One of the most exciting parts of purchasing a new home is finally making an offer on a home that you have picked out. Making an offer should only be done after careful consideration of all the factors that go into making a home purchase and with the help of your Better Homes and Gardens ® Real Estate agent.

Deciding what to offer on your home purchase is an art form. Many factors go into what a home is worth and therefore what you should offer for the home. The market itself will play a significant role when it comes time to making an offer. In a seller’s market, for example, you may need to start with an offer that is at or above the asking price. Buying a home is a lesson in basic supply and demand. When there is very little supply, and considerable demand, the seller knows that he or she can likely get full price–or more– for the home.

On the other end of the spectrum, when supply is high, and demand is low, a buyer’s market is created. In this case, you may be able to start well below the asking price and wait to see if the seller counters your offer.  If the home has been on the market for a considerable amount of time, or the seller is otherwise motivated to sell , the seller may very well accept a relatively low offer without a counter offer .

When the market is not clearly tilted to one end of the spectrum, you may decide to go in at the asking price if you feel there will be some competition for the home purchase. Making an offer at full price may give you a better chance of getting the home of your dreams without paying too much.

Along with the asking price, there are other terms of an offer that are negotiable, such as who will pay the closing costs, whether or not a home warranty is provided and the targeted date for closing on the property. Sometimes, you may decide to offer more but ask the seller to pay closing costs. If you are not in a hurry to take possession of the property, you may negotiate a later closing date and offer less for the home. All of these are negotiable and should be discussed at length with your Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate agent prior to putting an offer in writing to make sure that you fully understand each aspect of the offer.

Once you have submitted the offer, be prepared to wait and to negotiate. Even 24 hours can seem like forever when you are waiting for a response. Don’t be alarmed if your first offer is not accepted as is — most sellers want to negotiate. With the help of your real estate agent, your dream of owning a home will soon come true!