Elements of a Strong Offer

By Elton Fattig

Finding a home and loving all that it has to offer can be a struggle.  Imagine this… we find the perfect home, we make one trip to see it and our offer is accepted that same day.  THIS IS NOT NORMAL, but it does happen.  I want to talk about that other 99%.  How can we compete and ensure our offer will stand on its own?

Understand that finding a home and getting your offer accepted is typically the most difficult part of a transaction.  In reality you may look at a lot of homes and put in many different offers.  This may take weeks before you are finally the chosen one.  This is normal and having that knowledge can help keep your sanity.  Do not get discouraged, the hard work and grind you put in this short time frame will all be forgotten the moment you unlock the door of your new home.


  • Reaching out to a Realtor and discuss the framework -What is your motivation, this helps to understand your timeline and how aggressive we need to be. 
  • Know your must haves, be flexible on the rest.
  • Be honest, if you do not like a home, just say so.  It’s better to just walk away early from a showing as we can put that time into seeing another home.  Remember that the homes we are seeing are not your Realtors so you will not hurt their feeling in saving time.
  • How will we build our offer *( I will discuss this more later in the article) 

Reaching out to a Lender 

  • Do you have your Pre-Qualification or Pre-Approval? Your Lender and Realtor can explain the difference, in addition the power of a Pre-Approval over a Pre-Q. 
  • Have you discussed the monthly budget with your lender and is the Pre Q/Pre-A amount based on that budget.  
  • What lone type is you lender recommending?  What is your Realtors recommendations in leveraging that to your advantage? 
  • In most cases your lender and Realtor will be in alignment from the start, remember they are there for your success.  It is also common for them to communicate regularly to ensure everything is handled. 


I typically start with my clients sharing a few listing regardless of status; active, under contract, sold.  I explain that I want ones to help to understand their style.  I find this more valuable than having them explain it as perception is relative.  I usually follow up by sending active listings back to them and asking for their HONEST opinions.  This process has proven to be successful thus far.  

Basic Information

  • Names as shown on you driver license(s) (or) state issued ID
  • Current Address
  • Email Address  
  • Contact Numbers

Structures of the offer

I highly recommend this conversation with your Realtor as it saves time and will prevent confusion as your looking at homes.  Every offer has the same basic elements and some of those elements can be decided regardless of the home.

The Numbers

  • Offer Price 
  • Earnest Money Amount
  • Option Money Amount
  • Option Fee Days
  • Seller Contributions
  • Home Warranty
  • Closing Date
  • Who is paying for title policy?
  • Who is paying for survey if needed?

As you can see, we can discuss most of this before ever walking in the first home.  Of course these numbers are not set in stone but it creates a structure.  This also is an opportunity for your Realtor to explain those parts in more detail.  You can then focus on looking at homes and only needing to discuss 1 or 2 contract details rather that all of them at each house.  


No one likes this part, so much so I don’t think I need to explain any further.  Just know there is not a set rule on a time frame to hear back, only that we will hear back. 

Remember that shopping and having an offer accepted can be the most challenging part of any transaction, however it is also the most interactive.  With those struggles you should also congratulate yourself as you have placed yourself in the position to buy a home.  While it may be a struggle you will see lots of amazing homes, get great ideas, and you may find your style slowly changes as you see more.  

So you are thinking about buying? What is the next step?

By Elton Fattig

Getting started can seem like the most difficult part in Real Estate but in reality it is VERY SIMPLE.  Once you realize that you are open to the idea of buying a home do not let that moment slip away.  With the right team on your side buying a home is a fairly simple and easy process.  Then when its all done you can celebrate that you are now building equity and letting someone else throw away thousands each month to make another person rich.  

Buying Real Estate is like sports.  There are two teams both working to win, but in the process of playing the game there is an unspoken respect amongst all the players. 

Buyer Team = You + Realtor + Lender

Seller Team = Seller + Realtor

Now along the way we could have other 3rd parties that show up such as inspectors, apprisers, title companies, Escrow agents, etc.  Remember though, they are part of the process but not on either team.  In addition, your Realtor will explain each of these individuals, however you may not even have to think about most of them.  

*It is important to remember this is a general idea of the typical transaction and yours could vary to a certain degree but this framework will help you in understanding what to expect.  Your Realtor will keep you up to date on your particular transaction. 

Let get in to the process...
Step 1...Reach out to a Realtor 
Photo by Alexander Suhorucov on Pexels.com

I always suggest starting with finding your Realtor.  Think about it this way, Buyers are like the team owner, they get to make all the final decisions. The Realtor is like a head coach, they know all about the market, timing, who needs to be where and when.  In addition they are also a great resources for contacts.  You of course you can alway do a simple online search, but they typically have names and numbers of lenders, inspectors, contractors, lawn services…etc.  This is their world, service providers each out to Realtors with lots of information about what they can provide, use this to your benefit.  

Step 2...Reach out to the "RIGHT" lender
Photo by Khwanchai Phanthong on Pexels.com

Not all lenders are created equal.  It’s easy to understand that some specialize in residential, some in land, some in VA, the list goes on.  The part that most do not think about is that some have a specialty in closing on time, some can get a appraisal ordered and completed weeks earlier than others, some can order the appraisal and not required they buyer to pay up front…these are the details that can make or break a deal.  Talk with your Realtor, let them explain how offers are put together in your market, discuss the timelines from buying to closing (also called Escrow), this conversation will be priceless when you begin looking for the RIGHT lender.  Remember to find the right lender, don’t just choose from what is familiar.

Side Note about the power of a good Lender…

Lenders of today are great at what they do.  If you are holding back because of your credit, lending guidelines you read online, thoughts about the amount of debt you have, think you need to pay off certain things first, whatever it may be.  Know that lenders are the professionals and you would be amazed at how quickly sometimes the things you were concerned about have no impact at all.  In addition and most valuable is their ability to pinpoint the exact action you need, i.e. pay $300 toward “x” card, for them of issue an approval.  Lenders can take all the guess work out of the process. 


I will get in to the buying process, offers and the dynamics of escrow in another post.  Just remember that buying a home is a big decision.  If you’re thinking buying a home and more information might help you decide if buying is right for you…reach out to a Realtor.  We will talk it out and if its truly the right choice you will know after that conversation.