Welcome back to The West Valley Home Team Buyer Empowerment University! Once you locate a home you want to buy, your agent will prepare an offer to present to the seller. Your agent will know the information required to prepare your offer but you must provide an offer amount. Here’s some tips to keep in mind when preparing your offer.

Step 3: Make an Offer on a House

Tips for Making an Offer

You must supply a written contract and provide the seller with the terms and conditions of your offer. Your Realtor will have the proper documents and disclosures to use to write up an offer. A pre-qualification form, pre-approval letter or proof of funds must be included with your offer.

Remember that the written offer is the first step in the negotiation process toward a legally binding contract.  Start with a realistic offer price. Keep in mind the nature of the current local real estate market. Is there low inventory making it a seller’s market? Or are there plenty of homes on the market making it a buyer’s market? What have similar homes been selling for in the neighborhood? Your Realtor can provide you with insights to the local market and sold comparable properties.

In a seller’s market be prepared to offer the asking price or close to it. Multiple offers on the same house are not uncommon, so you may only get one chance to make an offer that the seller will consider. Keep in mind the condition of the home when making an offer. Is it in move-in condition or is it a fixer-upper that will require repairs?  Watch out for things that can make it tough to resale a property. Does the house back up to a major street? Or does it back up to a shopping center? These items may affect how quickly and for how much you can sell your home in the future. And they affect the market value of the home now.

You put yourself in a stronger bargaining position if you are pre-approved for a loan or are paying cash. Make sure to include that you are pre-approved with your offer.  Offering a higher earnest money deposit also looks favorable to sellers.  

Include a Contract Summary.  Once you have chosen your offer amount and signed the necessary documents your Realtor should include a contract summary highlighting the major points of your offer making it easy for the seller to understand. The seller can choose to counter back to your offer, reject your offer or accept your offer.

What’s next? The next post in The West Valley Home Team Buyer Empowerment University blog series will answer the most frequently asked questions about Home Inspections.

Missed the last post?  Here's a link to Step 2: Finding a Home