Header Image Header Image

Making the Offer to Purchase Real Estate

With this current Market opportunity,

In the light of your increased savings,

Your increased knowledge,

And your desires for durable living and purchases in general....

We strive to assist you in a mindful purchase.


We know that 30% of the dwelling structures in the United States were built by the owner and that you are not afraid to start from scratch.


REALTORS® have standard purchase agreements and will help you put together a written, legally binding offer that reflects the price as well as terms and conditions that are right for you. Your REALTOR® will guide you through the offer, counteroffer, negotiating and closing processes.

If you are not working with a real estate agent, Call Aimee at 503-829-8328. Let's chat and see if working together would be in both parties interest. 

Side note: Ideally you will have already met with a mortgage banker, broker or your financial advisor to discuss and prepare for your purchase. Ideally you have money set aside for the earnest money, for inspections and for appraisal fees. You will also want to speak with your tax professional to discuss tax incentives and their impact, capital gains impacts, out of state seller tax, transfer fees, etc.

After the offer is drawn up and signed, it is usually presented to the seller by your real estate agent, by the seller's real estate agent, if that's a different agent, or often by the two together.

What is in an Offer? Purchase Agreement? an Earnest Money Agreement? Or a Sale Agreement?

The purchase offer you submit, if accepted as it stands, will become a binding sales contract (known as a purchase agreement or earnest money agreement).  The purchase offer includes items such as:

·address or the legal description of the property

·sale price

·terms: for example, all cash or subject to you obtaining a mortgage for a given amount

·seller's promise to provide clear title (ownership)

·closing date also referred to as the recording date

·amount of earnest money deposit accompanying the offer, whether it's a check, cash or other and how it's to be returned to you if the offer is rejected - or kept as damages if you later back out for no good reason

·provisions about who will pay for title insurance, inspections, repairs, etc.

·type of deed to be given

·any other specific contingencies

·a time limit (preferably short) after which the offer will expire

·contingencies, which are an extremely important matter and that are discussed in detail below

Contingencies - “Subject to” Clauses

If your offer says "this offer is contingent upon (or subject to) a certain event," you're saying that you will only go through with the purchase if that event occurs. Here are two common contingencies contained in a purchase offer:

·The buyer obtaining specific financing from a lending institution: If the loan can't be found, the buyer won't be bound by the contract.

·A satisfactory report by a home inspector: for example, "within 10 days after acceptance of the offer." The seller must wait 10 days to see if the inspector submits a report that satisfies the buyer. If not, the contract would become void. Again, make sure that all the details are explicitly stated in the written contract.

Negotiating Tips

You're in a strong bargaining position, that is, you look particularly welcome to a seller, if:

·you're an all-cash buyer

·you're already have a preapproved mortgage and you don't have a present house that has to be sold before you can afford to buy

·you’re able to close and take possession at a time that is especially convenient for the seller

When making an offer, you always want to make your highest and best offer.

It's very helpful to find out why the house is being sold and whether the seller is under pressure. Keep the following considerations in mind:

·every month a vacant house remains unsold represents considerable extra expense for the seller

·if the sellers are divorcing, they may want to sell quickly

·estate sales often yield a bargain in return for a prompt deal

Please also keep in mind that the Realtor who listed this property has taken these items into consideration when pricing the property. (It is always a good idea to know what the comparable properties are on the market), but a professional Real Estate Agent has probably already deducted from the full market value to address these.

Earnest Money

This is a deposit that you give when making an offer on a house. Earnest Money is required and shows not only "good faith" but also serves as liquid damages to a seller if the seller pulls the property off the active market and places the property in a pending status while you are proceeding towards closing. Seller’s loose marketing momentum the moment it goes sale pending and this can be critical to the sales process. The earnest money is an amount of money you are willing to give to the seller to compensate them for taking the property off the market in the event you decide to "just walk away" from the transaction.

An escrow company usually holds this money. The amount of which varies from community to community. This will become part of your down payment.

Buyers: the Seller's Response to Your Offer

You will have a binding contract if the seller, upon receiving your written offer, signs an acceptance just as it stands, unconditionally. The offer becomes a firm contract as soon as you are notified of acceptance. If the offer is rejected, that's that - the sellers could not later change their minds and hold you to it.

If the seller likes everything except the sale price, or the proposed closing date, or the basement pool table you want left with the property, you may receive a written counteroffer including the changes the seller prefers. You are then free to accept it, reject it or even make your own counteroffer. For example, "We accept the counteroffer with the higher price, except that we still insist on having the pool table."

Each time either party makes any change in the terms, the other side is free to accept, reject or counter again. The document becomes a binding contract only when one party finally signs an unconditional acceptance of the other side's proposal.

Buyers: Withdrawing an Offer

Can you take back an offer? In most cases the answer is yes, right up until the moment it is accepted, or even in some cases, if you haven't yet been notified of acceptance. If you do want to revoke your offer, be sure to do so only after consulting a lawyer who is experienced in real estate matters. You don't want to lose your earnest money deposit or find yourself being sued for damages the seller may have suffered by relying on your actions.

Sellers: Calculating Your Net Proceeds

When an offer comes in, you can accept it exactly as it stands, refuse it (seldom a useful response) or make a counteroffer to the buyers with the changes you want. In evaluating a purchase offer, you should estimate the amount of cash you'll walk away with when the transaction is complete. For example, when you're presented with two offers at the same time, you may discover you're better off accepting the one with the lower sale price if the other asks you to pay points to the buyer's lending institution.

Once you have a specific offer or proposal before you, calculating net proceeds becomes simple. From the proposed purchase price you can subtract the following costs:

·payoff amount on present mortgage

·any other liens (equity loan, judgments)

·broker's commission/compensation fee

·legal costs of selling (attorney, escrow)

·transfer taxes

·unpaid property taxes and water and other utility bills

·if required by the contract: cost of survey, termite inspection, buyer's closing costs, septic inspection, well water test, repairs, etc.

·Out of state sellers tax (4%)

·seller paid home warranty, closing costs (items purchased for buyer negotiated in transaction)

Your present mortgage lender may maintain an escrow account into which you deposit money to be used for property tax bills and homeowner's insurance. In that case, remember that you may receive a refund of money left in that account, which will add to your proceeds.

Sellers: Counteroffers

When you receive a purchase offer from a would-be buyer, remember that unless you accept it exactly as it stands, unconditionally, the buyer is free to walk away. Any change you make in a counteroffer puts you at risk of losing that chance to sell.

Who pays for what items is often determined by local custom. You can, however, negotiate with the buyer any agreement you want about who pays for the following costs:


·buyer's closing costs

·repairs required by the lender

·home protection policy/Home warranty

You may feel some of these costs are none of your business, but many buyers - particularly first-timer buyers - are short of cash. Helping them may be the best way to get your home sold.

Please also review the buyer and sellers advisorys regarding purchasing and/or selling property in Oregon.

Then let's schedule an apt. to meet to discuss your individual plan of action.