Does this mean the buyer must accept the counter offer? No, they have the option now to either accept, reject or counter your offer.
You’ve had your home on the market now for over a year and finally, there is an offer on the table. Oh boy, happy days are here again, or are they? Let’s talk about the offer and possibly a contract to purchase.
You must remember that an offer is just that, an offer. It is not binding and only spells out the terms and conditions of the offer. It is now up to you the seller to determine if you can live with this offer, or do you want to make a counter offer. A counter to an offer is simply changing the terms and conditions of the offer to meet with your wishes. Does this mean the buyer must accept the counter offer? No, they have the option now to either accept, reject or counter your offer.
OK, so how long can this game go on?
I have actually seen offers and negotiations go on for as long as several weeks. Once both parties come to an agreement it is called a meeting of the minds, this is now a valid, binding contract. Now filling the terms and conditions of the final contract must start, surveys, appraisals, home inspections, etc. It is usually a long and difficult undertaking, but all part of the purchase and sale process in the world of real estate.
How helpful should your Real Estate agent be?
Agents are helpful from the very beginning, in doing the market analysis to arranging showing the property and providing information to the buyer or the buyer’s agent. The agent will be with you through the negotiations and help guide the process. The final decision is with the seller in all cases, however the agent, who has been down this road many times may offer suggestions that could keep the negotiations alive. Experienced agents bring a wealth of knowledge to the table that you, the buyer or seller, can benefit from. I have seen many transactions fall apart simply because the buyer and seller were trying to accomplish it all on their own. I don’t recommend trying this on your own, not because I am a licensed real estate professional, but because selling real estate can be a very complex and confusing transaction, the added assistance is worth the price.
So back to the original question, who is in charge of the contract?
Actually both parties are, both parties have the opportunity to change the offer until it is finally narrowed down to a satisfying document that is signed off by both parties. Don’t lose sight of your goal when negotiating a offer, stay within normal limits and always remember the current market is not what it used to be. Both sides may have to give a little in order to come to a contract.