Natural disasters: Impacts on the Promise to purchase
Your property or the property you are considering to purchase has sustained damage following a natural disaster (e.g. tornado, flood, earthquake, etc.)? Here are the answers to some questions you may ask in such a situation regarding the duties and obligations of your real estate broker.
My home was damaged following a natural disaster. I have already accepted a Promise to purchase and the sale must be concluded soon. What shall I do?
Note that your broker has, among other things, a duty to advise and verify towards you. In this situation, he must first help you inquire about any factor that may affect the value of your property with different bodies concerned, including your insurer or your municipality.
He will also advise you to document all the damage caused to your property and the measures taken or to be taken to remedy the damage, with supporting evidence (invoices, photos, videos, etc.). You should also make sure to record the damage caused in the surrounding area (roads, electricity, aqueduct) that is of interest to a potential buyer.
Then your broker will amend the Declarations by the seller of the immovable form accordingly and will contact the buyer to find out if he still wants to buy. If so, your broker will complete the Amendments form, which includes the details of the agreement between the parties (e.g. price change, work to be performed within a certain time, etc.).
I made a Promise to purchase on a property that sustained damage caused by a natural disaster. Can I cancel the transaction?
By dealing with a broker in a real estate or mortgage transaction, you are protected by the Real Estate Brokerage Act, which provides protection mechanisms for this kind of situation.
If the seller has informed you of new elements, occurred after the acceptance of the Promise to purchase and before the signing of the deed of sale, that affect the seller’s declarations and obligations (e.g. damage to the property), you may use clause 10.5 of the Promise to purchase if you wish to cancel the transaction.
Every situation is unique, your broker will assist you and advise you throughout this process. Do not hesitate to ask him or her questions.
To conclude, as a regulator of real estate brokerage, the OACIQ’s mission is to protect the public, particularly by ensuring that brokers respect their duties and obligations. Therefore, if you have a question about your real estate transaction, you may always contact our Info OACIQ agents who will be able to answer your question or refer you to the appropriate resources, if necessary.