Making a strong offer to purchase

August 11, 2014

You’ve found a home you can afford, in a great neighborhood with good schools. It even has a fenced-in yard for your dog. What could go wrong? Any number of things, ranging from a competing buyer’s all-cash offer to an insufficient earnest money deposit from you. In markets with houses in short supply, sellers have the advantage over buyers, and bidding wars often erupt between buyers vying for the nicest properties. via Making an irresistible home offer – Chicago Tribune.   On well priced and well presented properties in Wisconsin, multiple offer situations may now occur – a big change from the buyer’s market of recent years.  Read the linked article for more detailed information on the recap below: Making a strong offer to purchase

1. Pay Cash, if possible This will allow you to compete with cash investors and cash deals are less likely to fall apart before closing.

2. Be Pre-approved If  it not a cash offer, a mortgage will be needed. If you are not preapproved, the seller can’t be certain you can obtain the mortgage amount, making it risky for them to accept your offer. Talk with a lender before you begin your home search. They will verify your income and determine what you can afford.

3. Make Your Best Offer There is now competition. If you really love the house, make the best offer you can. You may not get a second chance.

4. Escalator Clause This type of offer includes a clause to increase your offer if there is a higher offer from another buyer.  This can get complicated due to the need to pass appraisal. Be sure to talk with your buyer’s agent about how high to go.

5. Hefty Earnest Money Earnest money accompanying your offer is often a sign of how serious you are.  Discuss the typical amount with your agent and increase your amount.  You only lose this money if you breach the contract.  Putting down more makes you less likely to do so.

6. Limit your contingencies Contingencies need to be satisfied before an offer is binding. The more you have, the more risk the seller is taking by accepting your offer.

Time for a buyer’s agent! Buying a home is an exciting time and most people don’t do it often.  There are legal contracts to be filled out and deadlines to meet.  Be sure you are working with an experienced real estate agent and/or buyer’s agent who can guide you through the offer process and beyond to inspection, appraisal and eventually closing.    There is A LOT to do after an offer is accepted. A great real estate agent can help you through to a successful close and your new home!


For information on Wisconsin Buyer Agency, please see First Weber’s Homebuyer section.  To begin searching for Wisconsin homes for sale, please visit  And, to research what homes are selling for in the area you are looking, use our Sold property search or set up a free My First Weber account. Thank you for reading the First Weber Wisconsin real estate & Wisconsin living blog. If you liked this post, please share.   Related article: Wisconsin real estate market not what it used to be.


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