How to Navigate Making a Home Offer

How to Navigate Making a Home Offer

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Home OfferMaking a home offer is not always a simple task.  There are many laws that need to be considered and any verbal agreements are not legal agreements.  This task is best left to the professionals, but many home buyers want to go about it on their own.

Home buyers will want to keep in mind that there are many important parts to include in a home offer. Otherwise there is no guarantee the owner will follow through on their promises.  

Tailor the Home Offer

Many home buyers expect to negotiate back and forth with a seller. However, they should be prepared to accept whatever terms they submit to the sellers.  

Some sellers are not interested in negotiations and may accept an offer which is now a binding contract.  Anything and everything needs to be in the home offer.

The Purchase Agreement

The main parts of the purchase agreement will be the address of the desired property with its legal description and the sale price attached.  It will need to outline how the buyer expects to pay for the home. Not to mention the fact the seller is assuring the buyer the title is clear of any liens and a date on which the sale will close.  

Earnest Money

Next up is the earnest money that will be needed.  Earnest money is put into an escrow account. This account is held by a third party until the transaction is complete or the money is returned to the buyer if the contract is voided.  The amount put into escrow can vary greatly depending on the area.


The home offer should also show how the bills will be transferred into the new owner’s name once they take possession on the home.  Any expenses like an inspection and title search should be in the agreement with who will provide payment.


Many buyers put a time limit on the home offer to ensure the seller has to make a decision quickly.  There can also be stipulations for when the buyer is able to do walk-throughs of the home before closing.  

With the above done, we now come to the final, and very important, portion – the contingencies.  

Must-Have Contingencies

The contingencies are so important during a real estate transaction.  They will state the home offer is only viable if a certain action takes place.  Without this happening the buyer is able to walk away from the transaction with their earnest money in tow.  

Most buyers use a contingency with their financing.  If they are unable to obtain a mortgage, they will fall back on this contingency to be able to withdraw from the offer.  

Another common contingency is pertains to the home inspection.  If any major problems come up during a home inspection that the buyer does not want to deal with, they may withdraw their offer.  


Many homeowners will make a counteroffer to a buyer.  At this time the buyer should bring up any concerns they have with the home, including any repairs they will need to make.  They can ask for credits to make future repairs and try to negotiate the price lower. Buyers should be aware that some sellers refuse to negotiate down and expect buyers to meet them in the middle.

Counteroffers are the part of the process that can take the longest.  If both parties have many items they want to discuss they may go back and forth changing small parts of the offer until it is just right.  The offer is not a binding contract until one of the parties decides the terms are good enough and signs.

Offers and Walking Away

Sometimes, a buyer just wants to be done with a seller. This happens if they are being extremely difficult or will not budge on different terms.  In many cases, a buyer can walk away from a home offer if it has not been accepted without repercussion. But make sure you go over the legalities of this before taking action.  

Making a home offer should be an action that is not taken lightly.  The buyer and seller must study the offer carefully to know what they are agreeing to.  If there are any problems with the offer either party needs to address it before they sign the contract.  Otherwise, the contract will be legally binding and the problem cannot be addressed.

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