Finally, your offer has been accepted!
Congratulations, you finally did it! Your bid on your dream home has been accepted. The champagne is uncorked, your Pinterest board is ready to be filled with interior inspiration, and you can't wait to show your entire family the Funda photos. But you also know that a lot is coming your way. Bid accepted and now what?! Read here what you need to think about as soon as you have an agreement on your bid. You hoped for it, but maybe you didn't even expect it anymore. But your bidding strategy has apparently borne fruit. Or you just had the gunfactor, a good bid, and not too many conditions. Anyway, the seller has decided to give you the house and you have agreed on the purchase price. Congratulations, once more time!
Bid is now accepted, but what is next?
Besides enjoying your delicious glass of champagne, you'll need to take a few steps, after your bid is accepted. Use the 5 steps below as your action plan.
- Discuss taking over movable property. Before signing the purchase contract, it's smart to consult with the seller about what does and doesn't belong to the house. Did you, for example, have your eye on the beautiful custom-made curtains that are hanging in the house during the viewing? Maybe the seller is willing to transfer them to you for a small amount. That saves you the cost of making curtains yourself. Together with the seller, you can put on paper which movable property you want to take over. This can range from curtains to shading and from a beautiful cabinet to the towel rack that is already screwed into the bathroom wall. If everything goes well, the seller and the realtor have drawn up a list of items for takeover. On that list is what belongs to the house and what you can possibly take over. Don't hesitate to ask if you can take over things that are not on the list. Who knows, the seller might be willing to let go of those as well. If such a list doesn't exist yet, then make sure together with the seller that you have in black and white what you exactly want to take over and what the seller will leave behind for you. Also, make it clear what is included in the purchase price and what you will have to pay extra for certain items.
- Signing the purchase contract. Put on your finest clothes, because it's time for a happy moment. You'll sign the purchase contract at the real estate company or at the notary office. Check the contract carefully and ask questions if you have any.
- The home inspection/ valuation. It's time for a home inspection! You'll want to know what kind of condition the house is in. A home inspector/ valuator will look at everything inside the home. They'll give you a report with any issues they find. This will help you negotiate with the seller about who will pay for repairs or if the purchase price should be adjusted.
- Secure the financing for the property that you're buying. You'll need to secure financing for the purchase of your new home. This can be done by applying for a mortgage or by paying cash. Make sure to compare offers from different lenders to find the best deal.
- Closing the deal. The moment you've been waiting for has finally arrived. It's time to close the deal and get the keys to your new home. You'll sign the final mortgage and house deed at the notary office and receive the keys to your new home!
Oh No! The seller backs out from the deal...
Yes! The dream scenario of finding your perfect home and having your offer accepted! But what happens when things don't go as planned? Your offer is accepted, but suddenly the seller backs out. Can they just do that?
Well, usually not. As long as you both haven't signed the purchase contract, the seller is free to back out. But if they've already signed the contract, they can't just back out without consequences. There is an exception to this rule if the seller has included "terminating conditions" in the contract. If these conditions aren't met, the seller can cancel the sale without having to pay a penalty.
But if the seller doesn't have any terminating conditions to fall back on, you as the buyer have the right to hold them to the contract. In this case, you would first ask the seller to deliver the property to you as agreed. If the seller can't or won't do that, you can claim a penalty of 10% of the purchase price from the seller, as outlined in the contract. You can also take the seller to court to force the sale or the payment of the penalty. To avoid this situation altogether, make sure you receive a copy of the signed purchase contract. A verbal agreement is not enough to bind the seller to the sale.
What about the scenario where the buyer backs out? As a buyer, you have more rights than as a seller. But is it possible for a buyer to back out after their offer has been accepted? Yes, in certain situations.
There are three situations:
- You decide to back out before signing the purchase contract, even though your offer has been accepted. You don't have to give a reason and you won't have to pay a penalty.
- You use the three-day cooling-off period to think things over. During that time, you decide not to go through with the sale. You don't have to give a reason and you won't have to pay a penalty.
- After the cooling-off period, it turns out that one of the terminating conditions has not been met. For example, you can't get the financing you need and had included a financing clause in your offer. If you communicate this to the seller in writing before the deadline, you can back out without penalty. The same applies to other conditions, such as a contingency on the sale of your current home.
So, can you back out of an accepted offer on a house after the cooling-off period? If you can't fall back on terminating conditions, and the contract is binding, it's not easy to back out without consequences as paying 10% penalty. So be sure to think things over carefully before signing the purchase contract!
Get in touch with our advisors for more information about the process of buying a house and applying for a mortgage.