Making an Offer
You've found the perfect home and are ready to put in an offer to purchase.  First, you should review our section on negotiations.  Now that you are familiar with the negotiations process, you will work with your agent to review the comparable sales in the area and the other active homes on the market.  Now you are ready to determine your offer price, closing date, terms, and conditions. Your offer will need to be in writing and signed by all of the buying parties.  Your offer is considered submitted when it is delivered to the seller or their representative. 

The seller now has the option to respond in one of the following ways:
    1.  Accept the offer as is thus creating a contract.
    2.  Counter the offer with different terms and conditions.
    3.  Reject or decline the offer.
    4.  Do nothing.

Worth noting is that you have given the power of acceptance to the seller, meaning that the seller can sign the offer, and deliver a copy to you creating a legally binding contract between you and the seller.  If you decide to terminate the contract, you will have to do so in accordance to the terms of the contract.  If you decide to withdraw your offer before the seller signs it and delivers it to you, you would do this by notifying the seller that you are rescinding your offer.

Response #4 is worth some additional discussion.  Sometimes a buyer thinks that a seller is legally required to respond to all offers.  In Texas, this is not the case.  It is the sellers legal right to ignore the offer and do nothing.

Another thing that can be frustrating to a buyer is that they may want the seller to respond by a certain time or date.  An agent may even include a provision in the offer stating that the buyer request a response by a certain time.  While most sellers will try and comply with reasonable request, they are not obligated to do so.

Finally, lets talk briefly about the number of counter offers.  There is no limit to how many times two parties can counter back and forth, however in practice excessive counter offers will usually upset one party and they may withdraw from the negotiations.  There is no magic number of counters and each situation is different, but the majority of contracts are reached within 1 to 3 counter offers.

Your agent will provide guidance on the offer and negotiation process and make suggestions approaches that can help you reach an agreement with the seller.