Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Remember the details that will seal your real estate deal.
By: Karin Beuerlein
Related To:

If you’re using an agent, he or she will shepherd you through this part of the deal. If you’re going it alone, you’ll have to come up with a starting offer based on your own research. Be very specific in your offer about any improvements or repairs you want the seller to make before closing or about any appliances or other items you understand to be included in the deal. Spell it all out. Be painfully clear.

Terms to know:

Counteroffer. The seller may accept your initial offer, no questions asked, but most likely he or she will make a counteroffer, accepting some terms but making changes or raising the price. This process goes back and forth until either you agree or the deal goes bust.

Contingencies. Acceptance of the sales contract can be made contingent on (that is, dependent on) certain circumstances, such as the sale of the buyer’s home. As a first-time homebuyer, you should probably stipulate two contingencies in any circumstances: that a house passes any inspections you want performed, and that the contract is approved by a real estate attorney.

Acceptance. If the seller accepts your offer, do a little happy dance! Then get moving on finishing the deal; contingencies like inspections generally have a time limit attached.

Earnest money. You’ll pay this amount (usually stipulated by the seller but negotiable; a common amount is 1 percent of the purchase price) as your deposit on the house. You’re saying to the seller, I intend to buy this house and you can safely take it off the market. The money generally goes into an escrow account at the seller’s real estate brokerage and counts toward your down payment.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Let's Make a Deal

You've got an offer from a buyer. Now what do you do?

How to Make Homeownership Affordable

Worried about how to make the mortgage payments? These ideas can help.

4 Mistakes First-Time Homebuyers Make

Learn what mistakes to avoid after you purchase your first home.

Making Yourself at Home After a Move

Moving day is over and now it's time to settle into your new home. Get tips on how to unpack and get your house in order without stressing out.

Build or Buy? Making the Right Decision

It's more than deciding on the right carpet-tile combination. Before you hire a builder or sign on a dotted line, read these tips to make sure you're getting the best house for your buck.

When Should I Make Major Home Updates?

Before taking on major remodeling projects, you may want to give yourself -- and your wallet -- time to recover from the homebuying process.

Consider Buyers’ Motivations When Making an Offer

Put yourself in a position of strength in multiple offer situations.

Don't Try to Make the Hard Sell

Leaving your home during showings is the best way to help it sell.

Making the Most of Your Home Warranty Coverage

Follow these three strategies to get the most from your home warranty.

Anti-Checklist: What Not to Do When You're Making an Offer or Negotiating

Don't even bother trying to justify a lowball offer. (Believe me, the seller and their agent were well aware that there's an electric tower in the backyard when they set the asking price.) Avoid these buyer faux pas when offering on a house.

On TV

Tiny Luxury

6:30am | 5:30c

Flea Market Flip

8:30am | 7:30c

Flea Market Flip

9:30am | 8:30c

Flea Market Flip

10:30am | 9:30c

Flea Market Flip

11:30am | 10:30c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

House Hunters

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

12am | 11c

House Hunters

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.