This is a short list of our most frequently asked questions. For more information about RealtySpace, or if you need support, please call oursupport center.

When you leave your property, make sure that everything which was included in the Promise to purchase is there and working properly.

The notary plays an important role in the successful completion of a real estate transaction, including by examining the titles. One of the notary’s main responsibilities is to draw up the deed of sale and the deed of loan.

To this end, the notary will verify, among other things, whether:

you, the seller, are the real owner;

you have the right and the ability to sell;

your spouse or another person must consent to the sale;

the lot measurements are accurate;

any rights-of-way exist, etc.

Once the deed of sale is signed by all the parties, the notary will register the transaction at the Bureau de la publicité des droits. He will retain the funds until this step is completed, after which he will pay you the balance after deducting such sums as his professional fees, the amount due to discharge the hypothec, and any unpaid taxes or co-ownership fees.

Once the Promise to purchase or the Counter-proposal to the promise to purchase has been accepted and all the conditions have been fulfilled, the next step is to make the transaction official.

There are two main components at this stage:

  • Title examination (documents attesting to such things as ownership title, measurements, zoning, charges and servitudes, etc.); and
  • Deed of sale. Under the Civil Code of Québec, the property transfer requires the participation of a notary.

As a seller, you have a right to accept or refuse any Promise to purchase presented to you. You may also choose to make a counter-proposal to the buyer. The first purpose of the counter-proposal is to signify to the buyer that you have rejected his Promise to purchase as drafted. To do so, your broker must use the mandatory form Counter-proposal to a promise to purchase designed by the OACIQ.

The Counter-proposal allows you to accompany your refusal by a new proposal that would be acceptable to you:

by including or excluding certain items (or by making a minor clarification);

by changing the selling price or timelines, such as the date of occupancy.

In turn, the buyer may make a Counter-proposal in response to your counter-proposal, and so on. A counter-proposal has the effect of cancelling all previous counter-proposals made by either the buyer or the seller.

The Promise to purchase is a form used by the broker representing a prospective buyer to notify you of his client’s desire to purchase your property under certain clearly defined conditions.

When you receive such a promise, you have three options:

  • Accept the offer (in this case the Promise to purchase will be used to notify the buyer that you undertake to sell him your property);
  • Refuse the offer;
  • Respond with a Counter-proposal.

Your broker must use one of the Promise to purchase forms published by the OACIQ for this purpose:

It goes without saying: to sell your home, you need a buyer! The future owner of your property can contact you in two ways.

  • Potential buyer represented by a real estate broker

When this is the case, except in certain situations (when the buyer is bound by a brokerage contract to purchase), the buyer does not need to remunerate his broker directly, as the broker will be paid from the money you will pay to your own broker, in accordance with the terms of your brokerage contract to sell.

  • Potential buyer not represented by a real estate broker

If a buyer is not represented by a real estate broker, note that your broker is bound to you through his obligation of loyalty: this means that he cannot disclose confidential or strategic information concerning you to a prospective buyer. However, your broker has an obligation to act fairly toward this buyer, and to inform and advise him objectively.

The first step toward the sale of your property

If a buyer is interested in your property following a visit, he may ask to see it again. Then, if the buyer is represented by a broker, he will draft a Promise to purchase with his broker, spelling out the conditions under which he is prepared to purchase your property. At that point you may either accept the promise to purchase, or make a counter-proposal.

In all situations, you will have an opportunity to ask any questions to your broker or to the OACIQ in order to make an informed decision.

The form Declarations by the seller of the immovable provides the buyer with details on the condition of your property. Your broker will complete it with your help, at the time of signing of the brokerage contract. This document will form an integral part of your brokerage contract, to which it must be annexed. It is a guarantee of safety both for you – to avoid legal action down the road – and for the buyer, allowing him to make an informed decision regarding your property. If you refuse to complete or sign this form, the broker will simply not be able to carry out the brokerage contract with you. In fact, this form will need to accompany any Promise to purchase.

The following information must be provided on this form, in good faith and to the best of your knowledge:

year of construction and year of purchase of your property;

current mortgage status;


water infiltrations;

soil contamination;

presence of pyrite, radon, dry rot, asbestos, etc.;

condition of the roof, plumbing, heating;

any repair or renovation work done, with documentation if possible;

income (for an income property).

When you choose to do business with a broker for the sale of your property, you must sign an Exclusive Brokerage Contract – Sale. The reason for this is simple: this contract, like all the forms produced by the OACIQ, is designed for your protection, to ensure that your transaction is carried out in compliance with the Real Estate Brokerage Act.

These forms state, among other things:

  • that your broker will be the sole intermediary with whom you will do business for the sale of your property for the term of the contract;
  • your rights and obligations and those of your broker;
  • that the broker will be remunerated for his work once you accept a Promise to purchase and all conditions are fulfilled (except the signing of the deed of sale).
  • A real estate agency: legal person or a company that carries out a brokerage transaction through a real estate broker.
  • Agency executive officer: When you do business with a broker who is affiliated with an agency, you are also doing business with the agency’s executive officer (AEO). The AEO is responsible for making sure your transaction goes smoothly. He can act as mediator in case of disagreement with your broker, or refer you to other resources if necessary. Do not hesitate to contact the AEO if you wish to clarify something, if you can’t get a hold of your broker, or in case of emergency.
  • A real estate broker: the person who will handle your transaction, working on his own account or on behalf of an agency.

