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Making an Offer

Time for nervous anticipation. You’ve found the home you want, and your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hometown, REALTORS® Sales Professional says you need to act fast. Yet you want to be as calm and objective as possible. The expertise a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hometown, REALTORS® Sales Professional can give you at negotiating time is priceless.

Negotiating the Buy

Be prepared for counter offers. Don’t let the pressure get to you. Remain patient, and let your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hometown, REALTORS® Sales Professional act as your liaison with the seller or the seller’s agent. You may need to be flexible on price, closing date, closing costs, appliances and repairs.


Beware of putting contingencies in your purchase agreement. They weaken your offer. However, if you currently own a home, your offer may need to be contingent on selling. Or, if you’re uncertain about the structural integrity of the home, you may want to have a home inspection contingency. Just be aware any contingency could take you out of the running if a non-contingent offer is presented.

Earnest Money

Once your offer is accepted, be prepared to seal the deal with earnest money (EMD). Earnest money is money you give to the seller (or the seller’s agent) to show your good faith when making an offer to purchase the seller’s property. The earnest money amount is negotiated between you and the seller. It is typically a small percentage of the purchase price and can vary depending upon local market conditions, the price of the property, type of property (e.g. vacant land, existing housing, or new construction), whether cash advances to a builder or seller are involved, and other factors.

Many first-time buyers are taken by surprise when it comes to earnest money, especially if they have to make a fast offer. Be sure to discuss with your REALTOR® the appropriate amount of earnest money you should be prepared to pay based on the price range of properties you’re looking at. You should have this amount available in your checking/savings account so you can write out an earnest money check on the day you sign your purchase agreement.