Common Conditions to Offers When Home is Being Sold

Published August 22, 2023 by Real Estate Leads

Market trends and current insights into real estate in Canada is nearly always where we go with our blog here each week, but every once in a while we like to create an entry where the focus is on building up industry know-how for realtors who may be newer to the business. There are many who wisely see the need to continue right on with learning after they’ve completed the real estate license course, and we’ve also on many different occasions stated how clients will be more inclined to work with you in the future is you really know your stuff and you are assertive in informing them with it.

It’s increasingly rare that a prospective buyer will put an offer in on home without having conditions ‘attached’ to it, and of course all realtors will know this is what is referred to as a ‘subject to’ and each subject-to will need to be met or removed before the offer can proceed into a home sale. That’s what we’re going to look at here with this week’s blog entry, the most common conditions you’ll encounter during a home sale.

Being aware of them can put you in a better position to be guiding your clients whether they are the home seller or would-be buyers, and for any other real estate agents who would like to build a client base more speedily our online real estate lead generation system is an excellent resource where you can be more directly put in touch with the types of buyers and sellers where you can flex your expanded knowledge of the ins and outs of how real estate transactions work.

With that promotion out of the way, let’s get right to those most common offer conditions.

Buyer Safety Net

We can start here by relating that a condition can be anything, but both parties must agree to it. Realtors should know what conditions to recommend to buyers and sellers in various scenarios, and they should also know that conditions don’t have to be accepted by either party, but an accepted conditional offer’ is often the more detailed term that could be used when a sale is ‘pending’. For buyers, conditions are put into place because it facilitates a safety net for them, and often specifically with being protected from any legal obligation to move forward with the conditional deal.

The buyer will include a time frame for their condition(s) to be satisfied. If that doesn’t happen then the deal becomes null and void unless both parties agree to extend the timeframe or the buyer informs them they won’t be meeting one (or more) of the conditions. The standard arrangement is the buyer is entitled to a return of their deposit money if the conditions aren’t satisfied.

7 Common Conditions (Subject-To)

Appraisal Contingency

Buyers are entitled to request an appraisal of the home to compare its true value to the asking price. In the event the home is appraised for less than what the seller listed in the contract, the buyer may not receive their mortgage approval, re-negotiations may be required, or the buyer may choose to take their deposit and walk away from the sale.

Home inspections

Home inspections are always a good idea to ensure the property is structurally sound. The cost of the home inspections are usually paid by the buyer but that gives them their choice of home inspector and this is important as it needs to be a professional individual that the buyer can trust is going to give them factual information and be representing their interests.


A financing condition or clause informs sellers that the buyer’s offer to purchase the property is conditional on their being approved for financing and then obtaining it. This means that a 5-to-7 day window is created during with they wait for confirmation on their mortgage approval. This protects the buyer in the event the home appraisal comes in low and they’re not approved for the amount offered. But it also gives them a protected time frame where they can reconsider the entire purchase if there’s any reason to do that.

Escape Clause

An escape clause is usually stipulated by the seller, with the aim of providing them with a means of getting out of the agreement based on a condition. The most standard scenario where an escape clause is used is when a seller has accepted a conditional offer on their home but the seller receives better offers during this time while the existing-offer buyer is waiting for financing. The escape clause allows them to limit the amount of time required to complete the sale and go with a new buyer if the existing one isn’t able to complete within that timeframe.

Land Survey Review

A survey review is not the same thing as a home inspection. It is a surveying of the grounds the property is built on to determine if there’s any type of risk to the long-term viability of the land for a home on it. It is very advisable to pay for a qualified, chartered professional to survey the property if buyers have even the slightest concerns about possible events in the future.


There can be instances where prospective homebuyers will want a deeper or more thorough cleaning of the home based on how it was when they viewed it and before they chose to place an offer through their agent.

Fixtures and Chattels

There may also be instances where the buyers will insist on new appliances or other pieces being installed or located when moving into the new home. There may be other instances where they will want a certain fixture in the home to remain there if they are to buy it.

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