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Once an offer, or offers, are in hand you will need to go through the process of qualifying the buyer and evaluating the offer(s). If more than one offer is in hand, it is usually easier to enter the variables into a spreadsheet and compare them side to side.
Considering the Buyer
Each offer MUST be provided with an assurance of financing and that the terms of the contract will be completed in full.
The assurance of financing usually comes in the form of a pre-approval from a lender stating that the buyer has gone through some type of evaluation to assess that they have the assets and income necessary to obtain the financing. It is important to contact this financial entity and determine the extent of this evaluation in order to confirm its type, aging, extent and any minimum requirements that the buyer and the condition of the home will need to obtain the financing.
Cash offers should be accompanied by a proof of funds that identify the accounts where the amounts that are being offered are located. This may come in the form of a letter from a financial entity, or a screenshot from an online account.
Considering the Contract
As 99.9% of offers will come in the form of a Florida Bar (FARBAR) contract, there will usually be a set of standard variables that will differentiate the offers. Much of the verbiage in a standard contract is “boiler plate” assurances of buyer & seller rights written into Florida Statute. NOTE: unless you, or the buyer are practicing attorneys at law, there can be no deviation from this standard verbiage as doing so would be considered practicing law.
Here are some essential variables to consider that are contained in the FARBAR AS IS contract:
Note that all contracts must be signed at the end AND be initialed at the bottom of each page and where any strike-through or correction has been made by each party in the contract.
Once a contract has been determined to be acceptable, the seller signs it in order to execute (start) the contract and timeclock. Making any change to the offer is considered a counter-offer and has to be sent back to the buyer for their agreement and signature. Until the buyer’s final signature is received, neither the initial offer, nor the counter-offer is considered executed.
Once an executed contract is in hand, a copy must be immediately sent to the title company. It is the seller’s responsibility to be aware of each step of the contract and it’s relevant timeline.
Managing the Transaction
Upon acceptance of an offer, it is the responsibility of each agent (or seller) to manage and track all aspects of the contract. The success of any transaction os the communication and good faith of all parties participating in the transaction.
Once in hand the contract should be immediately delivered to the title company that has been chosen to facilitate the transaction. The title company will work with all parties to facilitate the steps of the transaction. However, the coordination and negotiation of any contract must be performed by the buyer, seller or their agents.
All timed steps and requirements of the contract should be identified and confirmed prior to the agreed upon date. Any lapse of performance if these steps can cause a default in the contract which could result in the loss of deposits and/or litigation to resolve the completion or compensation of the contract.