So I'm looking at purchasing a property and we have put a verbal offer on a house.
Only thing is (this is the first time I've experienced this) the seller has asked the real estate agent to take a "lock-in" fee of $500 plus plus our offer in writing when we place our offer. Reason being that they only want serious offers, and to prevent being stuffed around by people who make an offer only to then offer even less when the seller accepts the original offer. If the seller rejects the offer, we get our $500 back, BUT if we change our mind, we don't and the agent keeps the cash.
Is this normal? Is this something that happens often?
We are going to look at the house again in a few days to check that it has everything we want (flyscreen, working electricals, etc) because we are considering putting in the lock-in fee. And then of course, having everything we want in the contract, to make sure the house is fully equipped and there are no problems. Thoughts?