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12 juillet 2023,
Contract to purchase a house.

Signing a real estate purchase agreement is a crucial and unavoidable step when buying or selling a property. 

This legal document defines the rights and responsibilities of the parties involved and guarantees a safe transaction. But how does this type of contract work?

Get ready to discover the secrets of a successful real estate transaction!

In this article, we explore the mechanics of this process, the key things to consider, the steps to take, and any precautionary measures you must consider. Whether you are a seller or a buyer, a thorough understanding of this contract will allow you to approach your real estate transaction with confidence and peace of mind. 

What is a real estate purchase agreement?

Couple signing a contract of sale.

A real estate purchase agreement or a house sale contract is a legal agreement that sets out the terms and conditions for the sale of a real estate property.

This is an essential document that frames the transaction between the seller and the buyer. It defines the rights, obligations, and responsibilities of each party.

The contract of sale contains detailed information such as:

  • The selling price
  • Particular conditions
  • Delays
  • Termination clause
  • Payment terms
  • Property rights
  • Other Transaction-Specific Provisions

This document provides legal certainty and protection of the interests of the parties involved in the sale of a house.

The essential elements of a contract of sale of a property

To conclude a sales contract in due form, certain essential elements must be included.

What does the contract contain?

  • Identifying the parties
  • Description of the property
  • Selling price
  • Payment terms
  • Special conditions of sale
  • Taking possession of the property
  • Dates and deadlines
  • Termination clauses
  • Legal representations and warranties
  • Responsibilities of the parties
  • Fees and taxes

Every contact of sale is personalized according to the needs and negotiations between the parties involved. 

It is recommended to consult a real estate law professional in Quebec to draft or verify a real estate contract of sale specific to your situation.

Contract for the sale of a house in Quebec

Contract for real estate purchase with help from a notary.

To navigate successfully through a real estate transaction, it is important to be familiar with how a contract of sale works. 


Negotiation and acceptance of the offer

The buyer presents an offer to purchase to the seller, which can be accepted, refused, or negotiated.

Once both parties agree on the terms, an accepted offer becomes binding.

Drafting of the contract

A real estate legal professional, such as a notary or a lawyer, can be hired to draft the sales contract.

Contract signing 

Once the contract is written, the parties involved meet to sign it. 

Execution of the conditional clauses

If special conditions were included in the contract, such as a home inspection, or obtaining mortgage financing, these must be fulfilled within the agreed time frame.

Payment of a deposit

The buyer generally pays a sum called a deposit or installment as a show of good faith. 

This amount is usually paid to the notary, is deducted from the final sale price which is then settled, in most cases, with a mortgage. 


Transfer of ownership

During the final transaction, ownership is officially transferred from the previous owner to the buyer.

This is usually done before a notary who ensures that all legal formalities are complied with.


Registration of the sale

Once the transaction is completed, the notary proceeds to register the sale with the Land Registry of Quebec.

This confirms the change of ownership and guarantees the legal validity of the transaction.


Involvement of a notary

Although it is possible to conclude a contract of sale without a real estate agent or broker, the participation of a notary in the transaction is mandatory.

The sale of a house is a type of transaction that represents specifics that require proper attention and legal expertise.

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Buyer & seller obligations in a sales contract

In Quebec, the seller and the buyer have specific obligations to fulfill relative to a contract of sale for a real estate property. 

Below is an overview of the main obligations of each party:

Buyer’s obligations

Seller’s obligations

The buyer must make the agreed payments according to the terms specified in the contract.

If special conditions have been included in the contract such as obtaining mortgage financing, the buyer is required to comply within the agreed deadlines.

The buyer must take possession of the property on the agreed date unless otherwise specified in the contract.

The buyer is responsible for paying notary fees, property transfer taxes, and other costs related to the transaction unless otherwise specified in the contract.

The buyer is generally required to carry out a diligent inspection of the property using a professional inspector.

Transfer the title to the buyer in accordance with the terms of the contract.

The seller must provide a full and truthful statement of the condition of the property, including any known problems or defects.

The seller is responsible for delivering the property in the agreed condition, in accordance with the specifications and the deadlines.

The seller must guarantee the buyer the right to peaceful enjoyment of the property, without interference or disturbance from third parties.

The seller is required to provide a clear deed of title free of any liens, mortgages, or other encumbrances unless otherwise agreed in the contract.

Pitfalls to avoid in a contract for the sale of a house in Quebec

Avoiding common pitfalls in real estate transactions.

