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 goal. 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 or earnest money deposit, who pays what closing costs, what inspections are performed, closing date, whether personal property is included in the purchase, terms of cancellation, any repairs you want performed 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 time it takes you and your Realtor 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 them tremendously as well. That may sound dramatic or cliché, but real estate purchases are serious business and not to be taken lightly. Put a lot of thought into each part of your offer and ask your Realtor or real estate attorney if you have any questions.

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