The sale of your home is a major life event. Large sums of money are at stake. When an offer to purchase is presented to you, as a seller you can accept it as it stands, turn it down or create a counteroffer to present to the buyer reflecting the changes you desire. A counteroffer starts the process over, and the buyer is free to walk away from the deal. Whether you decide to sell your home yourself or work with a professional real estate agent, understanding how to correctly finalize a sales offer helps avoid unpleasant surprises during the closing.
Read the purchase offer carefully. Go over each section in detail, making sure you have a clear understanding of the elements. Standard sections of a purchase order include sales price, financing methods, earnest money, down payment specifics, settlement and possession dates, and whether any personal property items, such as furniture or a free-standing refrigerator, will be included in the property purchase.
Study any contingencies the buyer has added to the offer. Contingencies are conditions other than standard conditions that must agreed to and satisfied before the closing. If contingencies are not met by the time of closing, either party can cancel the sale. Some contingencies are normal. For example, the potential buyers might insert a clause indicating that the purchase is contingent on their ability to obtain financing. Others are specific to the current property. For example, the contingency clause might state that broken tiles in the bathroom must be replaced by the time of closing.
Seek professional advice for any terms and conditions you do not understand. Consult a real estate attorney if you are selling your home yourself. If you are working with a real estate agent, look to her for clarification.
Sign your name in the seller's signature section once you have determined you are willing to sign the offer as it stands. Your signature indicates acceptance of the offer. Date the offer. Check the acceptance expiration time and date on the offer and make sure you sign and date the contract within the given timeline.
Communicate acceptance. You or your real estate agent must communicate to the buyer, either verbally or in writing, that the offer is accepted. Return the signed offer to buyer. The offer must be signed and dated by both buyer and seller to be binding. Once the offer is signed by both parties and the acceptance communicated, you are under contract and must meet the terms and conditions of the contract to close the sale.
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