Certain pitfalls regarding a contract for the sale of a real estate property can be avoided for a smooth and stress-free transaction. 

 Here are 6 tips to follow to avoid these common pitfalls:

#1:  Make sure that all terms of the contract are clear, precise and complete.

#2:  Be sure to include any material special terms agreed between the parties.

#3: It is crucial to respect the legal requirements in force in Quebec when drafting the contract.

#4: Familiarize yourself with the rights and obligations of the seller and the buyer to ensure that the contract reflects them correctly.

#5: Be sure to clearly specify the timeframes for each stage of the transaction.

#6: Call on a real estate lawyer to assist in drafting and finalizing the contract of sale and the transaction.

Inspections and checks before concluding a house sale in Quebec

The buyer has the duty to carry out certain checks to ensure the condition of the property on different levels.

Home Inspection

Hire a qualified home inspector to assess the condition of the home including structures, electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems as well as the integrity of the roof and the foundation.

This inspection can detect any hidden problems or wear and tear requiring repairs or additional negotiations.

Deed of title verification 

Consult the Quebec Land Registry to verify if the property is free of any lien, mortgage, or other encumbrances.

This ensures that the seller has a clear title and can transfer ownership without legal complications.

Verification of zoning and municipal regulations

Check with the local municipality to verify the planning regulations, zoning restrictions, easements, and permits applicable to the property.

This helps to understand the limitations and obligations related to the use of the property.

Property background check

Research the property’s history, such as environmental contamination issues, previous claims, insurance claims, or potential litigation.

This verification allows you to make informed decisions regarding the purchase of the house.

Audit of utilities and municipal services

Make sure the property is properly connected to essential utilities such as water, electricity, gas and sewerage. You should also check the costs associated with these services.

Professional appraisal

Professional appraisal to know the condition of the property.
If you plan to obtain mortgage financing, the financial institution may require a professional real estate appraisal of the value of the property. This ensures that the purchase price is reasonable and consistent with the local real estate market. Speak to a real estate broker in your area to know the market value of your home before selling your house! Get connected to great brokers in our network using our short online form.

Resolving disputes arising from the sale of a house in Quebec

When a dispute arises concerning a contract for the sale of a house in Quebec, there are several remedies and legal procedures to resolve the situation.

Here are some common options:

  • Informal negotiation
  • Letter of formal notice
  • Arbitration
  • Appeal to court

Note that every situation is unique and legal remedies and procedures may vary depending on the specific circumstances.

It is, therefore, strongly recommended that you consult a lawyer specializing in real estate law in Quebec to obtain legal advice adapted to your particular situation and to guide you through the appropriate steps to resolve the dispute.

Cancellation of house sale contract in Quebec

Legal professionals for real estate transactions.

Canceling a contract for the sale of a house in Quebec can be a complex process that requires careful analysis of the specific circumstances.

Possible reasons for cancellation may include undisclosed latent defects, legal compliance issues, misleading representations, or violations of contract terms.

In such situations, it is recommended to consult a lawyer specializing in real estate law in Quebec to assess the legal options available and take the appropriate measures to cancel the sales contract.

Contract for selling a house with or without a broker

In Quebec, when selling a house, you have the choice of entering into a sales contract with or without the assistance of a real estate broker.

Here are some distinctions to consider:

Selling with a real estate brokerSelling without a real estate broker

Professional expertise

Personal responsibility

Vast Network and visibility

Potential savings

Convenience and free administrative management

Your time and selling skills needed to close a sale

If you are not comfortable with the added responsibilities or you are short on time, hiring a real estate broker may be the best option for you.

Consider your needs, experience, and resources before making a decision.

As experts in the real estate market, brokers have extensive knowledge and can guide you through the process in a professional manner. Their extensive network, negotiation skills, and ability to manage the administrative aspects give you a competitive advantage to get the best price and facilitate the transaction.

Selling ​​or buying: Get 3 free offers from real estate brokers in your area!

Experienced brokers for buying or selling a house.

When it comes to selling or buying a home, having the right professionals on your side is essential.

Get a competitive edge by requesting three free offers from real estate brokers in your area. You should also know that real estate brokers’ services are free for home buyers!

With their expertise and network, these professionals will make your transaction stress-free and increase your chances at success.

Don’t let the opportunity slip away and take the lead now! Just fill out the short online form below to connect with top brokers near you!


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