Real Estate Glossary

What is Offer To Purchase?

An Offer to Purchase is a crucial document in the real estate transaction process. It is a formal proposal by the potential buyer to the seller outlining the terms of the purchase, including the price, closing date, and any contingencies. The offer to purchase also includes information about the buyer, such as their financial qualifications and any contingencies they may have, such as the need to sell their current property. The offer to purchase is usually accompanied by a deposit, also known as an "earnest money deposit," which is a sum of money that the buyer pays to the seller as a good faith gesture. This deposit is typically held in escrow and is applied to the purchase price of the property at closing. The seller can accept the offer as is, reject it or make a counteroffer. Once both parties have agreed on the terms and sign the offer to purchase, it becomes a legally binding contract. This means that the buyer is obligated to purchase the property and the seller is obligated to sell it, provided that any contingencies outlined in the offer are met. It's important to note that an offer to purchase is not the same as a purchase contract or a deed of sale. The offer to purchase is a preliminary step in the process, and the purchase contract is the final legal document that is signed by both parties at closing.