Real Estate Blog

The What-Ifs of Waiting (on your offer to be accepted)

I tell clients this every time and no one wants to believe it. Everyone thinks they’re different, special unique snowflakes….but they’re not. Waiting sucks. No one likes waiting for anything these days! So when you put an offer on a house that you secretly really want (your agent already knows), the hardest part to wait to see if has been excepted or not. So what exactly is going on while you’re checking your phone every two minutes pretending that you’re looking at the time?? Here are the workings in a nutshell:

1. The offer is accepted

Yay! Your offer was accepted. Congratulations you’re buying a house and your due diligence period begins immediately. So start moving! Depending on your contract, you may only have a week or so to get everything done. This means that you need to call your inspector ASAP, not tonight, not tomorrow morning, not next Tuesday. You need to call the inspector immediately and get the ball rolling. It is so important during this time frame to act quickly and it’s only for your benefit as a buyer. The sooner you knows happening with a property the more time you have to make educated decisions and negotiate if necessary.

2. The offer is rejected

Boo! What do you mean the seller doesn’t want to pay ALL of my closing costs and take $15,000 of the asking price? Well hopefully that’s an exaggeration, but it happens. Sometimes there are other offers that are more attractive to the seller. Other times it could for any other number of factors, which is why making your offer attractive is important. For whatever reason, as a buy you need to be prepared to say, “Next!” and move on. If the seller isn’t willing to negotiate from the start, how well will they take to any amendments later? However, in certain circumstances such as certain bank owned properties they may only be accepting offers at list price. Seek the advice of your agent in such circumstances.

3. Counter offer

Ok so they didn’t agree to the sun, moon and stars, but what did they agree to? It’s so important to really examine a counter offer and what the motivation is for such changes. Is there a specific number off of the total asking price that the seller is throwing around between the offer price and closing costs? Is it the closing date that is hurting the deal or your out-of-town lender? In making an offer, everything you submit is scrutinized by the person on the other end. It’s important to be extremely thorough when looking over a counter offer before accepting. Although, your agent might summarize the major points, look at the details. There is no point to get three days out from closing to say, “Oh, I am going to be in foothills of the Himalayas and can’t make it.” Meis Van Der Roh said that God is in the details and he may as well have been talking about real estate contracts.

4. The offer expires

Eek! So the offer expires, what next? For starters, your agent should be talking to the listing agent to ensure this doesn’t happen or to get a sense that it might. If the offer expires without acceptance or a counter it is dead in the water and all pervious negotiations are void. This is probably the most uncomfortable situation to be in because it means there has been a complete breakdown of communication. If there are extenuating circumstances, such as a seller being out of communication with their agent, one would hope this would come up in conversation so as to be avoided. It’s amazing how so many things come down to keeping open lines of communication!

To summarize, the key points of submitting an offer is to keep the communication going and make sure all parties are moving toward the same goal. So much of real estate is getting everyone to where they want or need to be. It’s not about winning or losing.

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