Making an Offer
Once you’ve narrowed down your list and have a clear favorite, collaborate with us to make an offer on a home.
What should I include with my offer?
Your real estate agent will have the most recent standard purchase offer forms that comply with state and local laws.
- The price
- Terms – such as a request for closing cost help or that the offer is subject to your obtaining financing and a home inspection
- Target date for closing
- Earnest money deposit – your real estate agent can advise you about how big your deposit should be based on local customs and current conditions
- Request for final walk-through
- Time limit for the offer
What are the most common contingencies?
- Financing. Unless you’re paying cash, it’s typical to write your offer with a contingency clause that lets you off the hook if you can’t finalize your mortgage within a certain number of days. Even though you have a pre-approval for a loan, it’s smart to protect yourself.
- Home inspection. Your offer can be made dependent on a satisfactory home inspection report within a certain number of days. This protects you if the inspection uncovers expensive necessary repairs.
What happens if I face multiple offers?
In a competitive housing market, you may find yourself competing against other buyers. In that case, your real estate agent is your best ally in strategizing for your offer to be accepted. With access to real-time market data, your real estate agent will know how to best position your offer. If there’s more than one offer, the sellers can:
- Accept the best offer
- Counter all the offers to get a better price and terms
- Counter one offer that’s close to what they want
You and your real estate agent can work together to find out what’s important to the sellers, such as a specific moving date, and to discuss possibly waiving contingencies, adjusting your price or writing a “love letter” about the house.
What is a counteroffer?
Sellers can accept your offer as is or they can make a counteroffer with an adjustment to some or all of your terms. You can accept or reject the counteroffer and make your own counteroffer. The contract is final once you and the sellers have agreed to all the terms.
Your real estate agent is essential when negotiating the terms of your purchase.
The home-buying process doesn’t need to be scary. Our step-by-step guide will walk you through the process and answer your questions on what you should expect from your REALTOR®, where to look for loans, and what to watch out for when closing the deal. Search homes for sale and use our expertise to help you gain the most in today’s real estate market.
Real Estate Glossary
Use this glossary to make yourself more prepared for the professionals and documents you'll encounter in your real estate experiences.