Learning About Real Estate Listings and Agent Services

What Details Go Into An Offer To Purchase A Home?

by Elaine Ryan

Many buyers know when they've found the right home and are ready to make an offer. This is a big moment, and if you are in this situation, you want to make sure you know what to expect. Read on to find out more about what the offer to purchase a home entails.

An Offer Is a Binding Contract

You might not realize it, but you are entering into a legal contract when you make a purchase offer on a home. If the buyer accepts your offer, you are obligated to carry out the purchase by obtaining financing and by performing due diligence on the home. Without a doubt, the most important thing about a purchase offer is the amount of money you are offering the seller. This amount may be less than the home's list price, right at the list price, or, in some cases, more than the list price of the home.

The Main Parts of the Contract

Most real estate contracts are preprinted, fill-in-the-blank-type documents that real estate agents keep on hand. While they vary from state to state, most have a place for the names of buyers and sellers, the legal and physical address of the property, and some technical terms about what a contract to purchase means. Some have space for items that are included with the sale. Not all fixtures need to be mentioned, but be sure to pay attention to things you assume should be included but may not be. For example, you might want to verify that a light fixture or window coverings are included and have them specifically addressed in the contract.

Legal Ways Out of the Contract

For some buyers, making an offer is a stressful action. It's not for nothing that people say a home purchase is probably the largest purchase most people ever make. It might be helpful to know that you do have some legal remedies to get out of the contract. You cannot, however, arbitrarily decide that you no longer want the home. The contract will state under what scenarios you can legally rescind the contract, and those issues are usually spelled out in the contingency section. Common legal ways to wiggle out of the contract and get your offer money refunded include:

  • The buyer fails to obtain a mortgage.
  • The home fails to pass inspection.
  • The home appraisal falls short of the contract price.
  • The title search turned up other owners, and no clear title could be obtained.

Speak with a real estate agent to find out more about putting offers on homes for sale.