Writing an Offer on a Property
We often get questions from out-of-state, and international buyers who want to know how the offer and sales process works here in Utah. As your Buyer's Agent we work for you, and will carefully guide you throughout the process.
One you find a property you like, writing an offer is quick and easy. In Park City, Utah we typically do not entertain verbal offers, all offers must be written. We can submit an offer to a Seller without delivering upfront Earnest Money. We write your offer on state approved forms, and we prepare these forms for you to sign, based on your instructions and our guidance. Signing is easy in today's tech world using Docusign, which allows you to receive an email, click on the link, read through the contracts and sign digitally - even from a smart phone. No more fax machines or Fed Ex. Once all is properly signed, we then submit the offer to the Seller's agent.
Below is a description of the forms we typically will use in writing an offer for you:
Buyer Broker Agreement
This is where you officially hire our brokerage Summit Sotheby's and us as your agents to represent you in a purchase. Most agents will have this set up to be a blanket agreement locking you to use the agent for any property in Summit County, for the next couple months. We typically write one for each specific property. If this deal does not work out, you are not obligated to continue with us – although we do hope you will be happy with our service and would. The form notes that SSIR charges a 3% brokerage fee (commission) to Buyers. This fee is almost always paid by the Seller out of the proceeds of the sale.
Buyers Due Diligence Checklist
This form highlights all of the things you as a buyer should be thinking about, considering, or asking questions about. We may not always be the person to provide an answer on questions, but we are the source to help direct you to answers. Just remember we are your guide throughout the transaction.
Limited Agency Agreement & Disclosure
If the realtor that represents the Seller is also at Summit Sotheby's, we will need to add this form. Or if we are the listing agents of the property you are offering on, we use this form. Limited Agency is the term we use in Utah. Other states refer to this as Dual Agency. If we are going to be limited agents, or if our brokerage will be a limited agent, we will discuss the situation in further detail. In our opinion, if the limited agents treat both the Seller and Buyer fairly and ethically, a limited agency transaction can proceed as a smooth process.
Wire Fraud Scam Alert
This is a common problem today, so this form alerts you to this potential hazard. Never wire funds unless you have verified the source of the instructions, and/or have verified the destination provided by the instructions. Hackers are always attempting to get into Realtor, Mortgage and Title companies emails to send fake wiring instructions and divert funds to their off-shore, untraceable accounts.
Real Estate Purchase Contract (REPC)
This is the actual purchase agreement, or offer to purchase. We typically fill out the open fields with terms that are considered to standard practice of business in our market for a purchase. On Earnest Money we typically enter an amount of about 2% for the purchase price, but often we will recommend higher to make the offer more attractive. Your EM is not due until we get an accepted contract. Then you will have 4 days to wire the funds. The EM is fully refundable up to your Buyer Due Diligence deadline, which we typically set at 14 - 21 days after Acceptance of the contract. Additionally, your EM is refundable if the property does not appraise - if that is a contingency on your offer. The Appraisal Deadline we typically set for 35 days from Acceptance, as that is the standard timeframe required by the lender. The Closing, or Settlement Deadline is usually about 30 days for a cash sale, or 42 days for a sale using financing.
ADDENDUM / COUNTEROFFER TO REPC
During the offer process, all counteroffers are done in writing with this form. Any changes requested to the REPC once we are officially "under contract", are also done in writing by using this form.
Personal Property Transfer Agreement & Bill of Sale
This is a form that addresses the furniture and furnishings and other personal items such as kitchenware that may be asked to be included in the sale. We will communicate that we expect the major electronics to be included, Wall Mounted TV’s, central sound, AV equip, etc. As part of the Seller’s Disclosures, the Seller will deliver to us an inventory of items for us to review and approve, during your Buyer Due Diligence time period.
Acceptance of Your Offer
Once your offer is accepted by the Seller (or once you accept the Seller's counteroffer) you will then be “Under Contract” (same as In-Escrow). Once under contract, you must deliver your Earnest Money Deposit within 4 calendar days (by wire). The Earnest Money is normally held at our Summit Sotheby's brokerage trust account or at the title company. If you cancel the contract during your Due Diligence time period you get your full earnest money back. You can cancel for any reason or no reason at all, pretty simple - but written cancellation must be before the due diligence time period ends. If you cancel after the Due Diligence deadline date, you most likely will not get your Earnest Money back.
TRANSACTION DOCUMENT RECEIPT
Once we send to you all the required Seller Disclosure items as stated in the REPC, we use this form to verify that you have received all the documents. We will note each document on the form, and you will be asked to initial next to each, and sign at the bottom. This only confirms receipt of the documents, it is not stating that you approve the documents.
Once under contract for sale, we will have much work to do to ensure a successful closing. Many of these steps will have strict deadline dates applied, and if not completed properly and on time, could cause forfeiture of your earnest money and loss of the sale. We have an outline for the steps to expect as a Buyer. We will be your guide through the entire process. Its our job to keep you updated, informed, protect your Earnest Money and make the process as easy and smooth as possible.
Buyers Notice of Cancellation
If you as the Buyer determine the Seller's Disclosure documents are unacceptable, or if you are not satisfied with the results of your inspections of the property, you can cancel the contract prior to your due diligence deadline set forth in the REPC. Cancelling is as easy as signing and delivering this one page form.
Remember, we are your Buyer's Agent. We represent YOU. We are here to work for you, and look out for your best interests, so when we communicate with you, please communicate back promptly with us.
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