The Accepted Offer
For anyone new to real estate transactions, the many seemingly interchangeable terms can be quite confusing. In this post, we attempt to clear up The Accepted Offer and it means
After last week's post, "What Happens Now?" I received a lot of questions about what exactly an accepted offer is. Here goes:
An accepted offer is defined as a verbal agreement between a buyer and a seller whereby a property owned by the seller will be purchased by the buyer for the agreed upon price and terms.
Admittedly, Atticus Finch I'm not, but you do get the general idea: two people are agreeing to go forward with a transaction. It's very important to note that this is almost always a handshake agreement. Further, it's an agreement that either party can walk away from--anytime, for any reason. Buyer's walk away when they get buyer's remorse (and OH BOY, do I need to write a post about that), find another property they like better, get divorced, lose their job, etc. Sellers walk away too, often because they have received a better offer. Point is, that no one is legally bound to sell or buy a property until both parties sign a written contract (and usually after a little bit of good-faith moolah, is handed over by the buyer). This is because, in New York State, there is a law called the Statute of Frauds and it essentially states that certain contracts (i.e. agreements) must be in writing in order for them to be enforced. In New York State, a Real Estate Contract of Sale, also known as a Purchase Agreement, happens to fall under the Statute of Frauds.
(Please Note: I'm not suggesting that you behave like a real estate monster. It is impolite to willy-nilly present or accept offers just because you can. Let me stress, beg, plead, implore, and appeal to your sense of decency by asking you not to verbally commit to a transaction unless you mean it. Besides the business reasons, you shouldn't do it because it's downright dishonest. )
Next week, I'll write about how best to get yourself from Accepted Offer to Contract. Thanks for reading, Jim.