Home Buying in Redding>Question Details

Morgan, Home Buyer in Redding, CA

Do sellers take verbal offers less seriously than a written offer?

Asked by Morgan, Redding, CA Sun Aug 24, 2008

We haven't heard back on our verbal offer that we made two weeks ago...I'm wondering if I should submit a written one instead?

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Hi Morgan,

There is no such thing in California Real Estate Law that recognizes a "verbal offer" as one that can be acted upon. And its a good thing too. Think about it... lets say you make a verbal offer to purchase a home, the seller accepts your offer, again verbally, and they ask you for a deposit which you give them to get things rolling. Then, nothing happens and you start to get antsy so you contact the seller and ask when they are going to finish the sale and give you the house, and they say "what sale"?

What sale indeed. With no paper trail you can't prove that you are entitled to anything other than the opportunity to give away your money. If you are truly desirous of purchasing this home, you need to contact a Realtor to represent you and help you to craft a legal written offer. And don't worry, hiring a Realtor to represent you as a buyer won't cost you anything but could save you a bundle.

Good luck with your transaction, I hope once you get things down on paper (where they should and need to be) all goes well.

Take care and have a wonderful day!

Tisza Major-Posner, Realtor, IVPG
Web Reference: http://Route66Living.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 24, 2008
What a ridiculous a comment. Verbals dont mean jack and it no surprise they have not answered. If you are a serious buyer you come prepared with offer in hand and ready to execute. If you are working with an agent, fire him. If your not working with an agent at all, hire one.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 24, 2008
Morgan, you only need to meet with your agent. Let him/her know that you want to put your verbal into writing and submit it to the listing agent.

When you submit your offer, you'll tender the offer with a modest initial earnest money check, indicating your sincerity, and your "written" offer will outline all contingencies... (ie: the closing date, if you're going to get a mortgage, how much money you'll put down on your loan, what interest rate you anticipate asking for, if you'll do an inspection and by what date, if you'll have the contract reviewed by an attorney and if so- by what date... you get the idea)...

Once the seller has had a chance to review the full terms of your contract, hopefully they'll treat it more seriously and respond.

good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 25, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
In my experience, sellers are more responsive to a written offer than a verbal one. One is more likely to go further in the negotiation with a written offer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 25, 2008
One thing to keep in mind is that it never hurts to go back and resubmit an offer if your first written offer was rejected. Many times, sellers reject offers if they're too low (especially if they just put the house on the market) so it's good to give it a few weeks even up to two months and if they haven't had any offers they may just reconsider your original one. Your Realtor should be able to walk you through all this.
Web Reference: http://www.shastaliving.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 25, 2008
Thanks everyone, this has really helped. I'm going to call tomorrow and schedule a meeting with both realtors and see what the seller has in mind exactly, then make a second, formal written offer. I appreciate all the input.....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 24, 2008
1. have a talk with your realtor (I've had problems with getting realtors to write offers myself - most likely it is because they think your offer is too low and not going to be considered, so they are not going to waste their time writing it up) that you want all offers made in wrtting.

2. Ask your realtor iwhat they think is a fair offe and do a reality check.

3. As I said all offers to be legally binding in RE must be in writing. This protects both parties. For instance, if you made a verbal offer and the seller verbally accepted, he/she could back out anytime up until it was in writting and so could you---how frustrating would that be?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 24, 2008
Morgan: The previous answers are ALL correct. A verbal offer is meaningless. Worthless. If you will recall your high school or college class in business law, most contracts must be in writing. It is an MLS rule or requirement in the real estate business.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 24, 2008
Sorry, didnt mean to be rude. Take a 2 steps back.. and think like a seller... and consider your steps as a buyer and where you are at with the transaction.

You should just ask the seller, "whats it gonna take?" it will probably save you a lot of time... Your agent suggested a "verbal"? Nothing against them, but that move speaks volumes...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 24, 2008
I have a realtor, and they suggested I make a verbal because the seller is being very fickle, and did not respond to our first written offer. So, on the advice of our realtor and the seller's realtor, we made a verbal offer for more money to see if he would consider it.

Also, I wanted to respond to 'Jonathon James' - this board is for advice/questions, so if a particular question seems 'ridiculous' to you, then feel free not to put your two cents in - but you definetely do not need to be so rude. Thanks to everyone else for your imput.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 24, 2008
Absolutely.....................What is the benefit of making a verbal offer, if the buyer is serious?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 24, 2008
Yes. To be bindng, cotracts for Real Estate must be in writting. A verbal offer isn't worth the paper it's not written on.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 24, 2008
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