The Home Buying Process: The Offer

Updated on April 18, 2020
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Michelle has been a Real Estate Broker over 15 years. She loves educating buyers and sellers on how to make their transactions go smoothly.

The Home Buying Process: The Offer
The Home Buying Process: The Offer

You’ve found the perfect home for yourself or for you and your family and now it’s time to make an offer on the house. The "Offer to Purchase and Contract" is the single most important document in the real estate transaction. You have picked a great agent, you have picked a great mortgage company, you have picked a great house. Now it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty—the meat and potatoes of the buying process.

Make an Offer

Your real estate agent will give you guidance on your offer. Not only will you be making an offer but it will also include things you want from the seller. These things may include but are not limited to a portion of your closing cost and home warranty. These requests are referred to as seller concessions. Your agent will prepare for you and review with you before you sign, the offer to purchase and contract. After you are content with your offer your agent will present it to the seller’s agent. The seller’s agent will present it to the seller. The seller may accept it as is or make a counteroffer. This could go back and forth until you both agree on terms you are both happy with. Once the contract has signatures you are really close to homeownership!

Things to Keep in Mind When Making an Offer

  • Your real estate agent knows what a good competitive offer will be for the property.
  • You want to make your offer as attractive to the seller as possible.
  • If there are multiple offers, make yours the highest and best.
  • If you low-ball a seller, you may risk them not countering or considering any future offers from you.
  • Listen to your agent’s suggestions and advice. He or she knows the market.

The "Offer to Purchase and Contract" is the single most important document in the real estate transaction.
The "Offer to Purchase and Contract" is the single most important document in the real estate transaction.

The Negotiation

Your agent will negotiate the offer with your terms and on your behalf. This is when having that high energy outspoken agent comes in handy. You want an agent that will tell you if you’re not being reasonable. You should respect their honesty because they are only looking out for your best interest. If you lose the house you really want because you low-balled a seller you will be devastated. The solidness of your agent’s experience and negotiation skills will play a big part of the acceptance of your offer. A good agent will advise you and not let you make common mistakes.

It’s easy to stress over an offer. Allow your real estate agent to do his or her job and things will go much smoother. Just sit back and relax and wait to hear a response from your offer. Hopefully, prepare to celebrate!

Your Offer Was Accepted! (Or Not)

If your offer wasn't accepted, try again with another offer. If your offer has been accepted by the seller, there’s a lot of work ahead for the people working on your behalf. This is what your agent does on a daily basis. They will oversee a to-do list before you close on your new home. You will be asked for preferences on these services. You do have the option to waive certain professional services. Your agent will advise and guide you.

Things that take place after the offer is accepted:

  • Coordinate with Closing Attorney
  • Home Inspection
  • Home Warranty
  • Home Owner’s Insurance
  • Appraisal
  • Termite Inspection
  • Well/Water Inspection (if required)
  • Septic Inspection (if required)
  • Radon Inspection
  • Title Insurance
  • Survey
  • Repairs if any will need to be completed.

Your real estate agent will keep you informed of the progress. There could be additional addendums to the contract for you to sign. There could be other inspections required by your lender. Once all of these things are taken care of you will move on to the final of the home buying process: the closing.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2016 Michelle McLaughlin


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    • soldonmichelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle McLaughlin 

      3 years ago from Fayetteville, North Carolina

      Thank you thumbi7

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 

      3 years ago from India

      Nice article

      There is lot of information

      Thanks for sharing


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