How to Make an Offer on a House
Posted on September 22, 2021
Are you ready to make an offer on a house? You may have found the perfect house or maybe you’re just beginning your search. The home buying process can be scary and exciting at the same time, but the more prepared you are, the less scared you’ll be. Here are some tips on how to make an offer on a house and what you should do before you even think about your offer.
Before you make an offer
There are a few things you need to do before you even start house shopping:
Get a preapproval letter from a loan officer
Getting pre-approved is a crucial step that cannot be skipped in the house buying process. It’s beneficial for you to talk to a loan officer and get pre-approved so you know exactly what you can afford when shopping for your new home. Once you are pre-approved, you can make an offer on a house as soon as you want to and most sellers give preference to buyers who have a pre-approval letter. If you are looking to get pre-approved now, reach out or set up a time to meet with a highly qualified loan officer to get this process started for you.
Find a Real Estate Agent
Some people may think that they are an extra cost to be avoided, but in the end, real estate agents can save you more money than you can by yourself. Real estate agents have current knowledge of the market and can offer you advice about every aspect of buying a house as well. This is valuable knowledge that will make the home buying process more enjoyable.
How to make an offer
Once you have your pre-approval letter, a trusted real estate agent, and a house you love, how do you make an offer? This is where your real estate agent comes into play. Talk to them about the market and what a solid offer would look like for the house. They should have a good idea of how much to offer over the asking price, the competition, and other details to include in the offer letter. If possible, try to make your first offer just a little bit lower than your pre-approved amount. This will give you more wiggle room in case you need to increase your offer.
Writing an offer letter helps the seller and buyer get on the same page. An offer letter can contain a variety of elements, but you can plan on including these things in yours:
- The house address
- Price: details about the purchase price and other terms
- Earnest money: the amount you are willing to pay and terms regarding it
- Title: the seller will provide a clear title to the property
- Closing costs: details about who will be responsible to pay closing costs and an estimation of those costs
- Date and time of offer expiration
- Projected loan closing date
- Disclosures: any other disclosure that may be required by your state
Don’t let this list overwhelm you! Once again, your real estate agent is there to help you. In some states, it is required for a real estate lawyer to write your offer letter and in others, your real estate agent can do it. It might also be beneficial to write a personal letter to the seller about you or your family and your desire to purchase their house.