Decorating & Design

March 3, 2009

Accepting A House Offer

Review the bidding price

Unless there is a hot prospect looming on the horizon, most real estate agents will suggest accepting an offer if it is within three to five percent of your asking price.

Consider the buyer’s contingencies

They may only want to buy your home pending its inspection, the sale of their house or other conditions such as repairs or inclusion of appliances. You can negotiate these points by presenting a counter-offer.

Determine the buyer’s ability to pay

A lender qualification letter will reveal if the buyer has the funds to make monthly mortgage payments.

Carefully review any seller-binding stipulations in the contract

Pay special attention to escape clauses that allow the buyer to cancel the deal and walk away.

Make sure all agreements between you and the buyer are in writing

The purchase agreement should state any conditions and agreements such as inclusion of the refrigerator or repairs to the home. The maximum amount you’ve agreed to pay for repairs should also be included.

An accepted offer becomes a binding contract

There is no way to change your mind without both the buyer and seller agreeing to all changes. Be sure you understand the entire Offer To Purchase document and all the clauses. If you are in doubt, have your lawyer review an offer before you sign your acceptance.


Ted Yarwood