Offers and Contracts

Seller's Handbook: Offers and Contracts

An Offer to Buy
A buyer makes an offer by submitting a written and signed offer to purchase. This document becomes the sales contract when signed by all parties involved.

Presenting the offer begins when the selling agent registers the offer with Iowa Realty's Real Estate office and notifies the listing associate of the offer. The listing associate then arranges a presentation appointment with the home seller and the selling associate. The buyer does not attend.

As the seller, you will be given a sample net proceeds sheet. The calculations on this sheet are done to let you see the "bottom line." Part of this presenting the offer meeting also includes determining that the buyer is financially qualified to make the purchase.

You now have three options:

  1. You can accept the offer as written.
  2. You can make a counteroffer, changing any unacceptable conditions. This counteroffer is written on a special form and signed by you. When this is given to the buyer, the buyer can withdraw, accept or counter the counteroffer.
  3. You can reject the offer if it is totally unacceptable.

When both buyer and seller agree to all terms (including changes made in any counteroffer) and indicate agreement by their signatures, the contract becomes "firm." With signatures and notification to all parties, a sales contract now exists.

Multiple Offers
It is possible to receive more than one offer to buy. All offers that are registered before a final acceptance must be presented to the seller. As the seller, you should hear each offer and ask questions. You do not need to act until you've heard all offers. If more than one offer is accepted or countered, an order of precedence must be established, such as primary, first backup, second backup and so on. Your listing sales associate will answer your questions as they occur.