Making an Offer

When it’s time to make an offer, you may find yourself competing with other buyers for the same property, or you may be the only buyer making an offer. The two scenarios and the negotiations will be completely different from one another. It’s my job to help you get the house for the lowest amount of money possible in either scenario.

An offer has two parts to it: price and terms. Price is obvious but the terms include the type of loan, deposits, inspection, closing dates and more. Terms can be as important, and sometimes more important than the agreed upon price.

A purchase offer is really a package and I will present it with a very professional cover letter summarizing the deal points (something that is often lacking in offers submitted on my own listings). The offers that I present on behalf of buyers are known to be extremely buttoned up and well-documented.

Once the seller accepts your offer by signing it, the contracts go to the buyer’s and seller’s attorneys for a three-day attorney review period. During attorney review, either party can cancel the contract without giving a reason and without penalty.

Your first deposit is typically due 10-14 days after the conclusion of the attorney review period. The second deposit is due at the closing table. The preferred form is a bank check or cashier’s check but a personal check is also acceptable.

Most transactions have the buyer putting down 20% of the total purchase price in cash deposits and the remaining 80% is loaned out by the bank in the form of a mortgage. If you buy a house for $500,000 - it is preferred (but not required!) that you put down $100,000. If you have ever heard the phrase “80/20 LTV” - or, Loan to Value - that is what it means. That $100,000 cash deposit means that you have 20% equity in the property at the time of purchase.

But, there are different types of loans available that allow you to put down very little. Two examples are FHA and VA loans. Ask your lender about available products.