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Looking for a house is an exciting process that may take hours, years, or anywhere in between. Regardless of how long it takes to find your dream home, once you’ve made a decision you want to move quickly. Assume you’re not the only person looking to place an offer—because odds are you aren’t!

Here’s how the process works:

How to Make an Offer

Once you’ve decided on your dream home, the first step in placing an offer is to talk to your real estate agent. Together, you’ll decide what dollar amount you’d like your offer to be. Once that decision is made, your real estate agent will create an official offer letter and send it to the agent representing the seller.

An offer letter is not your typical office memo. These are legally binding documents that must comply with local real estate rules and regulations. Some states require the approval of a lawyer known as a title attorney before the letter can go through.

In addition to the sale price you’re willing to offer, an offer letter will often also include information about your down payment, earnest money, mortgage pre-approval, closing costs, expiration dates, and more. It can also include contingencies, which are things that would be required of the seller if your offer is accepted. These can include things like a home inspection or disclosure of structural issues.

How the Seller Could Respond

Once your offer letter is received by the seller, they could respond in three different ways:

1. Seller accepts the offer

This is the best situation for you. Once they sign the offer letter, you’re on your way toward closing on your family’s future home!

2. Seller makes a counteroffer

In this case, you should consult again with your real estate agent to decide whether to accept, offer your own counteroffer, or walk away from the sale. Negotiations at this stage often revolve around overall price, but can also concern closing costs, down payment, timelines, or repairs.

3. Seller rejects the offer

At this point, you have the choice of either increasing your bid or resuming your search for a home somewhere else.

Set Yourself Up for Success

Buying a home is the biggest purchase most people will ever make. With a decision this important, and especially in competitive markets where you’ll likely need more than luck to land your dream home, it’s important to set yourself up for success by enlisting the help of a qualified and experienced real estate agent.

At Davis-Coleman Realty, our real estate agents will be right next to you every step of the way, from when you first decide to begin looking at houses to when the deed is finally signed over to you. We can answer questions, offer advice, and provide a local perspective so you can focus on the excitement of your home buying experience rather than the stress.

If you’re looking to buy a home in Utah’s beautiful Heber Valley, contact us today for a smooth and professional real estate experience.