How to Make an Offer You Can Afford

You’re finally ready to make an offer after weeks—or perhaps months—of planning, preparing and searching. This is an important step of the home buying process, and it’s an area where your real estate agent will truly earn his/her stripes.

Making an offer you can afford is a bit like a game of poker. You want to keep your emotions in check, balancing against the realities of the market. You don’t want to be so excited that you tip your hand to the seller. On the other hand, you don’t want to be so conservative that you bid too low and lose out.

If you’ve taken the important step of getting pre-approved for a mortgage, you know exactly how much you can afford. This way, you’ll be less likely to get caught up in a bidding war that will carry you above your price point.

Of course, the interest and potential competition for a property depends on market conditions. If it’s a buyer’s market, you hold the cards and you’ll be confident in knowing there are other options out there. If, however, it’s a seller’s market, acting fast to make an offer that you can afford and is acceptable to the seller is a combination of instinct, preparation and the experience of your RE/MAX agent.

An Important Tool to Avoid a Bidding War

One of the most important tools you have when it comes times to make an offer are the comparables your RE/MAX agent generates from the Multiple Listings Service (MLS). These are excellent snapshot reports into the recent sales activity of comparable properties in the same neighbourhood. You can see important information such as original and adjusted asking prices, number of days properties were on the market, listing agent history and actual selling prices.

Once you have this information, weighed against the details of the home you’re making an offer for, you will feel tremendously empowered to make an informed decision, and less likely to enter a bidding war.

Find the RIGHT real estate agent for you, using our Agent Interview Checklist. This resource will help you identify the questions you should ask in order to compare potential options and make an informed decision.