A contract is an agreement between two competent parties that is legally binding. In real estate, everything must be in writing to protect all parties. The contract begins with a buyer making an offer. Usually, the buyer will view a property and decide to buy it. The agent will help the buyer construct an offer. The buyer will decide the amount he is willing to offer. There are many things to consider in an offer. Who will pay for each closing item, repairs and other concerns? Each item needs to be spelled out in detail. Earnest money must accompany an offer to show that the buyer is serious about the purchase. The agent will present the offer to the seller, who has the option of accepting, rejecting or countering the offer. Any change in the offer results in no contract. There must be a “meeting of the minds” for a contract. This means everyone must agree.