It depends on what type of property you are writing on - your Realtor should know this. If it's a short sale, your offer will "time out" in 72 hours. Offers such as this, although technically "expired", stay in place until you decide to pull it or another offer is accepted. There is a loose understanding that you can pull the offer at any time prior to acceptance. And MANY buyers do just that if they find other properties they want to write on. Some buyers have many offers out to short sale listings hoping they can land one of them. Once they do, they pull all the other offers. In this type of scenario, all offers are submitted to the bank for the bank to decide upon and the bank picks one.
If itâ€™s an REO, the offer will, more than likely, â€œtime outâ€ as well â€“ if the first offer is accepted, then yours is â€œdeadâ€ anyway. If itâ€™s not, then you are next in line and you offer becomes â€œactive.â€
As you can see, in both these cases, verbiage about â€œback-up offerâ€ is unnecessary. Just for the sake of argument, letâ€™s say an offer is out there and gets â€œacceptedâ€ â€“ in 99% of the time it will be outside the 72 hour window and is not legally binding. Typically, the Realtor will call you and ask if you wish to â€œactivateâ€ your offer. You say yes, youâ€™re good to go. Say no, and it goes in the trash bin with all the rest.
Let me know if you have any questions.