How To Make An Offer On A House

How To Make An Offer On A House

Making a great offer on a home is an essential step to finally getting into the home of your dreams. In competitive housing markets, you need to make an offer that is attractive to sellers in order to stand out from other buyers. We recommend you work with a real estate professional who can walk you through the entire home-buying process. At Eaton Realty, we’ll help you understand the market and make tough decisions to give your offer the best chance of being accepted.

What To Do Before You Make An Offer

Before making an offer, you need to take steps to ensure you have all your finances in order and find the perfect home.

Get Your Mortgage Pre-Approval Letter

Before you even start looking at houses, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a great idea. A pre-approval letter comes from a money lender that provides mortgages. Getting pre-approved requires you to disclose income and financial information, such as proof of income, proofof assets, and credit history.

Having a pre-approval letter is beneficial to you for a few reasons. First, it gives you an accurate idea of how much money you can borrow with a mortgage, which will help you narrow your home search to stay within your budget. Second, you can include your pre-approval letter with your offer letter when you find a house you love, and it will prove to the seller that you’ll be able to pay.

Find A Great Realtor To Work With

Working with a realtor to find your dream home has many benefits. Realtors have expertise in the home buying process and the specific market where you’re looking for a home. They also have access to professional networks and tools like the MLS that give them an advantage in the home search process. Realtors can give you the edge you need to get your offer noticed in competitive markets by using their insider knowledge, and they can help you save money on your home in the long run.

Find A Home That’s A Great Fit For You

When looking for your perfect home, there are many things to consider. Of course, you’ll want to think about the location - the state, county, and city on a big scale and the individual neighborhood on a smaller scale. Consider the overall home size, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the size of the yard or property. You’ll want to hire a home inspector to check out the condition of major appliances to see if any significant expenses are coming up. They’ll also check the condition of the attic, basement, roof, and major mechanical systems for any signs of damage.

The Parts Of An Offer Letter: How To Make Your Offer

Once you’ve found the perfect home, you’ll have to make an official offer with an offer letter. A realtor will write this for you, but it doesn’t hurt to know what information goes into an offer letter so that you understand the process.

Offer Price

This is pretty self-explanatory - you need to specify how much you’re willing to pay for the house. You can offer higher or lower than the asking price depending on several factors such as a competitive analysis of other home prices in the area and how competitive the market is. You should also specify how much you will put towards your down payment.

Make An Earnest Money Offer

Making an earnest money offer is not required, but it’s a common practice to make an earnest money deposit to show sellers that you’re serious about your offer. An earnest money deposit is cash you put upfront and forfeit if you back out for any reason that isn’t covered in your offer contingencies. The money comes from your down payment, so you don’t have to come up with extra money to cover this. Most buyers will offer an earnest money deposit that’s somewhere between 1-2% of the purchase price.


This is where you show the seller that you’re pre-approved for a mortgage to prove that you’re a serious buyer. You can also show proof that you’re pre-qualified for a mortgage, but a pre-qualification is less certain than a pre-approval, and there’s a chance that you might not actually be approved for the amount you need. Including your pre-approval amount shows sellers that you can afford the home.


It’s important to include contingencies in your offer letter to allow you to walk away with your earnest money deposit in case your offer is accepted and something happens before closing to make you change your mind about the house. The most common contingencies to include are home inspections and appraisals. A home inspection might reveal hidden problems in the house that you aren’t willing to take on, and an appraisal might show that the house is worth less than what you initially thought. Including these in your offer allows you to back out or renegotiate your offer if there’s a problem.

Other Information You Need To Include

You must include other details in your offer letter to make it official. These include:

  • The address of the home you’re making an offer on
  • Your name and the name of anyone else who will be on the house title (such as a spouse)
  • A list of closing costs and fees and a breakdown of who will be responsible for paying what
  • The date you would like to close on the home
  • A deadline for responding to your offer

A realtor will go through these with you and help you decide if there’s anything else you want to be included in the home purchase or anything else you can add to make your offer more attractive.

Download Our Free E-Book On How To Get Your Offer Accepted

Making an offer on a home can feel like there’s a lot on the line - especially when the market is competitive, you’re on a tight timeline, or you’ve found the home of your dreams and have become emotionally invested. We’ve put together a resource full of tips and tricks to help you make an offer that sellers won’t want to turn down.

One of the best ways to get an offer accepted is to work with a great realtor who knows the market and has experience writing offers. They can offer tips and suggestions to make your offer stand out and help you get that dream home.

Next Steps: What To Do After Making Your Offer

After making an offer, the seller might do one of three things:

  • accept your offer;
  • come back to you with a counteroffer; or,
  • reject your offer.

If your offer is accepted, both parties will sign a purchase offer agreement to make it official. You can then begin the closing process.

If the seller comes back with a counteroffer, you have a few options. You can accept the counteroffer and then begin the closing process. You can continue to negotiate by coming back with your own counteroffer in the form of a new offer letter. Or you could choose to walk away and keep searching.

If the seller rejects your offer, you can submit a new offer or move on and search for a new house to place an offer on.

Contact A Realtor At Eaton Realty

Finding a great home and making an offer is easier with a great realtor on your side. At Eaton Realty, we have over 140 combined years of experience serving clients in the Tampa Bay area. Wherever you are in your home search, our realtors are here to help. Contact us to get in touch with a realtor and start your journey with Eaton today!