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Contract on a house I would like, but they said I could still put a bid on it. What does this mean?

  • November 12 2012 - Shreveport
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Answers (4)

Your real estate agent can make sure that if the original buyer backs out, you have an opportunity to negotiate to purchase the house.

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I interview prospective buyers and sellers on a regular basis.  I would be glad to speak with you once you have spoken with a lender and have a letter of prequalification.  If you would like a list of local lenders to consider, please contact me at Zip711.com.

Cliff Grimsley
Carolyn Grimsley, CRS, ABR
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  • August 15 2013
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You can also put in the backup bid (ie. secondary offer) an expiration date that gets you "off the hook" but leaves the seller in contract. Ask your agent how to write it up that way. It basically says that after a certain date you are free to look at other properties and withdraw your offer, but the seller still has to honor your contract if his primary falls through.

Also, be sure to put in there that you are the primary backup offer, because in some state a seller can accept multiple backup offers and if his primary falls through, he can choose from the secondary offers. So, as weird as it sounds, you want to be the "primary secondary" offer.

Primary offers fall apart all of the time, so if you really like the house and haven't found anything else yet, making a secondary offer can't hurt. Just don't agree to put down earnest money or do anything else (like inspections) until you have been made the primary. Also, sometimes sellers will take a lower offer with secondary offers, because it's "just a backup." That can benefit you if his primary falls through.

Legal contracts vary in different states, so consult with a licensed real estate agent or attorney in your area before writing an offer.
  • November 12 2012
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So I shoudn't put an offer on the house at all?.They are still showing the house.
  • November 12 2012
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Sometimes agents will accept backup offers until the bank issues a commitment letter to the existing buyers so the sellers have a backup plan in the event the deal falls through. 

This is especially prevalent when dealing with bank owned properties, foreclosures, & short sales as the percentage of contracts that fall apart is higher. 

Instead of putting in a backup offer, i'd recommend having the sellers agent call you in the event something goes wrong.This way you're not on the hook.
  • November 12 2012
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