A "Seasoned Investor" just asked this question: when is a contract not a contract? As a real estate professional, I am not an attorney, however, in general, a binding contract must be signed by the parties involved. Meaning a buyer and a seller in this case must have a written, not verbal, agreement. As a Buyer's Agent in Elgin, I can send over the offer to the Buyer's Attorney, but there is nothing the attorney can do to enforce an unsigned contract. A verbal offer is not a binding contract. This is often the most stressful time during the buying process, as a buyer may have submitted a good faith offer, with earnest money and negotiations have begun, however a completed, signed contract is not done. Another offer can still come in and break the first deal, without penalty to the sellers. So, buyers need to make a sound offer and follow through in a timely fashion. Don't beat around the bush. And Buyer's Agents need to make sure Buyers understand that an offer is not a contract until it is signed and agreed upon. Only then can an attorney be brought in to review and enforce. Remember, a Buyer's Agent only works for the Buyer, they cannot represent anyone else in the transaction. They also work for the buyer for free, so use their experience and ask them questions.
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