How to Make a Winning Offer on a Home – What You Need to Know.

Searching for the perfect home has become a lot easier with online portals. It doesn’t take much effort to find homes in the price range and areas that you wish to live.

Once you find a home that fits your needs and you’ve toured the property with your realtor, you can now make an offer. Here is what you’ll need to know …

How do you intend to purchase?

When making an offer you have to provide the home owner with the method by which you will pay for the property.

There are only two ways: Cash or Financing.

There are many ways to finance a home but typically Conventional, FHA or VA. Be sure you are looking at homes that fit your financial situation.

For example: Most first time homeowners are purchasing homes through FHA lending program because it allows for a minimum downpayment. You can not make an offer on a home that does not accept FHA.

(If you are in need of Down Payment money, check out a THDA loan!)

What is your offer?

Price + Stipulations = Offer

The selling price on a home is what the seller would like to make on the home. Unless stated otherwise in the listing, this price is negotiable. The amount you offer really just comes down to two things: how much do you want the home and how much more are you willing to pay than the other guy.

When making an offer on a home it’s not just about price. Price is important but often the stipulations of the sale can determine which offer the seller accepts.

Included with every price are stipulations. Here are some examples:

  • seller to pay buyer’s closing costs
  • seller to leave refrigerator and window treatments
  • seller to replace rotten boards in the back deck
  • all the above

There is really no limit to what can be in an offer but the best bet is to make it simple and fair for the seller so you can get an acceptance.

Work with your realtor to come up with a fair offer that will win you the home.

Your realtor has several tools they can use to come up with a price to offer for the home. One of those is data from the local MLS.  Using the MLS they can determine what similar homes have recently sold for in the area and provide you with a CMA or “Current Market Analysis” of the home.

Earnest Money

When making an offer it is suggested that you provide earnest with the offer once your offer is accepted. The amount is usually enough to require you to have “skin in the game” such as $500.

Earnest Money is due within a reasonable period of time after an accepted offer.

Home Inspection.

As the buyer of the home you have the right to have an inspection done on the home to learn more about any functional problems the home may have. This is in the legal contract or offer that you will be submitting. If the home does not pass this inspection to your liking then you can forfeit the offer and be refunded your earnest money.

Closing Costs

There will be closing costs for both you and the seller so keep this in mind when making your offer. Your realtor can give you close estimate by talking with your banker and the titling company.

When making an offer you have to specify who will be paying your closing costs and titling fees. But be careful here, you want to be fair because you are competing with other offers from other buyers.

The closing costs are additional to any “downpayment” money you have for the home.

When do you want to close?

Along with the offer and the final step is to choose a closing date and title company. Once again you can work with your realtor to determine the best amount of time and title company to use.


There is a lot to consider when making an offer and with the speed at which homes are selling it can mean the difference between getting or losing the home you want! We recommend giving yourself an advantage by having a realtor by your side and representing your best interest.

Contact us today to discuss how Cindy and I can help you with all your real estate needs.