How to Evaluate an Offer

Dated: 08/01/2019

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How to evaluate an offer

At first glance it seems like an easy assessment. When reviewing offers on your home, you should accept the one that offers the most money. However, there are a few other important factors other than price to consider when evaluating offers on your home.

Earnest Money

The earnest money deposit is the money that a buyer supplies to the seller as a good faith payment and assurance of intent to buy the home. This earnest money will be put towards the down payment of the house when the house is closed. If, however, the buyer backs out of the deal for a reason not listed in the contract, the seller keeps the earnest money. Consequently, the higher the earnest money, the stronger the offer.


Contingencies are essentially the exit doors a buyer has from the contract. These items are the reasons for which the buyer can decide not to go through on the the purchase of the home. The most common contingencies are the home inspection and financing. However, there can also be contingencies for the buyer selling his home or clearing the title. However, the greater the number of contingencies, the greater the number of exit doors, and the weaker the offer.

The Down Payment

The size of the down payment is often an indicator of the financial fitness of the buyer. If the buyer has a sizeable down payment available, there is a greater likelihood that financing will not be an issue in the closing of the house. Similarly, small down payments may bring into question whether a financing contingency will be met for the home.

The Closing Date

The typical length of time to close a home is currently around 45 days. However, if someone is making an all cash offer, he may be able to close much quicker. You may have the desire for a long or short closing. For example, if you're still looking for your next home you may desire a long closing period. However, if you've already purchased a new home you will likely want the quickest close possible. The length of closing may be the deciding factor for you between two similar offers.

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Tricia McCullough

From farming in Warden, WA, to living in Australia and then back to Wenatchee, I’ve always been profoundly aware of the fundamental need to help others. Whether through their financial picture or he....

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