The Offer

(This post is part of our Free First Time HomeBuyers’ course. For more information and/or to sign up, click on this link, or select ‘Education’ under the ‘Buy’ drop-down menu above.)

Be prepared to make a lot of offers. In your journey, you’ll probably be outbid a few times, have counteroffers fall through, all that fun stuff. Very rarely does someone make an offer, have it immediately accepted, enter escrow, and close the deal. More often it goes like this:


You see the house and decide you might want to make an offer.

  • You debate it internally for a bit
  • You decide you’re going to go for it
  • You call up the agent. “I want to put in an offer”
  • Depending on your agent and length of time shopping around, your agent might have you sit down with them to write an offer- especially if it’s the first offer you’re making. You’ll make the offer taking several things into account:
    • Current market conditions
    • Condition of the home
    • Terms of closing costs
    • Number of offers


You’ve officially submitted an offer. Congratulate yourself on making a big move in the right direction!

  • The waiting game.
  • The seller’s agent reviews all offers- they may accept the best offer, or may do counteroffers for one or two buyers.
    • If they deny your offer, you can try to submit another one.
    • If they counteroffer, you will talk with your agent to decide if you’re willing to accept their counteroffer, then will either accept the counteroffer or withdraw your offer (or just leave it as is).
    • If your offer is accepted, you’re all set (for now).


The offer process is pretty much done. Take a deep breath.

  • Come to an agreement & sign a purchase agreement (it usually will have a contingency clause on financing and home inspection)
  • Welcome to Escrow (come in and stay a while).

The Home Buying Transaction