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Making an Offer

Once you find the home you want, you're ready to put in an offer. An offer specifies how much you're willing to pay, when your offer expires, and a closing date for the transaction. You may also wish to impose certain conditions on the offer.

Some common conditions include:

Obtaining a Mortgage (include the amount, interest rates and any other figures you feel important)

Selling your current home (the seller may continue to look for a buyer, but will give you the right of first refusal)

The seller providing a current survey, or a "real property report," showing the location of the house on the property owned by the seller and that there are no encroachments

The seller having title to the property (your lawyer will check this out when he or she conducts a title search to see if there are any liens on the property, easements, rights of way or height restrictions)

If there is a septic system, the seller should have a health inspection certificate, stating the system meets local standards

If you have any doubts about the home's safety and construction, you may wish to make the purchase conditional on an inspection by a qualified Home Inspector

Any inclusions - basically, what stays and what goes

You will need to present a deposit along with your offer. An appropriate deposit will show your good faith to the seller. The seller's agent is bound by law to bring all offers to the seller's attention.

After your offer is accepted and all the conditions are met, the offer becomes binding on both sides. If you walk away from the deal at that point, you may lose your deposit and you may also be sued for damages, so make sure you understand and agree with all of the terms of the offer before signing the final draft.