The homebuying process is an exciting, albeit stressful, time. You look at a bunch of houses, hem and haw over multiple listings, and just when you find the right one, it seems like someone else has already beaten you to the punch. Maybe you're a bit hesitant about the process, and we're here to help clear that up. Here's how to make an offer on a house that the seller will have a difficult time refusing. But first, let's clear up some questions.
Can I make multiple offers on a house?
The answer is yes, but only if it aligns with your goals and needs. Typically when you go to make an offer on a house, you just submit one. Sometimes these offers will be based on contingents or situations that must be met for the offer to stand. If a seller turns you down, they usually will come back with either a counter offer or a reason they turned you down. At that point, if you decide you still want to proceed, you may wish to amend your offer to reflect more of what the seller is offering before you re-submit it. You can do this process as many times as it takes before you either get the home or decide to move on.
Can you make an offer on a pending house?
First, let's clear up what pending means. Pending means the seller has accepted an offer, and they are in the contract phase of the sale. You don't know what the prospective buyer has offered just from a pending status, so it would be unwise to submit an offer on the home when they're so far in the closing game.
There are, however, a few instances where making an offer on a pending sale is encouraged by the seller. When this is the case, the listing will usually say something like “Pending with Contingencies” or “Pending-accepting backups.” Both of these situations would be where a seller is looking for alternatives in case their buyer falls through.
First offer on house
When you've decided on a home you like, it's time to make the offer. If you are working with a great real estate agent, they will usually walk through the process with you. Decide on a price that you would like to offer for the home. Use the listing price a suggestion, as there may be room for negotiation. If you are submitting the offer yourself, make sure you are conforming to the regulations listed by your state.
The first step in proposing an offer is to call the seller's agent or seller themselves if they are listing the home for sale by owner. Make sure they have not accepted any offers and ask if there are any offers on the table. In the case that there are several offers already in, be prepared for a bidding war.
If you have been cleared to submit an offer, you will need to write a check for the earnest money required to hold your spot on that house. The earnest money is typically between 1% and 3% of the purchase price, and you can make a seller's concession for that money back if the offer gets refused or the deal falls through. You will then take your earnest money, the offer letter, and the preapproval letter from your bank letting the seller know that you are preapproved for this house, and submit it to the seller.
Home Offer Letter
Your offer letter, if accepted, will be a binding contract between you and the seller, and therefore must contain several things:
-The property's address (and/or description)
- The terms of payment, i.e. FHA loan
- The term of payment
- Transfer of ownership
- The date at which you expect to close on the home
- Amount of time the offer is good for
- Proration method of utilities, mortgage, etc. for both buyer and seller
-Provisions including who will pay for inspections, title insurance, etc.
- Type of deed
- Any state provisions necessary
- Provision for buyer to perform a last-minute inspection of the property
- Any contingencies to be made
What happens next?
If the offer is accepted, the seller will sign the letter signifying that they are bound to your offer. From that point closing on the property will take place. During this process, there are inspections and appraisals to be made, contingencies to fulfill, and to sign. This process usually takes anywhere between 30 and 60 days.
Getting ready to put on offer on a house? We have agents that can help. With top local agents on call ready to work for you, it's no wonder we're called Clever. Call us at 1-833-2-CLEVER or complete our online form to get connected a top-rated local agent that will list your home with a discounted commission rate.