Tell your real estate agent that you want to ‘write an offer’. Here in Wisconsin, an offer to purchase must be in writing – you can’t just verbally say you will buy someone’s property and expect it to work out.
This basic information will help get the ball rolling – the rest will come from an in-depth conversation with your agent to identify exactly what you want in the offer, and what contingencies you’ll need.
Your agent will assemble all of the documents and get it ready for your review and signature. You can sign in person, or if you have a computer, your agent can either email it, or send it to you for your electronic signature. For those who aren’t online, your agent should be able to fax it to a local business you’ve made arrangements with.
Once your agent receives your signed packet, he or she will submit it to the seller’s listing agent, who should present it to the seller promptly.
The accepted offer to purchase should clearly state the agreement made between the seller and buyer. Any changes to this agreement after the offer is ‘accepted’ must be in writing and signed by both parties.
Once your offer is accepted – then the clock starts ticking! A good agent will guide you through the process and make sure you meet all the deadlines in the offer, but its always best to be pro-active and monitor your offer progress too!
I get asked this often enough to make me want to answer it here – No, there is no law that allows this, and the standard, pre-printed forms used in real estate do not include such a clause.
There are circumstances where a buyer can back out without reason, such as after a condo buyer reviews the condominium’s documents. The standard offer format can also be modified to explain a buyer’s wishes -talk to your agent for more info.
Sure, we can do that, but with the way the market has been changing, that place will probably be sold by that time. Even properties that have been on the market a long time are suddenly selling. We are even seeing multiple offers on properties. If you find the right place – and you want it – don’t wait! Write an offer now! Not quite ready with financing, etc.? contingencies in the offer will give you the time you need to get things in order.
No. Neither party can change terms in an accepted offer without written agreement by both parties.
In general, yes, the seller can continue to market the property and accept other offers, but those offers are in a ‘secondary’ position. In most cases, you cannot be removed from the primary offer position unless you fail at something in the offer, such as if you don’t meet a deadline in the offer.
You should get pre-approved or pre-qualified for a mortgage loan before you begin your property search but you don’t actually have to apply or get a mortgage yet. To get pre-approved/qualified, you provide a lender with either verbal or unverified information about you and your financial picture – income, debts, credit, etc. Based on the info you give, your lender should be able to tell you if you might qualify for a loan, how much you can borrow, and what loan programs you might qualify for. This info is very important to help you select a home in the price range you can afford! Also, many sellers want a copy of your pre-approval letter when you submit an offer to purchase.
A ‘contingency’ is a fulfillment of a condition that is written into the offer to purchase. Financing, appraisal and home inspection contingencies are commonly used when purchasing real estate.
If a buyer intends to get a mortgage to buy a property, a financing contingency, with the buyer’s intended loan details (such as loan type, loan amount, loan term and interest rate), is written into the offer to purchase as a contingency. In summary, if the buyer is unable to get a mortgage with these terms, the buyer can elect to get out of purchasing the property.
The buyer can select a home inspection contingency to ensure that he or she doesn’t have to buy a property with significant defects. In our northwest Wisconsin area, the buyer customarily hires, and pays for, a state-licensed home inspector of their choice for the home inspection.
A ‘bump’ or home-sale contingency means that a buyer agrees to buy a property after his or her current property is sold. The seller keeps his/her property on the market while the buyer tries to sell their own home – and the seller can accept another offer during this time, ‘bumping’ the original buyer out of the primary position. Offers with home-sale contingencies are rarely accepted by sellers in this area.
The real estate market in the northwoods has turned into a competitive one – a buyer has to act quickly once the right place is found, and must write a good offer that both attracts the seller’s interest and works for the buyer. A professional agent is your best tool for a successful purchase! Have questions? Give me a call, I’ll be happy to talk to you! Cathy
Below are helpful links and other info on this subject. Stop back often as I plan to add more to this list as my website grows…. enjoy!