Signing the Confirmation of Acceptance

Contract Signing

Ontario

Question:

Husband and wife are accepting buyer’s offer. After husband finished signing he passed on the offer documents over to his wife for signing.

Who signs the confirmation of acceptance?

Answer:

At this point neither, because it has not been accepted yet. It has been “executed”. That was the old Confirmation of Execution.

That simply means that she is the last person to “execute” the document. The next step is necessary before the acceptance is indeed competed.

In terms of who signs, it’s evidentiary only. Two is not necessary, but it could be two. There’s nothing actually wrong with that, as long as they both indeed know that it has been accepted, rather than simply signed.


A number of years ago, this provision in the APS was changed from Execution to Acceptance. So, we need that final step to take place before anyone can sign that it has been accepted. The statement is PAST tense, not FUTURE tense.

The Confirmation is not a contractual document, so, actually it need not be signed at all to make the APS binding. It’s just to prove that it was truly accepted before the time limit.

That’s not the case by just signing it, no matter what the order. Acceptance from a contractual perspective is a two step process:

1) signing and

2) communicating that fact to the other side within the time limit.

So far, in this scenario we just have signing only.

There are two choices when it comes to the Confirmation. You can say:

1) “everybody just signed it, and I am just about to accept it, or

2) It’s already been accepted. 

The first was the old Confirmation of Execution and the second is the new Confirmation of Acceptance. Many agents didn’t appreciate the change several years ago. No one really cares about the signing. That has no legal consequence. You must advise the other side within the time limit. Once that has taken place, either of the two parties who have that knowledge can now sign the Confirmation of Acceptance. If the wife knows of that fact, and the husband doesn’t, then she is the only person who can sign.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

www.OntarioRealEstateSource.com

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