense, the safest approach is to consult your notary before signing anything. Specialist real estate law, the notary is able to ensure a rigorous legal analysis of the document and report any necessary correction. It’s up to you to put your experience to the benefit of your peace of mind!