The Formal Offer
Offers must be in writing, signed and dated by all buyers, and include the following:
This is only an overview; how an actual Offer to Purchase is submitted and progresses through a transaction my vary.
Considering An Offer
Your listing agent will present offers to you. All terms of the offer should be considered, including the asking price, contingencies, local market dynamics, and your goals. In a soft market, you may see few offers, or offers significantly below your asking price. If homes are selling quickly, you may receive multiple offers near - or exceeding - your asking price. As a seller you are under no obligation to accept any offer, even those at or above the asking price, although you must review all offers submitted.
The seller has the following options when considering offers:
If you decide to counter-offer, negotiations will continue until all terms are agreed upon (or, because the original offer was not accepted as submitted, either party may withdraw from the negotiations, at which time the deposit should be returned). Until the offer is accepted, the buyer may withdraw the offer and you may entertain other offers. Once the offer is accepted, the home inspection process begins, after which the parties proceed to execute the purchase contract (typically within 5-10 days), and begin the closing process. Additional negotiations may ensue if inspections uncover unanticipated issues and costs. As these inspection findings would constitute a change to the terms as agreed upon, you have the right to refuse or accept any change requests.
[Note: verbal agreements regarding the sale of real estate are generally not enforceable, until agreed to in writing by all parties.]