The key people involved at this stage are the investor or purchaser, the vendor and the real estate agent. If the vendor is selling the property through a real estate agent, offers on the property must be made through the agent. If the offer is well below the asking price, the agent may indicate that the vendor will not accept the offer. The purchaser may put the offer in writing and request that the agent submit the offer. If the agent refuses to submit the offer, the purchaser can put it directly to the vendor provided their contact details are available.

While the contractual relationship between the vendor and agent is not the concern of the purchaser, the purchaser does need to be aware of the legal and ethical relationship between the vendor and their agent. In particular, the agent will still be eligible to receive commission on the sale even if it is negotiated directly between the vendor and the purchaser.

In most states, the initial offer may be verbal and the vendor may make a verbal counter offer or reject the offer completely.  In WA however, all offers are made in writing via an ‘offer and acceptance’ and once a final figure is agreed, this becomes a binding (though usually conditional) contract.  In other states, the purchaser demonstrates the seriousness of their offer by putting it in writing in a contract. It is important to remove emotion from the buying negotiations and help your client to keep perspective and maintain objectivity and not to make too high an offer.