How to Make an Offer on a House

January 25, 2021
The process of making an offer on a home can be broken down into five simple steps.

You’ve found your new home, now it’s time to make an offer!

This is arguably the most intimidating part of the homebuying process, but it doesn’t have to be. Take a look at these tips for making a successful offer to guide you through the process.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Loan

It is in your best interest to get pre-approved before you even start shopping for a new home. This will help you identify the loan amount you can borrow, and thus help you determine your house-hunting budget.

Plus, when you eventually find your home and make an offer, a pre-approval from a reputable lender like Waterstone Mortgage makes that offer even stronger. It shows the seller you already have the financing lined up for the amount you’re offering to pay.

2. Determine Your Price

Once you find “the one,” your Realtor will help you determine an offer that is competitive and fair. This is based on the list price as well as the going rate for similar homes in the neighborhood, the condition of the home, and, of course, what you are comfortable with paying.

There are a few things you can do to make your offer stand out, such as:

  • Get pre-approved for a home loan
  • Limit the contingencies (things the seller must do before the sale is finalized)
  • Be as competitive as with the dollar amount you offer
  • Tailor the closing timeframe to the seller’s needs (working with a reputable mortgage lender like Waterstone Mortgage can help with this!)

Your real estate agent will use their expertise to help you make an offer the seller can’t resist. 

3. Submit an Offer

Next, your real estate agent will create a purchase agreement, which simply outlines the details of the sale. It’ll state the amount you’re offering, your mortgage pre-approval information, any mortgage contingencies or conditions that must be met before the sale is finalized (for example, you may include a finance contingency that states you can back out of the deal if you don’t sell your current home), and more.

4. Negotiate the Offer

Oftentimes, the seller will counter your offer. They may ask for a higher purchase price, adjust the closing date, or minimize contingencies.

In these instances, the seller’s agent will submit a counteroffer to your agent, outlining their requests. Then, you can either accept the offer, reject it, or counter it with a new offer. You’ll want to make this decision quickly, as you never know when they might receive a more desirable offer.

Again, your Realtor can provide recommendations for moving forward. (Chat with a Waterstone Mortgage loan professional in your area if you need a referral to an outstanding real estate agent in your area.)

5. Accepted Offer

Once you and the seller come to terms on an offer you’re both comfortable with, they will accept and you’ll be all set to move forward. 

From there, you’ll get a home inspection, an appraisal, purchase homeowners insurance, and more. Review our homebuying timeline for additional information.

Ready to get started with your homebuying journey? Find a home loan expert in your area today.