3 Rules for Making an Offer on a House

When you are ready to make an offer on a home, you want to do everything possible to make the seller want to accept your offer, especially if there is competition for the home. There are many things you can do – outside the realm of a bigger financial offer – that can make a seller want to accept your offer.

  1. Make them like you – Even if you can offer full ask, it goes a long way if the seller likes you. Remember that selling your home is an emotional thing, so the seller likely has a lot of good memories and feelings attached to the place that you will be moving into if they accept your offer. Make sure to be as polite as possible, and if they seller is around when you are touring the home, make sure to keep any drastic changes or negative opinions you might have to yourself.
  2. Offer what you can, but don’t overreach – obviously being able to offer full ask or even a little bit over ask is ideal, because you will catch the seller’s attention and potentially scare away other buyers. However, it is crucial to stick to offering only what you can afford, because you wouldn’t want to back out of an offer when you realize you suddenly can’t afford the house.
  3. Be ready for a yes – Being ready for a “no” on your offer is simple, it just means you either change your offer or continue house-hunting. But, being ready for a yes is a little more complicated. Make sure you get preapproved and have documents citing it, as that may tip the scale in your favor when the owners are looking to accept an offer. Then, be ready to set the gears in motion by hiring an inspector, gather funds for your offer, and be prepared to offer “earnest money” (1-3% of the offer price) upfront to secure your offer and prove to the sellers that you are serious.