Real estate experts agree that knowing the basics of making an offer on a home is an extremely important tool for as a homebuyer. The first step is to understand your own position as a homebuyer. Are you pre-approved for a mortgage? Do you have to sell your current home before you can buy a new one? How much earnest money can you put down on a home? Are you an all-cash buyer? Can you afford the mortgage on a home?

By assessing your financial position and taking steps to ensure that you are in a position to make a strong offer, you will be equipped for success in this challenging process. In addition to understanding your current situation, it is also useful to find out as much information about the property you are interested in as possible. For instance, how long has it been on the market? Why is the home being sold – i.e. are the sellers under pressure to sell? Is the home part of an estate sale? What is the history of the home? What are the area’s comparable home values? The answers to these questions will help you determine how much flexibility you may have in making an offer, and whether that offer is likely to be accepted.

A written contract is essential for any real estate transaction, since oral offers are not legally binding. Your real estate contract must conform to local and state laws. Judy Gull can help you navigate this legal and financial terrain. In addition to ensuring that your contract follows standard procedures, Judy will verify that the contract reflects your desires as a buyer before presenting it to the seller’s agent or representative.

Your written contract will include specifics about the property itself, including its address, legal description, sale price, and title and deed information. In addition, the contract will include your terms and conditions: if it is all cash or subject to obtaining a mortgage; the target date for closing; the amount of earnest money deposit and how it will be returned to you should your offer be rejected; how real estate taxes, utilities, and other bills will be adjusted; who will pay the title insurance, survey, and inspections.

Once these provisions are laid out, Judy can advise you regarding any property disclosures that are required by law, as well as last-minute walk-throughs and other contingencies. The latter are critical components, as they are designed to protect you should issues and problems arise. For instance, one contingency would ensure that you won’t be bound by the contract if you are unable to obtain a loan. Another contingency would guarantee that a satisfactory home inspection is provided within a certain amount of time after the offer has been accepted.

Once your written offer is presented to the seller and the seller signs an acceptance, your contract will be legally binding. If the offer is rejected, however, the sellers cannot hold you legally responsible for the contract should they change their minds later on. Most likely, a seller may make a counter-offer, which may include changes in price, closing date, and other provisions. Judy can help you negotiate with the seller and can help determin how and if you should move forward in the sale. In the best case scenario, both parties will arrive at an agreement, and you will be the proud new owner of a home.


If you are thinking about buying La Crosse area real estate or selling a home in the La Crosse area, give us a call at 608-781-7714 or send us an email to explore your options and to find out when is the best time for you to make a move.