It is essential to provide, in the offer to purchase, a time limit for the acceptance and its notification. This time limit is the end of the period of time during which the offer to purchase remains in force. The vendor may during this period accept or refuse it. Failing providing a time limit in an offer to purchase, the Civil Code of Quebec provides that it will become null and void at the end of a reasonable period of time.
Time limit for acceptance
It provides the date and time limit imposed to the vendor before which he can accept your offer to purchase. In theory, this period of time cannot be revoked by the offering party unless you are able to do so before the vendor receives the offer. In such a case, the whole offer becomes null and void, even if your offer to purchase initially provided a time limit.
Time limit of notification
It fixes the period of time given to the vendor to notify its acceptance of the offer to purchase, in order that it remains binding. In this regard, it is advisable to specify expressly the notification mode, which can be, amongst others, certified mail, service by bailiff or real-estate broker.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW! The acknowledgement of receipt of an offer by the vendor is not the formal acceptance of the offer to purchase. If the vendor does not respond in the said time limit, the offer will become null and void and any deposit shall be returned.
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND: The acceptance must be unconditional. The response to an offer to purchase in which the vendor includes one or more conditions is not an acceptance. It can therefore be refused because it has become a counter-offer. The same principle applies to any amendments which modifies it in any material aspect.
WARNING! You will be liable if you refuse to purchase the coveted apartment when the vendor has accepted your offer to purchase in the time limit prescribed. On the other hand, if the vendor does not respond to the offer in the agreed upon schedule, you are again a free, contractually speaking.