A buyer's agent will prepare a Competitive Marketing Analysis to help guide you in making an offer. (This price counseling will include information on similar properties that have sold recently and similar properties that are currently on the market.)
A buyer's agent will make sure you have an updated Seller's Disclosure.
A buyer's agent will assist you in determining the price.
A buyer's agent will assist you in writing the offer to purchase.
A buyer's agent will include all necessary addenda (i.e. Financing, Legal Description, etc.)
A buyer's agent will represent you in the negotiating process - price, closing date, etc.
You will put down an earnest money deposit at the time you present the offer. Typically, this is in the form of a check that is not cashed until you and the Seller agree on a contract.
You will sign and date the contract when an offer to purchase is completed.
A buyer's agent will present the offer to the seller. (Typically, the Seller's agent presents the offer to the Sellers.) Then the Sellers have three options:
To accept the offer exactly as presented and the house is sold (subject to the provisions of the contract).
To make a counter offer - propose changes to the offer (e.g. price, personal property, closing or possession dates, etc.) to make the offer more acceptable to the seller.
Reject the offer.
Once the offer has been accepted, the inspection process begins.
The counter offer process can continue until the offer is accepted or rejected.
Remember, a buyer's agent will always be negotiating on your behalf.