Thinking about making an offer? Here's how to get started.

Determine a home’s value using a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) strategy

  • Location: Find homes within 1-2 miles of your targeted home; densely populated areas generally have a tighter radius
  • Time Frame: Sold home within six months
  • Size: Compare finished square feet; add or subtract values to adjust for differences
  • Renovations: Adjust for renovations; make sure to see pictures of comparable homes
  • Market Trends: Factor trends if home values have gone up or down in your targeted area over the last six months
  • Active/Under Contract/Expired: Compare homes available, under contract, sold, and homes that were removed because they didn’t sell (expired listings)


Key Highlights of an Offer

  • Offer price (less any seller subsidy if requested)
  • Settlement date
  • Earnest Money Deposit (EMD)
  • Financing
  • Contingencies/Inspections


Elements in an Offer

  • Offer price: Once you have established the value of the home, determine your offer price - it can be less than, equal to, or in some cases greater than the asking price.
  • Seller Subsidy: You can ask the seller to contribute to your closing cost. At the end of the day, the seller’s net take home is what is important. An offer of $515,000 with a $15,000 subsidy is the same as an offer of $500,000.
  • Settlement Date & Location: The settlement date is generally 30-60 days from contract ratification. Check with your lender to ensure they can close “on-time” and that your rate is locked during this time. Often, at this time, the buyers will select the title company used. We, at Glass House, prefer title companies that are run by attorneys - we find these companies may be slightly more expensive but offer buyers more protection should something go wrong. Tip: We like these companies.
  • EMD (AKA “Good Faith Deposit): There is not a fixed amount for an EMD, but generally 2-5% of the sales price is a good rule of thumb. This demonstrates to the seller you are earnest in your attempt to purchase the property. You are putting your money on the line if you default.
  • Type of Financing: This is where you break down the type of loan you intend on getting and what your down payment will be.
  • Termite and Wood-Destroying Inspections: In most areas the sellers are contractually obligated to remedy any wood-destroying pest and repair any damaged caused. This is not negotiable from the seller’s perspective. This does not apply to “As-Is” sales. This inspection is completed within 30 days of settlement. 

Khalil El-Ghoul

Discover our 2.25% Full Service Listings and Buyer Rebates. Khalil is dedicated to guiding home buyers and sellers with expert advice and objective information. For professional real estate assistance, text Khalil at 571-235-4821 or email today.