Are you ready to take the plunge and purchase your dream home? Making an offer to purchase real estate is an exciting step in your journey to becoming a homeowner. However, this process involves more than just deciding on a price. From researching property history to understanding contract terms, there’s a lot to consider. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps of making an offer, ensuring you’re well-prepared to navigate the complexities of real estate transactions.


Research and Preparation:

Before you craft an offer, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and gather the necessary information. Here are some key steps to take:

  1. Review the Real Property Report (RPR): In Alberta, a Real Property Report (RPR) is a vital legal document that outlines property boundaries and improvements. Verify if the RPR reflects municipal compliance, indicating that property improvements adhere to local regulations. If no RPR is available, consult your real estate licensee and lawyer to explore your options.
  2. Search the Address: Perform an internet search for the property’s address or the condominium’s name. This can provide valuable insights into the property’s history and any relevant information.
  3. Conduct a Historical Listing Search: Investigate the property’s listing history. This can reveal trends, price changes, and how long the property has been on the market.
  4. Look into Warranties and Representations: Check if the property is covered by a new home warranty. Alberta maintains an online registry for homes with such coverage, providing peace of mind for buyers.

Writing the Offer:

Crafting a well-structured offer is key to successfully purchasing your desired property. Consider the following aspects:

  1. Offer Price: Collaborate with your real estate licensee to determine an informed offer price. This involves assessing recent sales of comparable properties in the area and discussing your preferences.
  2. Deposits: Prepare a deposit to demonstrate your commitment to the purchase. Have the deposit ready when submitting your offer.
  3. Terms: The terms of the offer include several crucial details:
  • Possession Date: Specify the date on which you’ll take possession of the property.
  • Inclusions and Exclusions: Define what items are included (e.g., appliances) and excluded (e.g., curtain rods) in the purchase.
  • Attached and Unattached Goods: Understand the distinction between items that can and cannot be removed from the property.
  • Time for Acceptance/Expiry of Offer: Set an expiry date to create urgency for the seller and encourage prompt consideration.
  • Pre-Possession Inspection: Include a term for a pre-possession inspection to verify the property’s condition.
  • Conditions: Consider adding conditions to protect your interests. Common conditions involve home inspections, financing, or reviewing condominium documents.

Negotiations and Legal Obligations:

The negotiation process may involve counteroffers and revisions to the contract. Here’s how it unfolds:

    1. Opening Offer: When you present your written offer to the seller, they may choose to accept it, make counteroffers, or propose changes to terms and conditions.
    2. Classic Counteroffer: Sellers often modify aspects of the offer to meet their preferences. This creates a new offer to sell, replacing the original offer to purchase.
    3. Contract Confusion: Negotiations can continue until both parties agree on the terms. Each change results in a new offer iteration. Once both parties accept a version of the offer, legal obligations begin.
    4. Legal Obligations Begin: Delivery of the accepted contract marks the beginning of legal obligations for both parties. Parties must communicate their acceptance through appropriate channels, and the signed contract becomes binding.


Summary Steps: 

To solidify the offer as a legally binding contract, follow these steps:

  1. Initial offer is written, initialed, and signed.
  2. Changes during negotiation must be initialed by all parties.
  3. Signatures of all parties confirm acceptance of the entire agreement.
  4. Communicate the final agreement to all parties involved.


Making an offer to purchase real estate involves careful preparation, research, and negotiation. By following these steps and understanding the process, you’ll be well-equipped to confidently navigate the world of real estate transactions. Remember, legal obligations commence once both parties have accepted the final contract, emphasized the importance of clear communication, and understood throughout the process.