Finally, you have arrived! You've found the home of your dreams! Take a deep breathe and remain calm. You must act swiftly but wisely. Take the emotions out of it and get down to business. You and your real estate agent must now decide on the best offer to make. Most deals are negotiable! The decision to submit a lower price offer or a full price offer will depend on many factors.

* The comparables will give you a starting point when considering the price to offer. Comparables are a list of several homes that have sold in your area of interest, that are most similar to the home in which you want to buy. Your agent will pull these from the MLS system.

* Currently we are in a buyer's market which means that there are more homes for sale than buyers and the prices of homes are much lower than they would be in a stable market. Sellers are usually more flexible and willing to negotiate in a buyer's market. This could encourage you to make a lower offer or request more seller concessions.

* Other buyers are searching as well and if you really like the home the odds are that other buyers will too. This might influence you to make a full price offer or close too it.

* The DOM or days on the market can also influence the offer. If the home has been on the market 6 months or more the seller may be eager to get this one off their payroll. This may translate into a better price and terms for you.

* “Motivated” sellers with specific needs for a quicker sale such as; an out of state seller, divorcing, estate sale, seller who needs to relocate, or has bought another home and is carrying two mortgages. All of these situations could possibly translate into a great deal for you.

Write It Down
Once you've decided on price and terms your agent will then draw up a written proposal to purchase the home. The contract will include your offer price, the amount of earnest money deposit, which will become a part of your down payment, the date you expect to close or a request for the seller to pay your closing costs. It would be wise to include a timeline for the seller to respond to know when to consider the offer rejected. If you want to include appliances, window treatments or lighting fixtures. All of this must be written into your offer to purchase contract to be legally binding. Verbal promises or agreements are not legally binding.

Contingencies: The Safety Net
Some offers are made with contingencies, events that must take place before the offer is binding and complete such as a satisfactory home inspection within 10 days. Or the buyer obtaining a satisfactory mortgage within a specified period of time. As you can see contingency clauses give you a way out of the deal if certain events don't take place.

Acceptance, Rejection or Counter
If the seller signs the offer as you submitted it you will then have a binding contract to purchase the home. The offer could also be rejected or a counter offer may be made by the seller. If a counteroffer is made you have the option to accept, reject or counter the counter offer. Withdrawing an offer is also an option. However, you will want to consult with your agent and possibly an attorney if the offer has already been accepted by the seller. Withdrawing at this point could cause you to lose your earnest money deposit.

You have now reached the door step to home ownership, good luck in crossing the threshold! For more information regarding home buying options visit

Author's Bio: 

Christopher Shaw is a seasoned Real Estate Investor, with over 12 years of experience and has a passion for working with First Time Home Buyers, Mr Shaw has an ambitious goal of helping 1000 new First Time Buyers become home owners of the next 36 months. In addition to the 1000 new home owners he expects to create over the next 36 months wants to leverage each transaction to adopt up to 1000 families through Volunteers of America's Adopt a family Program.