What Do I Submit When I Make an Offer on a Home?

You’ve found a home that you’re excited about, reviewed the disclosure materials and worked to understand pricing and valuation for the property. If the property still feels like a good fit, you’re probably ready to submit an offer!  Submitting your first offer is a big step in the home buying process. Whether it’s deciding on your bid strategy, coordinating with lenders, understanding contingencies, or navigating the legalese, there’s always a lot to process.


A typical offer package contains the following five components.  We’ve summarized each below. Click on any headline to learn more about each piece of the offer puzzle.  


Personal Letter:  Selling a home is an emotional experience.  We encourage buyers to make a personal connection with a home seller.  Tell them a little bit about yourself, and why you’d be excited to call their house your home.   

Financing Pre-Approval:  Unless you’re submitting an all cash offer, you’ll need to include a pre-approval letter from a bank or other lender indicating that you’ve qualified for a loan for the balance of the home purchase price.  Pre-approvals can take some time, so you should begin talking to financing partners a few weeks before you think you might want to submit a bid.

Proof of Funds:  Your bid should include evidence of your ability to make your proposed down payment.  Redacted copies of recent bank or brokerage account statements usually do the trick here.  

Offer and Sale Contract:  The offer contract will contain the specific terms of your bid, including your offer price, down payment amount, financing terms, expected closing timing, and whether your offer is subject to contingencies.

Signed Disclosures:  Sellers will often ask buyers to pre-emptively sign off on all legal disclosures at the time of submitting a bid.  If you’ve had time to review and process the home’s disclosure packet, and get answers to any questions raised by the disclosure materials, you should be comfortable signing off on these materials as part of your bid package.

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