There are so many things to consider when selling a property that some can be easily overlooked. Here are a few:

Your mortgage

When you decide to sell your property, it is important to check what impact this will have on your mortgage. For example, in most cases you will need to repay your mortgage loan and have the hypothec discharged. Repaying your mortgage early may carry a penalty that you will be required to pay at the time of selling. A mortgage broker can help shed light on this process.

In order to establish a bond of trust with your real estate broker at all stages of the transaction, it is important to understand his role.

Once he has completed his basic training and obtained his licence, a broker must continue to update his knowledge and skills. The OACIQ also supervises his practice by providing him with mandatory forms designed to standardize real estate transactions.

Earnest money is money put down to demonstrate your seriousness about buying a home. It must be substantial enough to demonstrate good faith and is usually between 1-5% of the purchase price (though the amount can vary with local customs and conditions). If your offer is accepted, the earnest money becomes part of your down payment or closing costs. If the offer is rejected, your money is returned to you. If you back out of a deal, you may forfeit the entire amount.

Listen to your real estate agent’s advice, but follow your own instincts on deciding a fair price. Calculating your offer should involve several factors: what homes sell for in the area, the home’s condition, how long it’s been on the market, financing terms, and the seller’s situation. By the time you’re ready to make an offer, you should have a good idea of what the home is worth and what you can afford. And, be prepared for give-and-take negotiation, which is very common when buying a home. The buyer and seller may often go back and forth until they can agree on a price.

Your real estate agent will assist you in making an offer, which will include the following information:

  • Complete legal description of the property
  • Amount of earnest money
  • Down payment and financing details
  • Proposed move-in date
  • Price you are offering
  • Proposed closing date
  • Length of time the offer is valid
  • Details of the deal

Remember that a sale commitment depends on negotiating a satisfactory contract with the seller, not just making an offer.

It’s not required, but it’s a good idea. Following the inspection, the home inspector will be able to answer questions about the report and any problem areas. This is also an opportunity to hear an objective opinion on the home you’d like to purchase and it is a good time to ask general, maintenance questions.

An inspector checks the safety of your potential new home. Home Inspectors focus especially on the structure, construction, and mechanical systems of the house and will make you aware of only repairs that are needed.
The Inspector does not evaluate whether or not you’re getting good value for your money. Generally, an inspector checks (and gives prices for repairs on): the electrical system, plumbing and waste disposal, the water heater, insulation and Ventilation, the HVAC system, water source and quality, the potential presence of pests, the foundation, doors, windows, ceilings, walls, floors, and roof. Be sure to hire a home inspector that is qualified and experienced.

It’s a good idea to have an inspection before you sign a written offer since, once the deal is closed, you’ve bought the house “as is.” Or, you may want to include an inspection clause in the offer when negotiating for a home. An inspection clause gives you an “out” on buying the house if serious problems are found or gives you the ability to renegotiate the purchase price if repairs are needed. An inspection clause can also specify that the seller must fix the problem(s) before you purchase the house.

There isn’t a set number of houses you should see before you decide. Visit as many as it takes to find the one you want. On average, homebuyers see 15 houses before choosing one. Just be sure to communicate often with your real estate agent about everything you’re looking for. It will help avoid wasting your time.

In addition to comparing the home to your minimum requirement and wish lists, you may want to consider the following:

  • Is there enough room for both the present and the future?
  • Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms?
  • Is the home structurally sound?
  • Do the mechanical systems and appliances work?
  • Is the yard big enough?
  • Do you like the floor plan?
  • Will your furniture fit in the space? Is there enough storage space?
  • Imagine the home in good weather and bad – will you be happy with it year round?

Take your time and think carefully about each house you see. Ask your real estate agent to point out the pros and cons of each home from a professional standpoint.

The lender considers your debt-to-income ratio, which is a comparison of your gross (pre-tax) income to housing and non-housing expenses. Non-housing expenses include such long-term debts as car or student loan payments, alimony, or child support. The lender also considers cash available for down payment and closing costs, credit history, etc. when determining your maximum loan amount.

The two don’t really compare at all. The one advantage of renting is being generally free of most maintenance responsibilities. But by renting, you lose the chance to build equity, take advantage of tax benefits, and protect yourself against rent increases. Also, you may not be free to decorate without permission and may be at the mercy of the landlord for housing.

Owning a home has many benefits. When you make a mortgage payment, you are building equity. And that’s an investment. Owning a home also qualifies you for tax breaks that assist you in dealing with your new financial responsibilities- like insurance, real estate taxes, and upkeep- which can be substantial. But given the freedom, stability, and security of owning your own home, they are worth it.

You can find out by asking yourself some questions:

  • Do I have a steady source of income (usually a job)? Have I been employed on a regular basis for the last 2-3 years? Is my current income reliable?
  • Do I have a good record of paying my bills?
  • Do I have money saved for a down payment?
  • Do I have few outstanding debts, like car payments?
  • Do I have the ability to pay a mortgage every month, plus additional costs?

If you can answer “yes” to these questions, you are probably ready to buy your own home.