Al and Cal Homes and Community: The Massachusetts Offer to Purchase Real Estate

The Massachusetts Offer to Purchase Real Estate

The Massachusetts Offer to Purchase Real Estate

When you decide to purchase a home in MA you will likely use a two step process to agree upon price and terms.   The offer to purchase and the purchase and sales agreement.    Both are binding contracts.   The offer to purchase is likely the first of these that you will see.   

The Offer to PurchaseGBREB offer to purchase real estate form

You've just found the home that you want.   What happens next?    You will need to put your offer in writing.   Before you do that, with your buyer's agent, you will decide on a strategy to make a compelling offer for the home by taking a look at comparable sales and market conditions.    Once you do that, you will reduce that to writing and in many cases you will be looking at Realtor board form or one similar.    Your offer will contain more than just the price that you are willing to pay for the home.  

It will state who it is directed to, the address, a legal description of the property and what is included or excluded in the sale.   It will also say who the property is being offered by.   That would typically be two agents involved.  

It will contain the price you are willing to pay for the home and how much earnest money you are willing to escrow.   It will also state how long your offer is good for.     It will spell out the day you would like to close as well as additional provisions.    All of this is negotiable and not written in stone.  Your Realtor will guide you towards what is in your best interests.    A typical offer will include $500-$1000 as the initial earnest money deposit.   Another earnest deposit with the purchase and sales agreement will typically bring that total to 5%.   Normally that sum will be held in the Realtor's escrow account.   As long as the terms of the agreements are followed, that money will follow to closing.   What's reasonable for a P&S date?   Think 10 days from acceptance of offer.    You should be able to get your inspections in before signing that agreement and putting that larger sum into escrow. 

Your additional provisions might include anything else that is important to you and not covered in an addendum form.  For example, my offers generally have the provision that the property must appraise at or above the purchase price.  

Addendum to the Offer

The typical addendum will contain Home, Pest, Radon and Lead paint inspection contingencies.  You might also see a Title 5 contingency.  The forms should spell out your obligations and the reasons and rights to withdraw from the offer.    There will likely be a mortgage contingency included as well.   This gives you the right and the time to apply for a mortgage, protecting your deposit if a lender turns you down with in the specified amount of time.   

Important Things to Remember

  • This is a contract.   Read it!    In my case, after writing an offer and before the buyers sign, I read it back to them.  This assures me that I haven't made an error, and the buyers will ask questions if they have any.   
  • Everything in the offer is negotiable.    The above mentioned times and sums of money are customary, but each transaction will and can be different.  You will need to rely on what your agent advises and consider your set of circumstances.
  • The house does not come off the market until the offer is signed by all parties!    Do not crack that champagne until that offer comes back with seller signatures.   

You can put anything you want in the offer,

but remember it is a binding contact.  



Are you looking to Buy or Sell in the Franklin MA and surrounding communities? 

I have been helping folks with their real estate needs for the past 25 years.    Please give me a call.     Carol-Ann Palmieri      508-494-9061

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Carol-Ann Palmieri

Al and Cal Realty Group

Remax Executive Realty




Comment balloon 9 commentsCarol-Ann Palmieri • November 20 2012 12:25PM


Al and Cal

Very nice post and great information. Have a wonderful week. 

Posted by Alan Kirkpatrick, Alan in Austin (Austin Texas Homes) over 7 years ago
Hi Alan. Thanks for checking it out. I hope your week is great too!
Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 7 years ago

Carol Ann: This is a good explanation of what the Offer to Purchase is and what it is used for.  All the terminology and documents can be overwhelming to first-time buyers.

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (Coldwell Banker Access Realty ~ 478.960.8055) over 7 years ago

Carol Ann, our contracts are very similar and when all is written clearly and everyone is in agreement, it should flow easily. Taking short cuts is always a guarantee of delay

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 7 years ago

Hi Anita.   People are much more comfortable if the know what is going to happen.  Thanks.  

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 7 years ago

Hi Ed.   I agree.   Write them up right and as long as all agrees, let the race begin to the closing table!  Thanks.

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 7 years ago

Carol Ann, what a great informational post for buyers & sellers...I need to start addressing the pieces of our is important for anyone in real estate transaction & contract...unsure talk to your attorney!  Have a wonderful holiday

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Carol Ann, That is amazing.  In NJ we did offers and then went to contract,  In FL we just go to contract.  Real Estate is local.  Very good and detailed post.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted by Christine O'Shea (Christine E O'Shea Broker) over 7 years ago

Great article. Thanks for the info, it’s easy to understand. BTW, if anyone needs to fill out a GBREB offer purchase, I found a blank form here.

Posted by katherine over 5 years ago