What Happens After I Write An Offer To Purchase A Home?
So we've found the right home for you. We write an offer, write an earnest money check, and as your buyer's agent I've got everything I need from you to submit your offer. What's next?
First, I'm contacting the listing agent to let them know an offer is coming. Fact is I've probably already contacted the listing agent to find out if there are offer terms that are important to the seller (besides price). Maybe they need more (or less) time to closing, or want a few days after closing to live in the home. MAYBE there's even another offer (or more) in play. More on THAT scenario later.
I'll scan the offer and send a copy to the listing agent and asked for confirmation of receipt. I'll send you a copy too. If I don't hear back from the listing agent confirming receipt, I'll phone/text to make sure they did indeed get the contract and verify the email gremlins or spam filters didn't hijack the offer.
After this, the listing agent will present the offer to the sellers. This may be in person, or emailed and discussed over the phone (especially if the sellers are out of town). They'll discuss the terms of the offer (price, dates, type financing, appliances asked for, etc.).
And this point they have options:
- They can accept your offer outright with no changes and you're officially under contract. This happens, but rarely for our market.
- Most likely? They'll counter one or more terms, in particular price. They may want to move closing date, ask for a few days occupancy, tell you NO on the washer/dryer set that wasn't listed in the MLS, basically ANY term in the purchase contract is subject to change. That counteroffer will come back to us to either accept, or counter, or decline to pursue further.
- They can reject your offer. Basically refuse to negotiate. Perhaps they're emotional people and got upset at an offer they thought was too low? It happens. Not often, but it happens. They can provide the rejection either by marking the contract rejected, or by letting the offer expire (one of the contract items we filled in was response time, after that the offer is no longer valid).
Now let's throw another wrinkle into the mix. What if there were multiple offers, so you've got competition? What will the seller do next?
It depends! Most agents know announcing "We're in multiple offers, give us your highest and best offer by xxxx time" can sometimes scare off a buyer or two, they may take a different approach.
- They may choose one offer they like best and work it, while letting the other offer(s) go to the wayside, and if you're in the "wayside" category, you may not find out there were multiple offers until being told yours wasn't accepted.
- They may do the "highest and best", then take the best offer, and maybe even work it a bit further.
- They may let a buyer know they have to beat another offer (e.g. without a nondisclosure agreement to protect your offer, the seller CAN instruct the listing agent to "shop" an offer to try and get one better).
If for some reason our offer isn't accepted, we can request the reason why. However, the seller and listing agent are under no obligation to explain why. Sometimes it's not the highest dollar amount, but something else that makes one offer more attractive than another.
More questions about buying or selling homes in the Warren County area? Just ask! You can contact us at 513-520-5305 or email Liz@LizSpear.com.
Serving Warren County Ohio home buyers and sellers,
Liz and Bill aka BLiz