Here are three things that every homebuyer needs to make a good offer.

What do you need to do in order to begin the home-search process? Here are three things that you’ll absolutely need to submit an offer on a property that you like:

1. Pre-approval letter. You want a solid letter from a reputable lender, preferably someone who works locally. This will let sellers know that you’re qualified to purchase their home. If you’re paying cash, you’ll need a proof-of-funds letter instead.

2. Earnest money deposit. This is a good-faith deposit that goes towards your down payment or closing costs at the time of offer. It’s essentially held in escrow throughout the process. If for any reason you back out and it’s not on the basis of contingency, this money would be the seller’s to keep. Usually, you’ll put down anywhere from 1% to 5% of the purchase price of a property in earnest money. Keep in mind that your closing costs are generally 3% to 4%, the earnest money amount is usually less than what your closing costs and down payment will equal.

“Ask your agent to provide a sample contract upfront so you can study it.”

3. Sales contract. While the paperwork can be somewhat overwhelming, a great agent can walk you through the process step by step. Ask your agent to provide a sample offer upfront, so you can go through the paperwork and think about any questions you may have.

These are the three things you’ll need to have to really start the home-buying process. If you have any questions about buying a home or anything else related to real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.