Verbal promises are not legally enforceable when it comes to the sale of real estate. Therefore, you need to enter into a written contract that conforms to all state and local laws. This proposal not only specifies price, but all of the terms and conditions of the purchase.
We use a variety of standard forms (including Residential Offer to Purchase agreements) that have been utilized thousands of times and are kept up-to-date with the changing laws. When you use our Bear Agents, these forms will be available to you. In addition, our agents are there to offer assistance to the buyer and cover the questions that need to be answered during the process. If you are working with your agent as a buyer’s agent, they will offer you advice on what price to offer and how to structure the offer to your best advantage. After the offer is drawn up and signed, it will be presented to the seller by either your agent or the seller’s agent.
The offer to purchase you submit, if accepted as it stands, will become a binding sales contract. It’s important, therefore, that it contains all the items that will serve as a blueprint for the final sale. These offer to purchase items include such things as:
If your offer says, “This offer is contingent upon (or subject to) a certain event,” you’re saying that you will only go through with the purchase if that event occurs. The following are some common contingencies contained in an offer to purchase:
Your Bear Agent will be there to make sure that all the details are nailed down in written contract.
You’re in a strong bargaining position if:
In those circumstances, you may be able to negotiate some discount from the listed price. On the other hand, in a “hot” seller’s market, if the perfect house comes on the market, you may want to offer the list price or more to beat out other offers.
It’s very helpful to find out why the house is being sold and whether the seller is under pressure. Keep these considerations in mind:
The Seller’s Response to Your Offer
You will have a binding contract if the seller, upon receiving your written offer, signs an acceptance just as it stands, unconditionally. The offer becomes a firm contract as soon as you are notified of acceptance. If the offer is rejected, it’s null and void, and the sellers cannot later change their minds and hold you to it.
If the seller likes everything except the sale price, the proposed closing date, the basement pool table you want left with the property or any other terms in the offer, you may receive a written counteroffer with the changes the seller prefers. You are then free to accept, reject it or even to make your own counteroffer.
Each time either party makes any change in the terms, the other side is free to accept or reject it, or counter again. The document becomes a binding contract only when one party finally signs an unconditional acceptance of the other side’s proposal.
Withdrawing an Offer
Can you take back an offer? In most cases the answer is yes, right up until the moment it is accepted, or even, in some cases, if you haven’t yet been notified of acceptance. If you do want to revoke your offer, be sure to do so only after consulting a lawyer who is experienced in real estate matters. You don’t want to lose your earnest money deposit, or find yourself being sued for damages the seller may have suffered by relying on your actions.