(Almost) Made an Offer Today
After viewing apartments on Friday, I decided I'd start out and make an offer on one of them, after just one day of viewing. There were several good ones and I wanted to see if I could get a good deal. I e-mailed my realtor on Saturday night and asked her to make an offer on one of the apartments. I offered about 8% less than they were asking.
The Seller Accepted the Offer
The confusion started when my realtor e-mailed me back on Sunday telling me that the seller had accepted the offer. I assumed this meant they were going to sell me the property for what I offered. Apparently not. When a realtor tells you that they "accept" the offer, it only means they're willing to start negotiating. It doesn't mean they've actually accepted the offer.
Making the Offer
With this knowledge, I now realized that if I wanted to get the deal done, I'd have to move a few thousand away from what I wanted to pay. I decided to continue with the process and make the offer formally. I went to my realtor's office and we started the paperwork. To make a formal offer, you have to put $1000 USD by either cash or check on hold with your realtor.
As we were finishing up the process, we got a last minute call from the other realtor (who knew we were doing the paperwork at this moment). It seems her clients wouldn't start the negotiation at my price. They had just refused the offer I made at the last minute, likely a ploy to try and get me to up my price by a few thousand before the negotiations started.
Sorry, no deal. I told my realtor to forget it. Let's keep looking. She kept apologizing to me for the behavior of the other party, but I assured her it was no problem at all. I'm going through this entire process with my head and I refuse to "fall in love" with any particular property. I'll keep searching until I find a good place at the right price.