What is Real Estate Offer?

An offer to purchase real estate is a legal document, which outlines a buyer’s terms they’re willing to offer the seller. This is in no way binding. The buyer has put their intention in writing to purchase with specific terms. However, it’s up to the seller whether or not they want to accept the terms being offered. The seller has three options when they receive an offer. They can choose to accept, decline, or provide a counter-offer.

If the seller accepts the offer they will sign and send a copy back to the buyer. There is nothing more they need to do if they reject the offer. If the seller decides to counter the offer they will do it in one of two ways; verbally or in writing. If they verbally counter and the buyer accepts the countered terms it means absolutely nothing, everything needs to be in writing. However, if the seller counters in writing they will make changes, such as increasing the price, initial the change and sign the rest of the offer. Once again these terms have been agreed to by only one party, so it’s still just an offer and shouldn’t be thought of or called a contract.

What is a Real Estate Purchase Sales Contract (P&S)?

If both parties, the buyer and seller, agree to the terms in the offer then it becomes a contract. It does need to be agreed to in writing, first, then it’s officially a contract and both parties are bound. With an executed contract comes obligations, whether you are the buyer or the seller, to be met per the agreement you’ve signed. If an initial or signature is missed by either party the contract will not be fully executed or enforceable until it is. So it’s imperative both parties make sure all I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed.


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Updated: 2020

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