Your and your real estate agent will “write an offer” or a “contract” to purchase the house. The contract will outline the terms of your offer (price, financing, closing date, etc.). Your agent should spend at least an hour going over the contract with you. You will need to write an earnest money check to present with the offer. And yes, it will be cashed if your offer is accepted.
Your real estate agent will immediately present your offer to the seller’s agent. Typically, the seller has 24 – 48 hours to think it over and respond. During this period, you may rescind your offer at any time. Be aware that there is no first-come-first-served law – the seller can entertain other offers that come in after yours, prior to acceptance of yours.
Then…You wait…it’s harder than you think!
By the deadline, the seller will do one of four things:
- ☺ Accept your offer as written (yahoo!)
- ☺“Counter” your offer with changes (to price, terms, dates, etc.)
- ☹ Reject your offer.
- ☹ Ignore your offer (yes, this is rude).
Your real estate agent will advise you on a plan of action in each of the above scenarios.
Let’s assume your offer was accepted (you are now “Under Contract” or “In Escrow”). The next two weeks will be busy, so be prepared to be distracted. You will need to have some flexibility in your schedule for the inspection and a meeting with your lender.