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What is an Offer to Purchase and How Can You Make an Offer?

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You’ve found the perfect home for sale. It’s got the space you need, is in the location you wanted and falls within your budget. Now it is time for you to prepare what is known as an “offer to purchase.” This is an official document that details the offer you’re making to the seller in hopes of buying the home.

Bring Your Attorney into This

You’ll want to have your real estate attorney present when drafting the offer. They can help you place clauses in the offer, such as the offer only being valid if you are approved for a mortgage loan, that will benefit you in the short and long-term. Your attorney will also make sure that the information you’ve put into the offer is both accurate and in full.

What You’ll Need to Make the Offer

The offer to purchase is only valid if it contains all of the information relevant to the offer being made. Below is a list of what you will need to provide as a part of your offer.

  1. The legal name of the buyer and the legal name of the seller
  2. The legal description and address of the property in question
  3. The purchase price of the home
  4. The amount and date of your deposit toward the home
  5. The date where you will want to take possession of the property
  6. The date where you will want to move into the property
  7. Any additional items you want included, such as appliances
  8. The request for a current land survey of the property
  9. Any other conditions that must be met
  10. The date that the offer expires

Just because you and your attorney have drafted a sound offer, that doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed to make an agreement with these terms. You can expect some negotiation between yourself and the seller, with your respective attorneys acting on each client’s behalf. It is only once all terms are agreed upon between the buyer and the seller that the deal will be closed and the sale made final.

Should You Add Conditions?

Numbers 7 and 9 in the list above relate to additional requests that you may put forth when drafting an offer to purchase. While this can be a very smart move if you are very insistent on certain things, many home sellers aren’t keen on additional conditions. When a prospective buyer makes an offer without any such conditions, this is called a “firm” offer. And a firm offer is widely preferred.

Making an offer is serious because, if it does go through and is approved by the seller, you are in for a lot of money. That’s the whole point of buying a home, we know, but the approval of an offer is often when the buyer feels the full weight of the reality of their situation. Make sure to get the advice of a real estate attorney while creating an offer to present to a seller.

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