A buyer interested in purchasing your property will make an offer and, as an act of good faith, put down a deposit.
The buyer’s Realtor communicates the offer, sometimes known as an Offer to Purchase (a legal document specifying the offers terms and conditions) to you or your representative. The offer states how much the buyer is willing to pay and details the conditions.
The offer can be firm or conditional.
Firm Offer to Purchase: Usually preferable to the seller, because it means that the buyer will purchase the home without any conditions. If the offer is accepted, the house is sold.
Conditional Offer to Purchase: Means the buyer has placed one or more conditions on the purchase, such as subject to home inspection, subject to financing, or subject to the sale of buyer’s existing home. The home is not sold until all the conditions have been met. The seller can accept the offer, reject the offer, or make a counter offer.
Acceptance: The seller agrees to all the terms and conditions exactly as set forth in the Offer to Purchase.
Rejection: The seller does not agree with any of the terms and conditions set forth in the Offer to Purchase.
Counter offer: The seller agrees with some of the terms and conditions of the offer, but not all of them. The seller then makes a counter offer. The counter offer may change the price, the closing date, or add or delete conditions. When the buyer receives the counter offer, he or she can accept the new terms and conditions or reject them.
A signed offer is a binding contract. Make sure you understand and agree to all of the terms before you sign. You may want to have a lawyer review the offer first.