Making your offer on the perfect home
Once you find the perfect home, you’ll need to make an offer in writing and submit it to the sellers. This is usually done through your real estate agent and is accompanied by your earnest money deposit, which is a pre-determined amount of money to show that your offer is sincere.
Follow the advice of your real estate agent or lawyer when deciding how to make your offer. Here are examples of some things your offer should include:
- The price you’re willing to pay
- When you want to move in
- What kind of inspections you’d like to have (structural, electrical, plumbing)
- Whether your ability to buy the house depends on getting a loan (although you should already be pre-approved for a loan)
- The amount of time both you and the seller have to make all these things happen (usually 30 to 60 days)
The seller usually has 24 to 48 hours to consider your offer or make a counter offer, which means that they want to sell you their house but want to change the original terms of your offer.
It’s always wise to review any inspection reports before making your offer. Most sellers provide these reports upfront to potential buyers until the home has been carefully examined by a qualified home inspector, who is trained to take a critical look at various aspects of the home, including:
- Heating and cooling system
- Electrical system
- Windows and doors
- Exterior grading (to make sure water drains away from the house)
These items can be very expensive to repair, and although you may still decide to make an offer, you might be able to negotiate a better price (or at least be prepared for the upcoming expense).
Learn more about mortgages on our Mortgage Resources web page.