I represent a buyer who wants to make an offer on a home. If the buyer tenders a check for the option fee with the offer when I present the offer to the seller’s agent, has the option fee been tendered to the seller? And could the seller’s agent sign the receipt for the option fee on the last page of the contract?

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  • I represent a buyer who wants to make an offer on a home. If the buyer tenders a check for the option fee with the offer when I present the offer to the seller’s agent, has the option fee been tendered to the seller? And could the seller’s agent sign the receipt for the option fee on the last page of the contract?

Absent any statement by the seller’s agent that he does not have authority to accept the check for the option fee for the seller, the seller’s agent could accept the check for the option fee and, if the seller does accept and sign the offer, the seller’s agent could then sign the receipt for the option fee on behalf of the seller. The last page of the contract shows that either the seller or the listing broker could sign the option fee receipt. Buyers should always tender their option fees with their offers to ensure that the termination option becomes part of the binding contract, should the seller accept and sign the contract. The risk to the buyer who doesn’t timely tender the option fee is that the seller might sign and accept the offer, and the contract will not include an enforceable termination option. While the contract permits the buyer to pay the option fee within three days after the effective date of the contract, the safer practice is to tender the option fee with the buyer’s offer.

Source: TAR

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