clauses for offers
Country Buyer's Suggested Clauses
Please review these with your lawyer and agent and, if they are helpful, you're free to use them.
"This offer is conditional for the sole benefit of the purchaser, who may, at any time, waive one or more of such conditions, upon the purchaser being satisfied as to the same:
Should the purchaser have failed to waive, in writing, all of the above conditions by 5:00pm on (insert date), then this offer shall be null and void and the purchaser's deposit shall be returned promptly in full, without interest or deduction.
The sort of things you may wish to address by putting them in the above clause might be:
Upon the purchaser obtaining financing satisfactory to him/her;
Upon the purchaser satisfying him/herself that a septic and building permit are available and that the property can be used for normal residential purposes;
Upon the purchaser obtaining at his/her own expenses a building and systems inspection satisfactory to him/her;
Upon the vendor providing a bacterial analysis and well report confirming that the well has provided an adequate amount (minimum of 3 gal./min.) of potable water for normal residential use.
Buyers often want fancier clauses in an offer, but the more complicated or the longer a condition becomes, the less attractive the offer will be to the seller. For example, if you are intending to sell your own home before buying the new home, you may need 60-90 days. For that length of time, most vendors will not take the property off the market. If they accept your conditional offer, they will usually ask for an "escape clause" allowing them to cancel the Agreement on 72 hours notice if any other buyer comes along. During that time, you must make your offer firm or give up the property.
What I have written about above are conditions on which the offer is dependent. If they are not met, then the deal is off.
Very often a buyer wants some assurances about other matters which, although they are important, would not be enough to end the Agreement. You may want assurances that the septic system worked or that the furnace is adequate.
Try a clause like this:
"The vendor represents and warrants, which warranty shall survive the closing, that... 1. The heating and cooling systems, including the furnace, have operated adequately in all seasons.
2. That the septic system has operated properly and that the installation and any repairs or alterations have been done professionally and in accordance with all required permits."
(Other clauses could be drafted to deal with the well, the plumbing, the roof, etc.)
Remember, few vendors are going to give you a continuing warranty. They're not Sears, and after all, they are selling the place to be rid of it. But they should not balk at confirming in writing that, as far as they know, there are no problems with the basic systems of the home you want to buy.
Most lawyers would rather comment without charge on your offer before you sign it, rather than try to correct it after you have bound yourself.