Making an offer on a house

When it’s time to make an offer on a house, we’ll help you make decisions on how much to offer and what terms to negotiate on. In theory, everything is negotiable. Here are some of the factors that affect making a strong offer.

How much to offer?

The market ultimately sets the sale price of a home. We’ll do market analysis to determine if the house seems fairly/over/under priced, and help you base your offer strategically. We’ll also consider the condition and how long it has been on the market.

How badly do you want the home?

Our offer may be different if you, the spouse and the kids have fallen in love with the house, vs if it’s ‘ok at the right price’, or if you’re buying as an investment.

Are there multiple offers?

We’ll ask if there are other offers. The seller’s agent may / may not be able to tell us, though ususally they want buyers to know that they have offers. If the seller has other offers, we’ll probably have to make an offer at full-price or above in order to be competitive.

Should we ask the seller to pay your closing costs?

Sometime we can ask the seller to pay your closing costs, but we have to be careful. If the market is competitve and the house is in demand or has multiple offers, the likelyhood of that goes down. Your offer might lose to someone else who’s not asking for closing costs.

When do you want to close?

The closing date can make or break an offer, so it’s important to know when you need to close, and how flexible you can be. We always try to find out when the seller would prefer to close, and write the offer to accommodate that, if possible for you.

What costs should you prepare for?

There are two main costs when making an offer. Here’s more info on the costs of buying a house.

  • Earnest money. (usually 1-2% of the offer) is paid be check or transfer with the offer. When the offer is accepted, the funds are held in a trust account at the seller’s broker. At closing, the earnest money goes toward the purchase of the home.
  • Inspection. You’ll hire a home inspector when we make the offer. Inspections usually cost $375-550. Here’s more info on getting a home inspection done.

Here’s the process of writing an offer: