Today we wanted to touch on something that we hear a lot of, and sometimes buyers and sellers are not one hundred percent clear on what this term actually means. So, here we will break it down and give you an idea so that you understand exactly what this term means here in in Queens.

The real estate term we’re referencing today is “Accepted Offer”. So what does an “accepted offer” mean here in Queens? In other parts of the country, when the seller accepts your offer it is typically binding and formally accepted meaning that at that point, the buyer is usually locked in to the deal. In other parts of the country you typically put money down with your offer and that locks your offer in. In addition, other parts of the country are not attorney states so that makes the accepted offer to contract phase much quicker.

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Now, here in Queens and New York State in general, the difference is that an accepted offer is just a verbal acceptance and non-binding so here in Queens, even if a seller accepts a buyer’s offer, it is not legally binding. We have a saying here which we put everywhere and make very clear to potential buyers and agents which is, “no offer is considered fully accepted until contracts are signed.” Whether you are a buyer or seller, this is the most important phrase that you need to know and keep in mind whenever you’re dealing with offers on properties.

If you are a Queens home seller, no offer is considered fully accepted until contracts are signed so even after you accept an offer, you can continue to show the property and field offers until contracts are signed. On that same token, if you accept and offer and the buyer finds another place or decides to back out, they are well within their rights to do so. Now, if you are a Queens home buyer, you should be aware that no offer is considered fully accepted until contracts are signed so if a seller receives a higher offer, they are within their rights to entertain it. As a result, your priority as a buyer once you have an accepted offer, is to move quickly to contract so that you can protect your accepted offer.

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This is why it is so important to move quickly once you have an accepted offer. Time is of the essence when you receive an accepted offer, especially if the market is favoring sellers. Either way, being that your accepted offer is not protected, you want to do your inspection within 24-48 hours in order to expedite the process. Once you do your inspection, you want to review the report, address any major issues, and get your attorney ready so that you can go into contract immediately.

We’ve seen a lot of buyers lose deals and many times it is because the buyers move to slow. Buyers who drag their feet, take too long to do an inspection, have attorneys who work very slowly, etc. have a high risk of losing their accepted offer. The important thing as a buyer is to make sure you move quickly because that will also show the seller that you are doing everything in your power to move quickly into contract.

As for sellers, the only advice we have for you regarding accepted offers is to not be afraid to accept in a good offer even if it comes in shortly after hitting the market. If you receive a good offer within the first 2-3 weeks of listing, sellers shouldn’t be concerned about accepting an offer because aside from the fact that it may be your best offer, you will still be able to show and entertain offers until contracts are fully accepted.

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Again, the most important phrase to remember is “no offer is considered fully accepted until contracts are signed.” Keep that in mind as you navigate the Queens real estate market. Buyers, move quickly when you get an accepted offer, and sellers, make sure your agent keeps showing the property after your first accepted offer because that will protect you in the event that the buyer backs out. We hope that helps give you some insight into accepted offers here in Queens, NY. Have a question? Need some advice? Contact us at 718-968-5538 or visit