How to make an offer

So you've found the home you want to buy . . . now what?

When purchasing directly from the owner, the next step is simply to get in touch with the seller to let them know you'd like to make an offer.


1. Make the Offer

The initial offer can be made verbally, by email, or you can use the basic offer form provided to Picket Fence sellers.

The offer should include:
1. The price;
2. Any contingencies (sale of your house);
3. Percent of purchase you'll be financing;
4. Any special conditions or requests (eg. appliances, firewood, window
treatments to be included);
5. Preferred move-in / closing timeframe; and
6.Whether or not you want a home inspection.


Picket Fence also  provides the seller with"fill-in-the-blank" contract forms that  help you and the seller negotiate terms needed for the final contract. 

2. The Good Faith, Earnest Deposit

Once you and the seller have reached an agreement, you'll want to bind the offer with a "good faith" deposit check. This is a negotiable amount of the purchase price, generally within a range of 1-5%. The check should be presented to the sellers, made out to the seller's attorney's escrow account (eg. "ABC Law Firm Escrow Acct"). These deposit  funds go toward the purchase price.  The seller's attorney will keep them in an escrow account until the closing.
Option: The "good faith" deposit check can also be presented with the basic offer form, before the seller has accepted the offer. This is advisable if the seller is receiving other offers.   

3. The Contract

The Purchase & Sale Contract (P & S) formalizes the agreement reached between you and the seller of the property.  You can hire an attorney to draft the contract for you, or the seller's attorney can draft the contract and you can have your attorney review it before you sign.
note: Picket Fence sellers are provided standard fill-in-the-blank contracts. The Purchase & Sale Contract will stipulate all terms and conditions of the sale. Once the P&S is signed by both parties, you will take your copy of the agreement to the lender of your choice to start the financing process.