Home Buying: The Offer

Depending upon the type of market (Buyer or Seller’s Market), will instigate the game plan you are going to take when home shopping. In a Buyer’s Market you need to be clear about what you want and buy at the level you are comfortable with. In a Seller’s Market, you need to pick an area and type of home where you want to live, trust your agent to find you the best home (don’t use multiple agents), tell everyone you know that you are looking for a home.

When you do find the home you would like to write an offer for, be sure that the following items are included:

  • Legal description of the property – address
  • Sales/purchase price
  • Specific terms
  • Any contingencies
  • Length of time for those contingencies
  • Seller’s promise to provide a clear title
  • Seller’s warranties and provisions to keep property in same condition upon taking possession
  • Closing date or length of escrow
  • Amount of earnest money deposit (EMD)
  • How the EMD will be returned should the offer not be accepted or escrow cancels
  • Method of any proration’s (taxes, utilities, etc.)
  • Type of deed
  • Provisions for who will pay for title insurance, inspections, etc.
  • Provisions for who will pay for repairs and retrofits
  • State-required provisions
  • Provision for final walk-through
  • Offer expiration period
  • Methods for breach of contract