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Presenting an Offer for Your Dream Home- Step 6

Pre-Offer Evaluation: Essential Steps Before Committing

Before submitting your home offer, take these crucial steps:

Revisit the Property: Tour the home with friends or family for fresh perspectives. Their unbiased views can provide valuable insights. Consider multiple visits and reassess the property with a critical eye, especially if it's been a while since your initial viewing.

Explore the Neighborhood: If unfamiliar with the area, spend time in the neighborhood. Take walks, run errands, or simulate your daily commute. This firsthand experience helps you gauge the practical aspects of living in the area.

Pre-Offer Considerations: Strategic Steps for Informed Decision-Making:

Analyze Comparables: Request your real estate agent to provide comparables ('comps') for the area. Compare the property you're interested in with similar sold houses. Ensure an apples-to-apples comparison, considering size, age, bedrooms, bathrooms, and overall condition. This analysis reveals market trends, empowering you to structure a compelling offer.

Financial Reassessment: Revisit your budget, evaluating finances comprehensively. Account for property taxes, home maintenance, HOA fees, and other ongoing expenses. Confirm that the forthcoming offer aligns with your budgetary constraints, encompassing all potential homeownership costs.

Reevaluate Priorities: Reflect on your initial priorities and compromises. Are you comfortable with the trade-offs you've considered? Can you envision a long-term future in this home? Given the significance of homeownership, take a moment to reassess your decisions before finalizing your offer.

What's Encompassed in a Home Purchase Offer?

As you embark on the next steps, your real estate agent collaborates with you to formulate a comprehensive offer, typically incorporating the following elements:

  1. Offer Amount: Clearly stated sum proposed for the property.

  2. Property Details: Inclusive of the address and a detailed property description.

  3. Transaction Terms: Specifies if it's an all-cash deal or involves obtaining a mortgage.

  4. Offer Expiry Date: Defines the timeframe within which the offer is valid.

  5. Seller's Commitment: Assurance from the seller regarding a clear title.

  6. Closing Date: Specifies the targeted date for concluding the transaction.

  7. Deed Type: Identifies the type of title deed to be granted.

  8. Regional Specifications: Includes state and local particulars.

  9. Earnest Money: Deposit signaling the buyer's commitment, applicable towards down payment or closing costs if accepted.

  10. Utility and Tax Responsibilities: Agreement on how utilities, real estate taxes, rent, or fuel costs are handled between buyer and seller.

  11. Insurance and Inspection Agreements: Outlines the arrangement for payment or division between parties for title insurance, survey, and termite inspection.

  12. Last-Minute Property Inspections: Provision for any final property inspections.

  13. Contingencies: Conditions that must be met for the offer to proceed.

What Are Home Purchase Contingencies?

Contingencies act as conditions within the offer, granting the buyer the flexibility to withdraw from the home purchase without facing penalties if these conditions are not met. Consider incorporating the following contingencies into your offer:

  1. Home Inspection Contingency: Permits the buyer to identify and address any significant issues discovered during the home inspection, such as structural deficiencies or electrical problems. The buyer can request repairs, and if the seller refuses, the buyer has the option to withdraw from the deal.

  2. Sale and Settlement Contingency: Relevant when the buyer needs to sell their current home to fund the purchase of the new one. This contingency allows the buyer to nullify the agreement if their home doesn't sell within a specified time frame.

  3. Kick-Out Clause: Implemented by the seller in a home sale contingency scenario, enabling them to continue marketing and accepting offers on the property under contract. If another buyer makes an offer, the seller can 'kick out' the initial buyer unless they remove the home sale contingency within a set period.

  4. Appraisal Contingency: Ensures the home's appraised value matches or exceeds the offered price. If the appraisal falls short, the buyer can opt out of the purchase.

  5. Mortgage Contingency: States that if the buyer cannot secure a mortgage loan by a specified date, they have the right to terminate the contract. Failure to terminate by the stipulated date, however, may allow the sale to proceed even if the buyer hasn't secured the necessary funds.

Offers Accompanied by Personal Letters

The practice of including personal letters, often referred to as 'love letters,' with offers has gained popularity, particularly in competitive real estate markets. In these letters, buyers share personal details about themselves and express how the seller's home will positively impact their lives. The aim is to make the buyer memorable and stand out. However, it's crucial to be aware that such letters could potentially lead to violations of federal law.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the housing market based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. Despite seemingly harmless intentions, sharing personal information, such as emphasizing how much your children will enjoy the backyard, might inadvertently put the seller and real estate agents at risk of violating the law. Consequently, many seller's agents may refrain from accepting offers accompanied by personal letters.

Moreover, these letters can have unintended consequences. If the seller perceives the letter as manipulative or an attempt to appeal to their emotions, it might lead to the rejection of the offer. Receiving a rejection is challenging enough, but knowing it occurred after sharing personal details could exacerbate the disappointment of the rejection.

Presenting the Offer and Engaging in Negotiations

Ideally, your agent will present your offer, the seller will accept, and you'll be ready to celebrate. However, things may take a different turn – the seller might reject your offer or propose a counter-price. In such cases, negotiation becomes crucial. Understanding the dynamics of negotiating a home's sale price is key, and here are some considerations:

  1. Home value surpasses the listing price: Your real estate agent plays a pivotal role in negotiations by offering insights into the home's true market value. If the listing price exceeds this value, there could be room for negotiation. Additionally, if the house has been on the market for an extended period, it can enhance your negotiating position.

  2. Market dynamics matter: Your agent's expertise extends to understanding current market conditions. They can inform you if homes are generally selling above or below the listing price and by what percentage. Market norms vary, and what might be considered insulting in one market could be commonplace in another. Seek guidance from your agent on the negotiation strategy for this specific house.

  3. Impact of the home inspection: While a thorough home inspection is crucial, it may not always act as a direct negotiating tool. Serious issues found during the inspection could lead to negotiations regarding repairs or, in extreme cases, the buyer walking away. However, many inspections reveal manageable concerns that may not significantly impact negotiations.

  4. Be prepared to compromise: Negotiating often involves some level of compromise. Whether it's the sale price, terms, repairs, or possession, being flexible can enhance your chances of securing the home. Before entering negotiations, understand your priorities and identify areas where you can make concessions to achieve your overall goal.

What to Do After Your Offer Faces Rejection

Navigating the home buying process can be an emotional journey, filled with highs and lows. While the excitement of discovering your dream home is invigorating, the anxiety during the offer consideration and the disappointment of rejection can be challenging. Understanding the dynamics of rejected offers is crucial, and here are some key insights:

  1. Common rejection tactics: In many cases, seller's agents advise clients to reject initial offers, particularly in a seller's market. This strategy helps identify genuinely interested buyers willing to engage in negotiations and demonstrate commitment to securing the property.

  2. Avoid overanalyzing the seller's decision: While having some insight into the seller's motivations can be advantageous, it's essential not to dwell on trying to understand their thought process. Often, the rejection boils down to a straightforward reason – the belief that a better price can be obtained.

  3. Consider making another offer: A rejected offer doesn't necessarily mean the end of your pursuit. Act promptly and consult with your agent and family for guidance. If your initial offer was on the lower side, your agent might already have a backup offer ready. Alternatively, you can streamline the process by presenting your maximum offer upfront. If the seller declines, it signals the need to move on.

  4. Don't linger in indecision: If attempts to reach an agreement prove futile, it's essential to acknowledge that the house might not be the right fit. Avoid dwelling on missed opportunities and promptly shift focus to finding another property. Embrace the reality that your ideal home is still waiting for you to discover it amidst the diverse real estate landscape.



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