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Making an Offer

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Wednesday October 1, 2014
 

Trying to make an offer on the Rhode Island home of your dreams? Be careful! A common misconception among home buyers involves making an Offer To Purchase Real Estate or submitting a bid on a home. Many home buyers believe that when making an Offer To Buy Real Estate to the sellers their options remain open. In some ways this is correct, provided the offer includes contingencies that keep loop holes open, see below. Also, if the home seller rejects your offer to buy real estate from him, counter-offers, or simply does not respond to your offer, the options remain open. As the home buyer, you can accept the home sellers counteroffer, make a new offer to purchase, or select another house.

If, however, the home seller accepts your Offer To Purchase Real Estate and you are notified of its acceptance in writing, then the offer is probably binding. In many cases and States, there is not even the need for any additional documents: the signed offer to buy becomes the Purchase And Sale Agreement. Once the offer to buy has been accepted, the choosing and thinking about it phase has passed. This is why it is very important to make sure that all of your bases are covered and all of your intentions made clear in the offer to buy document: it can end up being a binding contract.

The Offer To Buy Real Estate Document

Include At Least The Following Points

  • The proposed Selling Price which is your Offer To Buy.
  • Any Seller Concessions you are requesting of the seller.
  • Any financing or mortgage contingencies. For example, subject to you being able to obtain a satisfactory mortgage. You can state maximum interest rates, specific terms, types of loans, etc.
  • The Home Inspection contingency. For example, subject to an acceptable professional house inspection report.
  • A clear definition of precisely what is to be included in the sale. Do not assume that porch swings, fireplace doors and refrigerators are included. Be clear and detailed. Making assumptions usually causes unhappy surprises on moving day. If there is any doubt in your mind, write it into the Offer document.
  • The amount of Earnest Money, your deposit, that is included along with the offer.

Because an offer to purchase real estate can convert into a contract very quickly, be certain you understand how they relate to each other. See the discussion on contracts for more information.

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