[News & Tips] Offer to purchase... What you need to know

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You finally found the house of your dreams! Now you have to prepare an offer to purchase, informing your wish to acquire the property. But what is it really? What should it contain? What are you agreeing to? We tell you everything.

What is an offer to purchase?

It is written by the potential buyer of a property... While the offer to purchase can also be made orally or by email, it is best to formalise your commitment by reserving the house, land or apartment initially put up for sale in the form of a letter, under the aegis of an official document. The said document, which can be drafted with the help of a legal advisor, must contain at least the proposed price and a deadline for the validity of the offer. The offer to purchase must be delivered by hand to the owner, or sent with a signed receipt. It is a legal document, so it is important to write it well.

Once approved, what are you committing to?

Following an offer to purchase, the owner can react with: a counter-proposal, a refusal or an agreement... If your proposal is approved, you commit yourself as a future buyer, and will have to sign a preliminary sale agreement.
Note that there is a special requirement allowing you to renounce the promise you made if your application for a bank loan is denied. However, you must specify in your letter that the sale price will be paid with a loan, whether partial or total. Otherwise, if you obtain your loan, your commitment to the sale becomes final.

Can you withdraw from the sale ?

After signing the preliminary sale agreement, you will only have 10 days to retract your decision. If you decide to withdraw after this period, the seller is entitled to claim damages.
The offer to purchase must never be accompanied by a financial exchange, deeming the deed null and void. It is only at the signing of the preliminary sale agreement that it is advised to complete the negotiation by paying a deposit to the seller. In case of retraction, the latter will be entitled to keep this sum, or ask for compensations.