How to Write an Offer to Buy a Home

Only 4 Steps!

CONGRATS! You've searched high and low for the perfect home and you've found it! What's the next step? You'll need to formally let the Seller know you'd like to buy their home by writing an Offer to Purchase. "Great," you say! "What will I need?" Typically, only 4 things:

1)  Earnest Money Deposit: Typically, around 1% of the purchase price of the home. For example, if you're offering $275,000 to buy the property, the deposit will be $3000. This "deposit" ultimately goes toward your Down-Payment and/or Closing Costs. It is refundable if the deal doesn't work out, as long as specific deadlines and rules are met. It is often referred to as an "EMD" and is not paid until your offer has been accepted by the Seller. 

2) Proof-of-Funds:  Before the Seller accepts your Offer, he is going to want to know if you have the funds necessary to complete the sale. Pretty reasonable, right? This is accomplished by providing your latest bank statement (account numbers and other personally identifying info removed/blacked out). Generally, this document is not shared with the Seller, but rather with the Listing Agent. He or she will let the homeowner know that yes, this is indeed a valid, qualified Offer to be considered. 

3) Pre-Approval Letter:  Since you've already met with a mortgage Lender, you've got this one and probably #2 (above) all ready to go! Look at you, you savvy homebuyer! These three items are each required to be produced within the first three business days after the Seller has accepted your Offer, unless you're paying with cash. Sending these documents with the original Offer to Purchase tells the Seller that you are very serious about buying their home, and that your strong Offer should be in the running. 

4) Letter to the Seller: In a tight seller's market (when there are more Buyers than there are houses for sale) it is crucial that your Offer stands out amongst the fierce competition! It is typical for 3, 5, 7 or more Offers to be presented to a Seller, especially for lower-priced properties. The way to grab the Seller's attention, is to make them see you as a living, breathing person and not just Offer #6. And the best way to do that, by far, is by telling your story... maybe how long you've been saving up the down-payment, how you're the first person in your family to buy a home, or how your children can't wait to have their own rooms and adopt a dog... whatever your journey has been that has brought you to this day where you're writing an Offer to buy a home. It works like magic! 

There you have it! These four items are all you need to submit a strong, convincing Offer to Purchase a home. Well, these items and the actual Real Estate Purchase Agreement, but that's for me to take care of for you. 

If this post has triggered some questions for you, send them my way. I'm happy to help! If you'd like a handy handout of this post, shoot me an email and I'll send it over to you. 

Always my best for you,


Cyndy Hackett, REALTOR® CalDRE #01975113
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties
1101 Sylvan Ave, Suite A-7 Modesto CA 95350
(209) 566-5828 cell 


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