Making an Offer
An offer is about more than just price. Time frame, inspections and financing are also of interest to a seller. Remember that you may be competing with other buyers, not the seller, and during this time the seller may consider other offers.
Once an offer is presented, the seller may make changes to the offer right on the contract. This is a counter offer. Changes are initialed, dated and returned to the buyer for consideration. The buyer would then either agree, or make changes of his or her own by initialing and dating.
A counter offer is an entirely new offer. Any contract change, no matter how minor, voids the preceding version and neither party is under a legal obligation to respond to the new offer. A contract is not binding until it is signed and ALL changes are initialed by the parties. For this reason, if you are serious about a property, try to make your offer one that will not come back with changes. Sadly, some have lost out on their dream home because of negotiations over a minor issue like a fixture or appliance!
Next Up: Commitment & Inspections
Once you have a signed contract, the clock starts ticking.