Your Guide to Making an Offer on a House

You’ve found your dream home in a perfect neighborhood. It’s time to take the next steps and make an offer!

There are a few steps in the process of making an offer that you’ll need to go through. You’ll want to ensure that this house is the one that you want to make your home, then decide how much to offer, write an offer letter and negotiate. We’ll walk you through each step to help you make this exciting process as easy and smooth as possible.

Before You Make an Offer

Making an offer on a home you love isn’t the first step to buying it. When you make an offer, you’ll need to submit an earnest money deposit to show the seller that you’re serious about buying the house. If everything goes well and you complete the sale, that money will go towards the down payment of the house at closing. However, if you back out of the sale after the seller accepts your offer, then you lose the earnest money. Making an offer is a serious decision, so make sure you do your research before you take the next step. Here are a few things you might consider while making sure this home is right for you.

  • Meet the neighbors – Take the time to visit your potential new neighbors and introduce yourself. They may be able to tell you things about the neighborhood or property that your real estate agent wouldn’t know. You’ll also be able to get a feel for how your family will fit into this new place and learn things specific to the neighborhood, such as if they have an annual block party or if all the kids like to get together and play in the local park.
  • Tour the neighborhood – Besides just meeting the people, you’ll want to observe other aspects of the neighborhood. Take a drive around the area at different times of day to see how much traffic is in the area, what kinds of amenities are close to your home and how busy it gets during important times of the day such as when you leave for work or pick your children up from school.
  • Research the laws – If you’re moving to a new city, you’ll want to look up the rules and laws for that city. There may be certain ordinances that could cause an annoyance for you, such as banning certain breeds of dogs or firepits.

Putting in the Offer

Now that you’ve completely educated yourself on all aspects of your future home, it’s time to take the next steps! You’ll want to decide on the offer price, write the letter and submit it to the seller, but be prepared for a counteroffer and some negotiation.

  • Decide how much to offer – Consider a few things when making your offer in order to ensure you’re making a fair offer within your budget. If the home has been on the market for more than 2-3 months, the seller may be willing to lower the price. Compare the home to the other homes in the area to make sure the asking price is fair and comparable. If there are a lot of renovations and necessary repairs that will be done to the home, factor that into the price.
  • Write the letter – The letter should tell the seller the price that you’d like to offer, when you want to finalize the sale and any concessions you need for the sale to go through. Your real estate agent will normally write the letter for you, so just make sure you know what you want the letter to include, such as a stipulation that the plumbing needs to be fixed before you close or that you want to keep the light fixtures.
  • Negotiate – If the seller accepted your offer, congratulations! You’re ready to move forward with your mortgage lender. If not, your seller may send a counteroffer. In this case, you’ll need to negotiate, which can include more than just the purchase price of the home. You may be able to trade a concession or repair request to get the price to an agreeable point.

The process you go through to make an offer on a house can be both stressful and exciting. Make sure you’ve done your research before moving forward and show the seller that you are serious about making this house your home. Once they accept the offer, Galaxy Lending Group is here to help you finance the home of your dreams!