Chris Griffith: What happens to your offer after you sign it?

CHRIS GRIFFITH

What happens to an offer after signing it? It’s a fair question to ask of whomever is helping you write the offer, whether it’s your attorney or your real estate agent. If your attorney is involved they’re generally concerned with making sure you’re legally protected. They’ll also track specific time frames after the contract is executed and advise you of action items required on your part that involve inspections, applying for mortgages, etc.

What happens to the purchase offer you’ve just signed after you push away from the table? I wonder if many buyers know or ask for those details. To whom is the offer being presented? How is it being delivered? Does your agent know anything about the seller, the seller’s agent, recently received offers or past offers in general?

It all sounds like basic fundamentals but given that I’ve received not one, but two contracts this week, via email with no phone call or even a basic question or two about the property, the seller’s objectives or the tenant’s lease, it makes me wonder how often this happens to buyers. Little did the enthusiastic buyers realize they’ve mustered the courage and signed on the dotted line only to have their offer get rolled up and essentially tied to a balloon and released into the great blue yonder.

If nobody knew the offer was coming, whether it’s via email, fax or pony express, valuable time is tick, tick, ticking away. This is where sellers really learn to really appreciate that 24-hour response time they’ve been given to jumping through the flaming hoops. (Yes, that is sarcasm. I’m fluent in it.) They especially enjoy it when they live in a different time zone or on a different continent or if there are multiple parties involved who need to be consulted before an agreement or counter offer can be made.

If you’re a buyer who is placing an offer to purchase real estate, there are a few questions you need to ask:

Ask if your agent has spoken with the listing agent prior to preparing an offer to find out important information such as which closing dates could benefit the seller or to ask for property disclosures. You did review the disclosures first, right? Good, that means you signed them and send them back with the offer.

Get a copy of your contract and a list of important time frames, response times for both parties involved in the contract, escrow deposit dates and home inspection deadlines.

Ask for some sort of acknowledgement from your real estate agent that the offer was actually presented and is now in the hands of the seller, the seller’s real estate agent or their legal counsel for due consideration. Whether it’s simply an acknowledgement of a conversation about the contract or an email response receipt to make sure the seller’s side knows you’ve placed an offer.

Instruct your agent to ask to be notified immediately if your offer becomes involved a multiple offer situation.

Real estate 101 – The great delivery. Deliver the offer and actually let the seller’s agent know it’s been delivered.

Coming soon: Real estate 102 – The bridge to nowhere. How to explain to a buyer’s agent that if they want to help (imagine finger quotes) “bridge the gap” on an offer 50 percent off list price, someone is going to need to sell a kidney and trust me, it’s not me.

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Chris Griffith is a real estate agent at Downing-Frye Realty Inc. in Bonita Springs. If you have a question about local real estate or Bonita Springs, e-mail her at chris@LifeInBonitaSprings.com.

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