How to Make an Offer on a House


One of the most important steps in the purchase process is figuring out how to make an offer on a house. You’ll want to present an offer that is both reasonable and attractive to the seller, without giving away all of your negotiating power. In situations where multiple buyers are potentially competing to purchase the same home, getting your offer right is critically important. It’s your first impression with the seller and you may not get a second chance to negotiate further.

Read on for helpful tips and advice so you’re ready to write an offer once you’ve found the perfect home!

Get Pre-Approved to Buy

Having a pre-approval letter in hand is a crucial step when making an offer on a house. This letter is a written statement from a lender that indicates you have been pre-approved for a certain amount to purchase a home. It shows the seller that you are a serious buyer and have already taken the necessary steps to secure financing. In today’s competitive housing market, you’ll want to present the pre-approval letter along with the terms of your offer.

Do you still need to get pre-approved for a home loan? Click here to start the process with the Potempa Team!

Review Comparable Properties

Reviewing comparable properties, or “comps,” is a critical step when making an offer on a home. Your real estate agent can run comps for you, which will show you what similar homes in the area are selling for or have sold for recently. This information can help you determine whether the seller’s asking price is reasonable and provide a baseline for your offer. It’s also important to consider how long the house has been on the market and how eager the seller may be to make a deal. If the home has been listed for a while, the seller may be more open to negotiation, while a recently listed home may mean that the seller is looking for the highest price possible. Other factors, such as the condition of the house and the local market, should also be taken into account when making an offer.

Craft Your Terms

Crafting an offer on a home involves more than just deciding on a price. In a competitive market, other factors such as contingencies and timelines can be crucial to getting your offer accepted. It’s important to take a holistic view of the situation and see how your offer can meet both your needs and the seller’s needs. This may include offering a larger earnest money deposit to show your commitment to the purchase or being flexible on the closing date. Your purchase agreement should also include contingencies, such as inspections and appraisals, that protect your interests as a buyer. Your real estate agent can provide insights on what could make your offer more attractive to the seller, especially in a seller’s market.

Present Your Offer to the Seller

Once you’ve decided on a price and terms with your agent, they will submit your offer to the listing agent on your behalf. It will also include your pre-approval letter. The listing agent will then present your offer, and any others they receive, to the seller.

If all goes well, the seller will accept your offer as-is and the sale will move forward. However, you should be prepared to negotiate. Most homes do not go under contract without a little back and forth between the two parties. During the offer process, the seller may submit a counteroffer. This could be an amendment to the price and/or any of the submitted terms. You can choose to accept their counter or submit another counter of your own. In multiple offer situations, this can be a nerve-wracking experience as you don’t know what’s in the other offers the seller is considering. You will want to trust your agent and listen to their advice as you navigate the offer process. It’s also important to be realistic with your expectations and know that, if your offer isn’t accepted, there will be another great home out there for you.


At the Potempa Team, we always recommend that you don’t go through the process of buying a home alone. In addition to working with one of our dedicated loan processors, partnering with an experienced and knowledgeable agent will help you craft a strong offer. We would love to introduce you to one of the amazing agents at Valley Dream Team! Click here to get in touch with us.

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