Here we go.. a few things worth mentioning BEFORE you sit down to write an offer.
1. Some people think that first you need to find "the perfect house" before meeting with a lender. I've heard this many times, "But, why would I go through the process of meeting with a lender if there isn't even a house I am interested in yet?" To many that makes perfect sense and I do not fault anyone for thinking this way. In fact, I too once thought that way prior to becoming a Realtor.
Lets expand on that a little. I once used this analogy and it got the point across pretty perfectly so I am going to go ahead and drop it here for you!
You want a new TV so you start looking around online and see a couple you like and then decide that one is perfect and you want to go buy it. You throw your coat on with excitement and leave home without first checking your bank account OR grabbing your wallet/purse and head to the store. Upon arrival, you find the TV, it's perfect... you love it... it checks all of the boxes! You head to the cash register to purchase the TV well knowing you aren't prepared and don't even know if you have the finances on hand to purchase and expect to walk out of the store right then with the TV with no problem... Of course, after all that trouble and excitement you are told you need to come back once you are prepared to pay so you leave the store and head back home.
You check your account and definitely have enough, grab your wallet/purse and head back to the store just to find that the TV was purchased by someone else who came prepared.
If you think that is unrealistic, I am here to tell you that I've had a few unprepared clients miss out on their dream homes because they were not prepared. Some find out that the monthly payment for that house they now love, would strap them too much and then we have to change our search a bit.
2. Ever heard of an Earnest Money Deposit? If not, you are in the same boat as the majority of first time buyers. It has also been called a "Good Faith" deposit. It's basically putting your money where your mouth is... having some skin in the game. When you write an offer you tell the seller, "Hey, I'm taking $500-$1,000 and letting you know I am serious about this offer.." This money will be credited back to you at closing. So, moral of this story is... make sure you've saved so that you're ready to hand the earnest money deposit in once you have an accepted offer.
3. Ask your agent what the market is currently doing. Is it a hot sellers market? Is it worth a low-ball offer on this home? What has been selling in this price point and how do they compare? You want to make sure you are being wise with your offer and well informed on what the competition is like. I want you to get the best bang for your buck but if the house is priced competitively and there are other offers coming in... get ready to fight for what you want!