Navegó a una página que no está disponible en español en este momento. Seleccione el enlace si desea ver otro contenido en español.

Página principal

Making an offer on a home

You've finally found a home you like, and you're ready to make an offer. Be sure to keep these important details in mind:

  • Documentation. Negotiations should be handled in writing, not verbally, so there is a clear understanding between parties. Verbal negotiations are usually not enforceable by law. 
  • Preapproval letter. A seller may give you priority if you have a preapproval letter, which states that you’ve been preapproved for a mortgage amount up to a certain limit.
  • Earnest money deposit. You should have an earnest money or "good faith" deposit ready to put into an escrow account. The amount will vary, depending on the local real-estate market.

Even if you're using a real estate agent, it's smart to consult with a knowledgeable real estate attorney about the earnest money deposit and other parts of the offer process.

What's in an offer?

Your offer, also known as a real estate purchase agreement, will cover a number of topics including:

  • Sales price. How much you'd like to pay based on your assessment of the home's value. 
  • Timeframe. When you’d like to close the transaction, which is generally anywhere from 30 to 90 days from the date the offer is accepted by the seller. 
  • Conditions. Items that allow you to cancel or renegotiate the contract if they’re not met, such as a satisfactory home inspection.

Home inspections

A general home inspection can give you a better understanding of the condition of the property and estimated costs for any recommended repairs. It's a good idea to accompany home inspectors during the inspections. To find qualified home inspectors, ask your real estate agent for a referral or look for members of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).

Depending on the location and condition of the home, you may want, or be required, to obtain specialty inspections, including termite and pest, radon, environmental, structural, plumbing, roof, electrical, or site and soil. Inspectors will give you a written report that describes the results.

If you’re getting ready to buy, contact a Wells Fargo home mortgage consultant today to learn more about getting preapproved.