Questions & Answers

Does It Cost money For The Buyer To Make An Offer?

It does require the buyer to put some money up front and spend some after mutual acceptance. Earnest money must be offered to the seller which is a negotiation tool and proof of commitment to the transaction, an inspection will be scheduled and the cost is around $325 – $500, and unless you are paying cash, an appraiser will be scheduled by your lender and the buyer is responsible for the expense.

Where Does The Buyer’s Earnest Money Go?

Once the buyer and the seller have agreed to all parts of the purchase and sale agreement, the earnest money check is deposited with the designated holding company. Earnest money will go into a trust account held by a third party (usually the escrow company trust account). This way, neither seller or buyer have access to it and it can be legally considered as earnest money to buy the property. Eventually, this money will be applied toward down payment and or closing costs. Washington State law requires this money to be deposited within two or three business days after mutual acceptance (depending on the circumstance) unless both parties agree otherwise in the contract.

How Does The Offer Get Presented?

Nowadays, the buyer’s broker presents the offer on the buyer’s behalf electronically. Very seldom listing broker and seller will have a meeting face-to-face with the buyer and/or the buyer’s broker to present the offer.

What Happens If We Don’t Get A Full Price Offer?

You have three options if we are offered less than full price, a) you can accept the lower offer; b) you can counter the offer or; c) you can reject the offer. Remember that there could be another buyer who is also interested in the home. If someone else happens to write an offer at the same time, you will have two offers to consider. There are usually many parts of each offer to consider, but in the end, you will want to accept the best and most complete offer. In active real estate markets, homes often sell for their listed price. In hot markets, there may be multiple offers on a home which sometimes drives the prices up. In a weaker market, homes often sell for less than the listed price. As a real estate professional, I will keep you informed as to what is happening in the current market and constantly provide you with comparable as they change.

 Can I Keep The Earnest Money?

Rarely! Real estate contracts are complicated legal transactions. This is another area where having a knowledgeable and professional broker is a necessity. Rarely does the buyer lose the earnest money. Most often, if the transaction fails, there are circumstances beyond the buyer’s control that causes this to happen. If the buyer willfully decides that he/she no longer wants to buy the home but has no contractual or legal reason for nullifying the contract, then the seller has the right to retain the earnest money. The seller’s cap on the amount of earnest money to be retained is 5% of the purchase price of the home, regardless of the amount of the deposit.

What If The Buyer Needs To Sell Their Home Before They Can Purchase Mine?

You can choose to accept or reject a contingent offer that is upon the successful sale of their current home. Sellers often hesitate because too many things must take place before the sale can close. I will give you advice based on the price, condition and neighborhood of the buyers’ home, and ask about the buyers’ ability to borrow from a 401K plan or to get a bridge loan.