Once a buyer is found, you will receive an offer that will detail the price the buyer is willing to pay, specify any conditions that the buyer has included, when the buyer would like to take possession, and when the offer expires. As an act of good faith, the buyer will submit a deposit with the offer. The buyer’s agent will present the offer to you, we will be present, and we will be given the opportunity to ask question to clarify the terms and conditions. Then the buyer’s agent will be asked to leave and we will go through the offer clause by clause and you can make decisions on how to handle each term and condition of the offer.
When presented with an offer to purchase you have three choices:
- You can accept the offer,
- You can outright reject the offer, or
- You can counter the offer and negotiate a compromise.
Most sellers choose to counter the offer and partially meet the buyer's terms and conditions. You may even insert a seller’s condition into the offer to purchase. The counter offer is one more step along the way to negotiating the final terms and conditions of the sale. The offer to purchase may go back and forth between the seller and buyer two or three time before an agreement is reached. We will review the offer to be certain that you understand and agree to all of the terms in the document. If the offer is very complex you may want to review it with your lawyer before signing. Once the offer is signed by everyone it is a binding contract.
Very often a term of the sale requires the seller to provide a "real property report" (survey) showing the location of all structures on the land and encroachments. You may also have to prove that you have title to the property and have the right to sell it (both your lawyer and the buyer's lawyer will check this out when he or she conducts a title search to see if there are any liens against the property, easements, rights of way or height restrictions). Especially in rural areas, you may also be asked to provide a driller’s report for the water well, water bacteria test and a certificate for the septic system stating the system meets code.
The buyer may also make the purchase conditional to an inspection by a home inspector or a qualified engineer and it may also be conditional to the sale of the buyer’s property.