Home Buying Tips – How To Make An Offer On A House

How To Make An Offer On A House

Once you find a perfect home, it is time to make an offer. Making an irresistible offer on the house increases your chances of becoming a homeowner. There are plenty of ways to make your proposal convincing and attractive. Before we move into the steps and the tips to help you create the best offer on a property, you need to know how the home offer process works. 

The Home Offer Process

  • This is how a usual home offer process works
  • You come up with a price and write an offer letter to the seller
  • The listing agent sends your offer to the homeowner/seller

You can expect three kinds of response:

  • Your submission gets approved and accepted
  • The seller declines your offer. This happens when your proposal is nowhere close to the seller’s expectations
  • You receive a counter-offer. The seller proposes different terms

For counter-offers, you can accept, negotiate or decline if it’s not acceptable to you. The negotiations can continue back and forth as many times till you and the seller can reach a settlement or until one of you walks away. 

If the seller accepts your proposal on the house, you will need to sign a purchase agreement. Once you are under contract, you can go ahead with assessments, home inspections, and anything else included in the purchase agreement. This period after signing the purchase agreement is referred to as the contingency period. 

How to make an offer on the house?

1. Begin with a thorough research 

This step involves gathering enough information about the property prices in the market. You can go through local real estate news updates, review sales of similar properties in the area and speak to several real estate agents to get a proper understanding of the current real estate trends. Don’t focus entirely on asking prices; get to know about the average rates at which other properties got sold. This will give you an unbiased idea about the ideal rate that you can propose to the seller. 

It is not a good idea to take the listing agent’s words for granted since they represent the seller and obviously will have the seller’s best interest in mind. So no matter how much information you gather from the agent, eventually, you will have to perform additional market research to get unbiased reviews and data. You can scout for a list of comparable home sales in the locality to figure out a reasonable price for your dream home. 

2. Pick a starting price 

Once you get an appropriate understanding of the property values in the local market, the condition of the house on sale, your situation, and the seller’s situation, you can come up with an attractive starting price. If you can find a buyer’s agent to help you with this process, it will be more beneficial. An agent’s professional expertise and knowledge of real estate can be an added advantage at this stage. 

3. Get Your Finances Ready

Before you put your proposal on the table, make sure to have your finances in place. If the seller accepts your bid on the house, you will have to hand over the deposit and sign the contract. The sensible thing to do is have your entire finance approved by the bank/lender before making an offer, or at least arrange for a pre-approval. If you don’t make the necessary financial arrangements and, for some reason, end up not being able to pay the deposit after the seller accepts your offer, then you might face penalties. 

4. Send your offer through the agent

Once you prepare your proposal, have the listing agent deliver it to the seller and wait patiently for their response. You can make multiple offers on the same property with different terms and conditions. Making multiple offers serves as an advantage when you or the seller want a shorter or longer settlement. This method also helps you in fetching a better deal. 

Tips to help you make an irresistible offer

1. Build a good relationship with the seller

Homeowners have a deep emotional connection with their homes. And if there are selling their house because of some adversities, it makes the experience even more painful for them. So it is crucial to building a friendly relationship with your seller instead of being an aggressive and arrogant buyer. Offer a reasonable price that is beneficial for both you and the buyer; also, remember to keep a calm and composed attitude if you are going to hold negotiations. 

2. Be open to negotiations

First offers can get rejected, but it doesn’t mean that everything is over. You can negotiate with the seller and come up with a price that would work for both parties. Never insult them by low-balling but instead quote a realistic rate and inform them about all the costs you would be up for when buying the house, such as cost for inspections, renovations, pest control, and your agent’s fee. If your offers get accepted, immediately have a home inspection as it can reveal overlooked issues so that you can re-negotiate the terms of the contract. 

3. Know what the seller wants

Try to figure out why the house is on sale and what is the seller’s situation. Depending on these factors, you can quote a price that would seem quite attractive to the seller. Ask around and get to know about their needs before you put an offer letter on the table. This technique will save you time and effort and speed up the process without too many negotiations. 

4. Keep it Precise and Simple

The real estate industry is extremely competitive, so don’t complicate your offer with unrealistic requests and too many conditions. Your proposal should sound confident, direct, and understandable. Sellers want certainty, and that is what you need to give them. Also, create your offer letter with a friendly and personal tone instead of a desperate, needy, or hostile vibe. 

5. Be detailed and organized

You don’t want to submit an incomplete and unprofessional proposal for purchasing a house. Make sure to include all the necessary information in the offer letter, such as addresses, names, legal details, etc. If possible, try to be transparent about your funding as it gives the seller more confidence about the offer. 

6. Get professional help

It’s a known secret that real estate agents often hike a property’s price by 5 to 10%. This means there is room for negotiations, and the seller will probably accept a slightly lower offer. However, a proper valuation is a must to know the fair price for the property. The listing agent will always try to the best sale price, so instead of taking their word, consider hiring a buyer’s agent to help you with the negotiations, all the way to the final deal.


Sometimes the deal won’t go as you would want it to go, but don’t stress if it does not fall through. There are lots of potential properties in the market, and if you just let go, you are most likely to end up in a home that is the best for you and your family.


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