Everything you Need to Know When Writing an Offer

Buying a home is a lot of fun, but it can also be overwhelming at times. My job as a Realtor is to help ease some of the stress and unknowns from showings to the closing table…start to finish. With so many steps along the way, having the knowledge upfront is key to keeping a transaction smooth.


When you finally find the “one” and it’s time to sit down to write an offer, what should you expect? What is in the purchase agreement? What do you offer to the sellers?

Below I’ve spelled out the basics of a purchase agreement to eliminate the surprise:

  • Offer price – this is dependent upon current market conditions, how long the house has been on the market, if you will be competing with other buyers, etc…
  • Earnest money deposit (EMD) – typically $500-$1,000 that will go towards paying closing costs or the downpayment at settlement
  • Lender & loan type – by this point you need to know who your loan officer is, have a prequalification letter ready to go, and know what type of loan you will be applying for
  • Client names – how do you want your names to appear on the deed?  Names should be written in the offer exactly how you want them to appear on your property deed.
  • Closing costs – you can ask the seller for closing cost assistance (usually no more than 3% of the purchase price) to come out of their proceeds
  • Closing date – it’s usually best to give yourself a few days overlap of places, if possible
  • Property condition – is there anything cosmetically the seller needs to fix upfront?  Additional repairs will be negotiated later, after the home inspection
  • Home inspection – do you want one (I recommend, YES!)
  • Items to convey – what items will stay with the house and transfer to you?

These are all items that need to be discussed prior to writing an offer, and will vary on every home.  As a Realtor, I am an excellent resource when negotiating these items!

Hampton Roads Real-e-statement is written by Alyssa Godwin, a Realtor with Liz Moore and Associates. For questions regarding buying or selling contact Alyssa at 757-329-6161 or alyssagodwin@lizmoore.com. You can also find Alyssa on Facebook or on the web at www.lizmoore.com/alyssagodwin.