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An offer is a purchase agreement that is sent to the Seller with a proposal to purchase the Seller’s property under specific conditions and price.

In Illinois, this is the standard document used to submit an offer. See It Here

What is generally included in an offer:

  • Your purchase offer, if accepted as it stands, will become a binding sales contract—also known as a purchase agreement, an earnest money agreement or a deposit receipt. It's important, therefore, the offer contain every element needed to serve as a blueprint for the final sale. These purchase offers should include the following:

    • Address and sometimes a legal description of the property

    • Sale price

    • Terms—for example, this is an all-cash transaction, or the deal is subject to you obtaining a mortgage for a given amount.

    • Seller's promise to provide clear title (ownership)

    • Target date for closing (the actual sale)

    • Amount of earnest money deposit accompanying the offer—whether it's a check, cash or a promissory note—and how the earnest money will be returned to you if the offer is rejected (or kept as damages if you back out of the deal for no good reason)

    • Method by which real estate taxes, rents, fuel, water bills and utilities are to be adjusted (prorated) between buyer and seller

    • Provisions about who will pay for title insurance, survey, termite inspections and the like

    • Type of deed that will be granted

    • Other requirements specific to your state, which might include a chance for attorney review of the contract, disclosure of specific environmental hazards or other state-specific clauses

    • A provision the buyer may make a final walk-through inspection of the property just before the closing

    • A time limit (preferably short) after which the offer will expire

    • Contingencies 

  • Can you take back/withdraw an offer?

    • In most cases the answer is yes, right up until the moment it is accepted—and in some cases even if you haven't yet been notified of acceptance.

    • If you want to revoke your offer, be sure to do so only after consulting a lawyer who is experienced in real estate matters. You don't want to lose your earnest money deposit or get sued for damages the seller may have suffered by relying on your actions.

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