Writing an Offer to Purchase Real Estate
Once you find the
home you want to buy, the next step is to write an offer – which is not
as easy as it sounds. Your offer is the first step toward negotiating a
sales contract with the seller. Since this is just the beginning of
negotiations, you should put yourself in the seller’s shoes and imagine
his or her reaction to everything you include. Your goal is to get what
you want, and imagining the seller’s reactions will help you attain that
The offer is much more
complicated than simply coming up with a price and saying, "This is
what I’ll pay." Because of the large dollar amounts involved,
especially in today’s litigious society, both you and the seller want to
build in protections and contingencies to protect your investment and
limit your risk.
In an offer to
purchase real estate, you include not only the price you are willing to
pay, but other details of the purchase as well. This includes how you
intend to finance the home, your down payment, who pays what closing
costs, what inspections are performed, timetables, whether personal
property is included in the purchase, terms of cancellation, any repairs
you want performed, which professional services will be used, when you
get physical possession of the property, and how to settle disputes
should they occur.
It is certainly more
involved than buying a car. And more important.
Buying a home is a major
event for both the buyer and seller. It will affect your finances more than
any other previous purchase or investment. The seller makes plans based
on your offer that affect his finances, too. However, it is more
important than just money. In the half-hour it takes to write an offer
you are making decisions that affect how you live for the next several
years, if not the rest of your life. The seller is going to review your
offer carefully, because it also affects how he or she lives the rest of
That sounds dramatic.
It sounds like a cliché. Every real estate book or article you read says
the same thing.
They all say it
because it is true.