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I'm Ready to Buy, Now How Do I Start?

Understanding how to make an offer on a property is a big deal. Let's go through all of the important steps to take and items to go over before you do!

How Do I Make an Offer on a Home?

The very first step in making an offer is deciding on who will be representing you in the transaction. That person, either a licensed Realtor or a lawyer will have access to all of the standard paperwork that you will require to submit your offer. This is truly an important step in the process of purchasing a home. Not only do you need someone representing you for help with the paperwork, but  your agent will be in your corner to help you ask the right questions, understand the home that you are hoping to purchase. The paperwork can be quite lengthy and confusing, so your agent will walk you through the paperwork and explain everything to you before you sign the offer.  

When Should You Make an Offer on a Property?

The best answer to this question is- when you are financially able to afford the home, and it is a home that you can see yourself enjoying for the foreseeable future.  Rushing into an offer can lead to buyer’s remorse, either financially or alternatively a lack of enjoyment of the home. Thoroughly think through your finances and your list of “wants” before offering,, because your offer might just get accepted!.

Are You Able to Make an Offer on a House Before Pre Approval?

Legally you can make an offer on a home at any time. It’s definitely not a great idea to do so before you have a firm pre approval in hand from your lender. Offering beforehand could be a significant mistake, and waste of everyone's time and emotions if the buyer is not qualified to purchase.

How Long Does it Take For an Offer on a Home to be Accepted?

There is no set timeline for the overall acceptance of an offer, however there are timelines within the process that must be strictly adhered to, known as the irrevocable period.  You will work with the opposite side of the transaction to come to an agreement within a reasonably quick period of time, usually within 24 hours.  This can be much longer though if there are extenuating circumstances such as multiple parties to the transaction, or estate sales for example.  If you are submitting an offer, you are in control (for the most part) of the first irrevocable period, so it’s up to you how long the offer is “alive” initially.

Can a Reator Help Make an Offer on a House For Sale By Owner

If you are working with a real estate agent, they can help you purchase a home listed for sale by the owner.. They will write the offer like any other property and deliver it to the seller, and will still be working on behalf of you as the buyer.  Compensation for your agent can look slightly different when this is the case, so make sure you understand your Buyer Representation Agreement in these cases.

If you don’t have an agent, you’ll need to write up the offer yourself. It may be best to find an agent in this case, or alternatively your real estate attorney will help you submit the offer as well.

Can You Put an Offer on a House That Already Has an Accepted Offer?

The short answer is yes, but it is more complicated than that, here’s why:

The seller can  decide to accept backup offers, but the buyer has to agree to those terms, and it must be clearly stated in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale before acceptance of the offer.  The most common example of this happening is when the buyer has an offer with a lengthy condition attached to it.  The seller can include something called an escape clause, where a second offer can be submitted, but the first buyer has the right to “firm up their offer” to secure their offer, rendering the second “backup” offer obsolete.

How Do You Make an Offer on a Home More Attractive?

Give them as much as possible of what the seller is asking for. Do not however give them more than you can deliver as a buyer.  A cash, or unconditional offer  will usually be a significant factor in making an offer more attractive, but if you cannot secure the financing at close  it can get very complicated legally, and then nobody wins.

Final Thoughts on Making an Offer

Understanding how to make an offer on a property is a big deal. Make sure that you understand each and every section of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale (the offer paperwork) before signing anything.  If your agent doesn’t walk you through the paperwork, ask questions. Making your first offer is an exciting time, you should feel confident in the process! By following your agent's guidance, you should be better positioned to have a successful offer!

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