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What your broker needs from you to file an offer

Many would-be-buyers don't actually know what it looks like to make an offer. They sometimes think it looks like calling the owner or listing agent and tell them what price for the property you are offering. That is far from true. An offer means filling out Purchase and sale agreement - writing a contract with all its addenda. Although this contract doesn't mean anything until signed by both buyer(s) and seller(s), every single condition the buyer wants or doesn't want must be put in the agreement.

So, what actually you need to tell your broker in order to file an offer? Let's see:

  • First, your broker need to have all of your information: your full, legal name(s), as well if you are married your spouse's full name, even if she/he does not participate financially in the purchase; then you'll need to provide your current address; your phone number; your email address (spouse's as well, because his/her signature is required as well).


  • You would need to specify which date would you like to be the closing date. Usually seller will tell his or her preference in the listing, however you can choose when you would like to have it closed. Usually, there is recommendation of 30 days to even 40 days if you are taking the loan, or sooner, around 15 days for cash purchases.

  • Also, tell your broker if you want something to be included in the purchase or excluded. For example, if you don't like the fridge, then you can exclude it from the sale and seller will have to remove it prior closing.

  • Escrow agent is usually preferred by seller and stated in listing. If you want to comply with his/her wish - fine. But if you have a specific closing/escrow agent you would really like to work with, say that!

  • Very important - how much earnest money you plan to put. Earnest money is a good faith sum that you will give in advance to show seller(s) how serious you are and it will be applied to your costs/down payment at the closing. Only in the case that you break some of the conditions in the contract, that money will be forfeited to seller. Some recommendation is that earnest money be at or around 1% of the purchase price, but can be even smaller if the market is slower and you don't need to compete with other buyers. Earnest money is normally deposited in the escrow office two days after mutual acceptance (when seller accepts your offer), so count for that.

  • If the buyer plans to apply for the loan, then it should state which one it would be: Conventional First, Conventional Second, Bridge, VA (for veterans), FHA (backed by Federal Housing Administration), USDA (backed by U.S. Department of Agriculture), Home Equity Line of Credit, or other.

Credit assesment

  • How much money buyer intends to put as a down payment. You can state it in percentile or in amount of dollars.

  • If the buyer needs more than five business days for loan application (which is standard) then it must be noted in the Financial Addendum. Application means the submission of buyer's financial information for the purposes of obtaining an extension of credit including buyer's name, income, social security number (if required), the property address, purchase price, and the loan amount.

  • If buyer wants/needs assistance from seller towards his/hers loan costs, settlement costs, financing, etc. then it should be stated in the offer, too.

  • It is optional, but if buyer wants to purchase Home Warranty, or wishes seller to buy it, it should be stated right now in the Optional Clause Addendum.

  • Inspection is usually recommended to be performed by inspector chosen and paid by buyer and buyer should let his/her broker know whether he/she wants to perform inspection or waive it. Other good option is to do preinspection before making an offer, and then waive it if no complaints in the offer, so the offer would look stronger in seller's eyes.


  • Only if purchasing home in cash, you need to provide evidence of non-contingent funds. Usually three days of mutual acceptance is required.

  • If buyer is relying on the other sources of funding like sale of the property owned by buyer, gifts from family or relatives; or if funds are not readily convertible to liquid United States funds - tell your broker!

The offer must have Purchase and Sale Agreement and certain addenda like Financing Addendum, Optional Clauses Addendum, Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA), Identification of Utilities, Title Contingency Addendum, Inspection Addendum and more if/when needed.


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