How you write a winning offer depends on your marketplace and whether it is a seller's or buyer's market. The offer is much more complicated than simply coming up with a price and saying, "This is what I’ll pay."

In an offer to purchase real estate, you include not only the price you are willing to pay, but other details of the purchase as well. This includes how you intend to finance the home, your down payment, who pays what closing costs, what inspections are performed, timetables, whether personal property is included in the purchase, terms of cancellation, any repairs you want performed, which professional services will be used, when you get physical possession of the property, and how to settle disputes should they occur.

As a buyer, how do you write contingencies that will let you cancel the deal and get your deposit back?

Is it OK to Make Multiple Purchase Offers?
Should a buyer make multiple purchase offers on more than one home when competition is fierce? Reasons why making multiple purchase offers could land buyers in hot water.

How to Know When to Offer List Price to the Seller
As a home buyer, is it stupid to offer list price to the seller? When is it better to negotiate a purchase offer? How to know when you should give the seller the price the seller is asking.

Contingencies For Buying a Home
In most purchase transactions there may be a challenge or two, but most things will go quite smoothly. However, you want to anticipate potential problems so that if something does go wrong, you can cancel the contract without penalty. These are called "contingencies" and you must be sure to include them when you offer to buy a home.

Repair Contingencies
Most purchase agreements contain some kind of provision with regard to repair requests, and here is a common example. If your purchase contract does not contain a provision for this, it's a good idea to write a contingency for handling repair issues into your contract.

Protecting Earnest Money Deposit
After you have come up with an offer price, the next step is to determine how large a deposit you want to make with your offer. You want the "earnest money deposit" to be large enough to show the seller you are serious, but not so large you are placing significant funds at risk.

Early Possession
Sometimes buyers need to move in before a transaction is ready to close. If your purchase agreement needs to contain an early possession clause, make sure you include all the specifics that protect you under a myriad of circumstances.

If a Seller Accepts Our Offer, Can Another Home Buyer Outbid Us?
If a seller accepts our offer, can another home buyer outbid us? The rules and practices of offer acceptance and offer negotiation. How to protect your purchase offer if other buyers are still trying to buy the home you want.

The Closing Date
It is absolutely essential that you include a closing date as part of your offer. This way both you and the seller can make plans for moving, and the seller can make plans for buying his or her next home. Though most transactions actually do close on the right date, do not be so inflexible that a delay creates insurmountable problems.