What is the "Subject To Sale" or "Time Clause"?

If you have been following Vancouver real estate and its market statistics, you'd be familiar with the current activities. In our recent market stats release from Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board and MLS® data, number of sales have dropped in certain areas in metro Vancouver and it's pushing the tip of the market toward a more balanced and or even a "buyer's market" based on certain areas and property types.
In this market, as a local Vancouver Realtor, many offers include "Subject to Sale" or "Time Clause".
To understand this, many buyers who decide to purchase a house or condo for sale in Vancouver, already have a property. Whatever their motivation is, whether, to downsize or upgrade the size of their current property, they must sell their existing home, before taking another mortgage. 
Therefor the place a subject (Condition for the sole benefit of the buyer) called "Subject to Sale" or "Time Clause":
"Subject to the Buyer entering into an unconditional agreement to sell the Buyer's property at on or before (Certain date).


However, the Seller may, deliver a written notice to the Buyer, requiring the Buyer to remove all conditions from the contract within (usually 48 to 72) hours of the delivery of the notice, not to include Sundays and Statutory Holidays. Should the Buyer fail to remove all the conditions before the expiry of the notice period, the contract will terminate.


This condition is for the sole benefit of the Buyer."

As you see in above written subject, buyer has removed all other subjects (Conditions) such as inspection, financing, document reviews and etc. and only made the purchase pending on a sale of their own property within certain period. Now if during this time, the seller receives another "Unconditional" offer, then the seller must give a written notice to original buyers with "Subject to Sale their property" and provide a 48-72 hours’ notice (whatever was agreed in the original offer) for the buyers to either:
A) walk-away from the offer and let the new offer purchase the subject property.
B) regardless of them selling their own property, commit to the current offer and remove their condition of "Time Clause"

Here is the notice:
"This document constitutes written notice from the Seller to the Buyer requiring the removal of ___________ from this contract within hours not including Sunday or Statutory Holidays, or this contract will terminate at the end of the ----- hour period and the deposit will be returned to the Buyer.

This Time Clause will start running on delivery of this Notice to the Buyer, which will be at -------------- o'clock ___________ on. Therefore, the hours will expire at -------------o’clock am/pm on."

In many cases, when my buyer clients wish to view a property, as their Realtor, I always ask the listing agent if there is a current offer. In this market, trend shows if they do have an accepted offer, it also has "Subject to Sale" as a condition. In most cases, if my buyer clients like the property, I follow up and ask more detail questions on the current offer such as:
- When was the current offer with "Subject to Sale " accepted?
- How long has it been that the offer is trying to sale their property?
In many cases, the listing agent, although not obligated to give details, but if his/her clients instruct, they can disclose further useful info and if the details are on the favorite side of my own buyer clients, I encourage my buyers to write an offer.
It is important, to mention, when writing a backup offer, on a date when removing the subjects and the listing agent is providing the agreed notice to the original offer, not to be emotionally attached to that property. It is a 50 to 50 percent chances that the original offer may commit and remove their "time clause and subject to sale" condition.

Hope this help answer your questions. If you have any other questions in regards to how to write an effective offer, I'd be happy to help.