It’s a great feeling to find the home of your dreams.
But, as exciting as it is, purchasing a home can be full of challenges. Before you can buy a home, you need your home offer to stand out.
While finding a home is one of the first steps in becoming a homeowner, there are various steps to take before you can sign a purchase contract or mortgage.
Together, an expert home loan advisor and real estate agent can help you stay within your budget and think rationally.
Learn more about how you can make a strong home offer, tips to make your offer stand out, and what can hurt your chances of landing your dream home.
Before you make an offer
The first step to making an offer is to get a pre-approval letter from a lender. This is essentially a preliminary approval for a mortgage loan in a specific amount.
The seller may not even consider offers without a pre-approval letter as they show sellers that the offer is serious and the buyer has secured financing.
Once you have your preapproval letter, a buyer’s agent, and you’ve done your research on the property—you may be ready to make an offer on a home.
Before you reach out to the seller, you’ll want to decide how much to offer, the contingencies you want, and how much of a deposit you’ll put down.
Your broker or buyer’s agent will help you put together an offer with these ideas in mind.
A reasonable offer on a home may be slightly below the asking price or slightly above it. A loan advisor and agent can help you decide on a good offer by looking at the condition and size of the home, the location, and the competition.
You’ll want to be sure that your bid is within your budget and an amount you’re willing to spend, as a bid is a legally binding agreement.
Making the offer
Once your offer is submitted, the seller will either accept it, make a counteroffer, or reject it.
If there were a counteroffer, it would be up to you to decide if you want to pay more for the home or begin house hunting again.
With a rejection, it’s unlikely that the seller will change their mind, but it’s nothing to take personally. The seller may have wanted to close faster than you planned, or someone else had fewer contingencies.
While it can be difficult, try not to get your hopes up on a home until your offer has been accepted and you are on your way to signing the documents.
How do you make your home offer the strongest?
The housing market is competitive, so you want your offer to stand out.
While a preapproval letter is a must, many other potential homebuyers will also have these letters. With the help of an agent, you can learn more about the seller and determine what they’re looking for.
The seller’s agent can help you determine when the seller plans to sell and close on their home, the purchase price they’re hoping to sell for, and what their dealbreakers are.
Understanding the seller can help you decide what to include or exclude in your offer.
If you can avoid some contingencies or offer above the asking price, it helps your offer stand out, though this is not always recommended. If you decide to go this route, speak with a home advisor and weigh the pros and cons first.
Another way to make a strong offer that stands out is to purchase the home with cash. That may not be feasible for everyone, however, so we’ve put together the top do’s and donts when you make your offer on a house.
5 things to DO when you make an offer
Your agent should guide you through the offering process. It’s likely they’ll recommend you do the following.
Without a pre-approval letter, sellers probably won’t take the buyer seriously. Being pre-approved for a loan lets sellers know you’re serious and have the financing to buy the home.
Make a respectable offer
Make an offer that will show the seller you respect their home and what they are asking for. Low-balling an offer might insult them and make them less likely to call you back. In a seller’s market, it won’t even be considered.
You can also make your offer more appealing by putting down an earnest money deposit. This is different from your down payment. It shows the seller that you’re serious about the deal and less likely to back out.
Assess what the seller wants
A reasonable offer is important, but other things may make your offer stand out to a seller. Each seller will have their own circumstances and preferences. If your agent can work with theirs to find out what the seller is looking for, tailor your offer to that.
Leave your emotions at the door
When you find the right home it can be difficult not to let your emotions get in the way, but try not to show the seller how much you love the home. Feeding off your emotions can lead you to make bad decisions and pay a higher purchase price.
Go easy on the contingencies
While it’s wise to have a home inspection, don’t ask the seller for too much, or they may reject your offer immediately. For instance, don’t ask them to leave behind their pool or hot tub or fix every little flaw in the house.
5 things you DON’T want to do with your offer
Especially in competitive markets, these mistakes could cost you the house or cost you more money than you wanted.
Forget to research your mortgage lender
Shopping around for lenders can help you get the best deal and support. Don’t reach out to one before reading testimonials and lender reviews from past clients. An experienced and knowledgeable lender will help you through the whole process and get the best rate for your loan.
Offer your maximum amount
Never offer the maximum amount you’re preapproved for. This can backfire and cost you more than you can comfortably afford in the end, especially if you need to use some money on repairs or home improvements.
While you may have researched the housing market, mortgage lenders, and how to make the best offer, an advisor or agent knows the ins and outs of the market. Sellers may also be skeptical of buyers working without any other agents.
Wait to make an offer
There’s a lot of competition out there today and waiting to make an offer can put you at risk of losing the home you want.
Put all your hope into one house
Easier said than done, but don’t get too excited over a home until your offer has been accepted. There are many beautiful homes for sale, and you will find yours in time.
DO be confident in your offer
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or interested in relocating to a new home, GO Mortgage can help you find the right loan and support you through the home buying process.
We’re here to provide expert advice and help you get your offer accepted.
We’re experienced in conventional mortgages, FHA loans, VA loans, USDA rural development, and jumbo loans. Contact one of our home loan advisors when you’re ready to build or buy.