Who Delivers Your Offer to the Seller?

A buyer’s agent usually delivers the offer for a house, which must be carefully prepared and thoughtfully put together.
Written by Bonnie Stinson
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
The buyer’s agent usually delivers your offer to the seller, but you can present the offer yourself if you don’t have a Realtor. An offer should include information about the timeline, finances, and other contingencies related to the sale.
Buying a house is a serious investment. When you understand what is involved every step of the way, you are more likely to get the property of your dreams! The most critical moment in the home-buying process is delivering the offer…and then waiting with bated breath to find out whether it’s been accepted.
If you’re ready to learn more about who delivers your offer to the seller—and how to find
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Who is involved in the real estate offer?

The real estate offer involves a party from each side (buyer and seller). Usually, each side has an agent to represent them and handle communications related to the real estate offer. 
A buyer’s agent helps a potential buyer find a property, prepare the offer, negotiate, and then close the sale.
A seller’s agent acts as the listing agent, marketing the property to be sold and negotiating with potential buyers when offers are received.
MORE: How to make a counteroffer after a home inspection
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How do you prepare an offer to buy a house?

If you are ready to make an offer on a property, you need to prepare your offer carefully. After all, this is your chance to make a great first impression! Your offer should include all the essential information in one well-organized package.
An offer for a house typically addresses:
1. Purchase price. How much are you offering to pay for the property? 
2. Contingencies. Does the offer depend on financing approval or the results of inspections or appraisals? 
3. Requests for the seller. What are you asking the seller to do as part of the sale? This might include paying some closing costs, leaving certain furniture behind, fixing a few final things (like broken door trim), or even transferring the home warranty over to you.
4. Timeline. This section should include several key dates: the date by which the seller must respond, the date you plan to close, and the date when the seller must leave the property.
In addition to the logistical information, some buyers may try to set themselves apart by writing a
house love letter
. In this type of letter, it is typical to include what the property means to you, your dream of living there, and how you would use the property. 
Be warned, however, that the house love letter strategy can backfire. What if the current owners don’t agree with your future vision for the property? There is also a possibility that personal information included in your letter (race, religion, familial status) could encourage the owners to violate the Fair Housing Act by preferring or rejecting you based on that information. 
Because of these risks, the National Association of Realtors currently discourages the use of love letters and recommends that realtors do not read or deliver them.

How do you present an offer to a seller?

The offer is usually presented via email from the buyer’s agent to the seller’s agent. Some buyer’s agents will send a text or call the seller’s agent to warn them that an offer will be arriving in their inbox shortly.   
Sometimes, an offer is handed over in person—but without the presence of potential buyers. The choice to present via email or in person comes down to the agent’s preference or assessment of the situation. 
When an offer is formally presented, a buyer’s agent has a chance to justify that offer. If negotiations are requested or a counteroffer is given, the buyer’s agent will get in touch with their potential buyers to discuss options.
MORE: How to settle into a new house

Who delivers my offer to the seller?

Unless you are doing the home-buying process all by yourself, your realtor (buyer’s agent) will deliver the offer to the seller’s agent.
In a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) situation, the seller does not have their own agent. In this case, you or your agent will send your offer directly to the seller for consideration.

What does your real estate agent include in your offer to the seller?

The offer to buy a house will include all the information listed above, including any supporting documentation. A comprehensive offer package allows the listing agent to thoroughly review everything before sending the offer to the sellers. 

The real estate offer process

Ready to make an offer? Here’s a quick overview of the real estate offer process:

Step 1 - Gather supporting documentation

You will need documents that prove you have the funds and mortgage pre-approval to make good on your offer. If desired, you can include a short biography and letter.

Step 2 - Get support from your agency and/or attorney

Get your team to review your documentation and your offer package. Don’t skip this step! It’s really easy to make a mistake when you are nervous and excited—but mistakes in writing could become binding in your contract if the offer is accepted. Be aware that some states (like New York) require a real estate attorney to be involved in housing offer contracts.

Step 3 - Submit the offer

Only after all your documents have been assembled and reviewed can you submit your offer to the seller or their agent. 
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What happens after you submit a real estate offer? 

Now you wait! You’ve set out a timeline for the seller and your agent will let you know whenever the next communication comes in.
How long until you hear back? You could hear back within two hours or two days—it depends on whether you’re in a seller’s or buyer’s market. When you do hear back, you will review the offer (with help from your agent) and respond with acceptance or counteroffer.
If your original offer is accepted, you are officially under contract and that offer becomes a legally binding document. Now you can see why it is so critical to double-check and triple-check your offer letter. Next, you will schedule the home inspection, finish securing financing, and—drum roll, please—move in!
If you receive a counteroffer, you’ll review it with your agent and decide whether to accept or negotiate another option.

Why would a seller send a counteroffer?

Don’t be disheartened if you receive a counteroffer! There is still a chance for you to get the property if you are willing to consider the seller’s requests.
Most counteroffers are based on appraisal/offer price disagreement, out-by dates, or negotiations about which party will pay the taxes/fees in exchange for the other party fixing minor damage.

Review: Who delivers the offer to the seller?

In summary, it’s usually the buyer’s agent who officially delivers the offer to the seller—unless you’re working on your own, in which case it’s down to you to review and submit the offer. 

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It’s usually the buyer’s agent who presents the offer to the sellers. If you’re not working with a Realtor, you can present the offer yourself.
You can present the offer via email or in person.
Once the seller accepts an offer, it becomes a legally binding document. You must adhere to the timeline and contingencies laid out in the document—and then you’re a homeowner!
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