Finally, after attending open house after open house, cruising myriad online listings and driving around countless neighborhoods, you’ve decided on the home you want to purchase. Congratulations! However, deciding on a home is only the first step. Next, you’ll need to make an offer. While there’s no sure-fire way to ensure that your offer will be accepted, there are a few things you can do to make your offer more attractive to the seller.

  • First, consider how you approach the seller. You’ll want to come from a well-informed position of strength, so consult your real estate agent about similar homes and sales in the area. By doing this, you’ll have a better idea of the seller’s asking price in relation to similar homes that were sold in the area and where their asking price sits.
  • Next, if the home is in need of any updates or repairs, take care in deciding whether or not you want to ask for the seller to make these changes or if you’d rather do it yourself. If the home has been on the market only a short while and has garnered a lot of attention, asking the seller to make any repairs might put your offer lower on the list. However, if the home has been on the market awhile, or if it hasn’t gotten much attention from potential buyers, the sellers may be willing to work with you to finally get their home sold.
  • Think with your head, not with your heart. If you’re thinking of bidding on the home of your dreams, your emotions may push you in a direction that your reason would not. If a mortgage is in the cards, it’s likely your lender has a specific ceiling in place in regards to how much they’re willing to lend you, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be able to comfortably afford the payments on the maximum amount you’re qualified for. That being said, if you find yourself in a place where you’re starting to think about re-aligning your budget to be able to make a higher monthly payment that you originally expected, then you may well be taking the first steps down the road to financial ruin.

Making an offer on a home can be stressful, and as previously mentioned, there’s no guarantee that your offer will be accepted. Be ready to haggle a bit, but make sure that in the end you don’t wind up overpaying because your heart did the thinking for your brain.