Making An Offer on a Home

When it comes to buying a home, it’s pretty clear that making an offer that is merely verbal simply does not fly. That is why, when it comes to making an offer, you need to enter into a written contract with the seller to ensure that your and their interests are protected.

Making an offer is not solely based on the price you are willing to pay for the home; you can include the fact that the seller has offered to include the closing costs and many other things, depending on the deal.

DuProprio offers varying standard forms and our team is available to answer any questions you may have, seven days a week. Once you draw up the offer with the help of a real estate lawyer if need be, then you can present it to the seller.

Making an offer – what it stipulates

An Offer to Purchase becomes a binding agreement if it is accepted. The makings of an Offer to Purchase usually include:

  • • Address of the property
    • Sale price
    • Terms of sale (paying cash, getting mortgage)
    • Target date for closing of the sale
    • Amount of deposit that comes with the offer, that is handed to a lawyer and is to be returned if the offer is rejected or can be kept by the seller should you back out without valid reason
    • Provisions about who pays for land survey, inspection, etc.
    • Deed to be given
    • Clause that allows you to make a last-minute walk-through inspection of the home before buying
    • A time limit
    • Conditions

Making an offer – conditions

If your offer has some conditions, then the Offer to Purchase is where you would note these things. The major conditions that most people have are financing and home inspections. If either of these conditions cannot be met, then the deal usually goes south.

Making an offer- negotiating tips

Depending on your situation, you may be in a position to bargain if you are in any of the following positions when it comes to buying a home.

• You are willing to pay for the home in cold, hard cash
• You’ve already been pre-approved for a mortgage
• You don’t have to sell your own home before buying theirs.

If any of the three aforementioned situations apply to you, then you have some bargaining power up your sleeve, but be warned that if it’s a sellers’ market, that may not actually be the case.

Making an offer – the deposit

I am not referring to the 20% deposit you put down when buying your first home here; actually, I am referring to the good faith deposit you make to show that you are a serious buyer. Of course, you don’t hand this money to the seller directly; you give it to an attorney who usually holds onto the deposit. This becomes part of your down payment once things are finalized.

Making an offer – the seller’s response

The seller can opt to do a number of things once they receive your Offer to Purchase document:

• They can sign it as it stands, at which point it become a standing and binding contract
• They can counteroffer, not just on the price but even inclusions, closing dates, etc. After this, you can counteroffer, accept or reject their proposals.
• They can reject the offer outright (found another buyer, are not willing to continue with the sale, etc.)

Remember that the contract only become binding once both parties have signed the document.

Making an offer – withdrawing your offer

Up until the very moment an offer is accepted, you can withdraw your offer. If you want to revoke your offer after it has been accepted you need to consult a lawyer. The last thing you need is to lose your deposit or get sued because the seller suffered due to your actions.

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