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The Importance of a Properly Drafted Agreement of Purchase and Sale

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It is Spring in Ottawa (despite the weather) and that is when the market heats up. Often, desirable properties will come onto the market and Buyers will become so eager to purchase that property, that they do not protect themselves with proper conditions in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale.

The Agreement of Purchase and Sale is the most important document in the process. It is the root for determining to what the Buyer is entitled. When an Agreement is drafted poorly, a Buyer may lose rights. The concept is called "Contra proferentem". This legal concept basically states that in the situation where an ambiguity arises as to the meaning of words in a contract, the determination will be made against the writer of the contract. So when a Buyer's Agent drafts an unclear Agreement, the Seller can benefit.

There are many people who would like to purchase a house from an individual who is selling privately. The value of a real estate agent comes with their experience in drafting Agreements of Purchase and Sale. When a Buyer attempts to draft an Agreement without assistance from an Agent, that Buyer may not know what conditions are appropriate in the circumstances, how to draft conditions appropriately, and may be limiting the rights that they are entitled to. If you are going to purchase by private sale, it may be beneficial to seek legal assistance drafting the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. You will typically incur additional legal fees for the time that it takes for the lawyer to draft it on your behalf.

Purchasing a home is a huge investment. If you are going to be buying a home, it is important to surround yourself with people who you trust to be looking out for your best interests, and who are experienced with the various facets of the home buying process.

One of these individuals is a real estate agent. Other individuals who should be involved are your home inspector, your financial agent (broker, banker), an insurance agent, and possibly an accountant (if you are concerned that you may be stretching your budget or if you are buying from a condominium). Lastly, but importantly, hiring a quality lawyer is important to protect your investment. A quality lawyer will review title to the property thoroughly, and ensure that you receive good and marketable title. A quality lawyer will meet with you to sign documents and explain the meaning of each document prior to your signing.

If you are planning to purchase a home and would like the writer to assist you with the process, which may include the preparation of an Agreement of Purchase and Sale for a private sale, please contact him by email at noah@mpottawa.com or call 613-563-6692.

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Merovitz Potechin LLP
300-1565 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1Z 8R1

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