The 5 Steps of Putting an Offer on a Home

Buying a house is always an exciting prospect for buyers, but many fail to acquire the dream home they desire simply because they don’t know how to make an offer properly. Putting an offer on a home comes with many uncertainties. Are there multiple offers? Is there going to be a bidding war? Is the offer price good enough?

And what happens when the seller accepts the offer price? Excitement can quickly give way to stress, worry, and frustration without proper guidance from real estate professionals. But you can certainly alleviate much of that stress and worry by offering your guidance and expertise, helping the prospective buyers to submit an offer price that the seller accepts.

Likewise, you can also provide them with important information regarding other steps involved in buying a house, such as the home inspection, standard contingencies, earnest money, and closing costs. But it all starts with putting an offer on a home, and there are five steps to doing it properly.

1. Get Pre-Approved

As you undoubtedly already know, many sellers require prospective buyers to be pre-approved for a mortgage. Subsequently, you should be instructing your clients to get a pre-approval letter from their bank or lender. This isn’t just for the seller’s benefit, but also for the buyer and yourself — the pre-approval process lets the buyer know what they can realistically afford, and prevents you from wasting time showing houses you know the buyer cannot afford.

The pre-approval process also helps the buyer figure out what type of mortgage might be best. While you can certainly provide ample advice and information on the different mortgage options available, you should instruct your clients to learn what they need from a lender so that they can truly make an informed decision.

2. Get Your Team Together

Many buyers wait until they are already involved in the mortgage process to look for home inspectors, appraisers, insurance agents, etc. But as you have likely worked with all the parties involved in buying a home, you can easily recommend a reputable home inspector, appraiser, and others.

Getting your team established and ready from the onset of the home sale not only helps the buyer feel more prepared, but also alleviates much of the stress involved in having to first look for these individuals and organizations. A professional team will be able to communicate other important pieces of information to the buyer, helping the process go more smoothly.

3. Make an Offer

When the buyer finds their dream home, it is time for them to submit an offer. Many buyers will instinctively try to put an offer on a house that is substantially lower than the listed purchase price. In a buyer’s market, this may be acceptable, but if it’s a seller’s market, it’s just foolish. If it’s a competitive market there are likely to be multiple offers, and the seller will, of course, be able to pick and choose from amongst the highest.

It is up to you to advise your client on what a solid, reasonable offer is based on the listed purchase price and the probability of other interested buyers. A good offer is likely to avoid the chance of a bidding war, and if the seller accepts, the buyer and seller will be able to enter into a legally binding contract so that the buyer doesn’t have to worry about any later offers.

Once the offer is accepted and the legally binding contract is presented to both parties and signed, both the mortgage process and the due diligence period can begin.

4. Explain the Paperwork

As an agent for the buyer, it is up to you to explain many of the legalities and standard contingencies detailed in the paperwork that the buyer will receive. There’s going to be a lot for your client to deal with — the home inspector and appraisal are just the beginning. The buyer will need to provide the mortgage company with a large amount of paperwork and information, and title companies, escrow agents, and others will also be seeking information.

But if you are there to aid the buyer and explain many of the standard contingencies, such as delays in the closing or failure to acquire a mortgage, failed home inspections, low appraisals, etc., you can limit the confusion and frustration the buyer will undoubtedly begin to experience during this point in time.

It’s also important to focus on security at this stage of the home sale. The buyer will be required to make earnest money deposits and possibly pay for other fees and services. With real estate fraud being a serious consideration due to the market being targeted by cyber criminals, the buyer needs to know that his or her escrow funds are safe, as do you, since real estate fraud affects everyone involved in a home sale.

Many real estate professionals have opted to utilize a secure electronic money transfer platform for the purposes of receiving both earnest money and closing costs. For example, ACH transfer platform uses bank-level encryption and advanced tracking and identification protocols to keep track of all money transfers and ensure that no fraudulent behavior is occurring. is also ideal for earnest money and closing costs because it eliminates many of the steps involved in getting funds or cashier’s checks from a bank and then meeting with an agent to deliver the check. It’s quick, convenient, and keeps the mortgage process flowing smoothly.

5. The Closing Date

Finally, it is time for the last step of putting an offer on a home. The hardest part is simply planning a date and time when all parties can meet, but other than that, closing usually goes pretty smoothly.

As usual, you will be there to aid your client and assist with answering any questions. You can also utilize to handle the payment of closing costs, and within moments, the paperwork is signed and the home sale is complete!