Buying a house is one of the major decisions anyone can make in his/her lifetime. It involves a commitment to a long-term cause and is not a decision to be taken with levity. Information about purchasing a house varies from country to country, or state to state due to the legal processes involved therewith, but ultimately, the processes are similar enough.

The first step is to determine if you want to work with a realtor or not. The advantages of using the services of a realtor include access to years of experience in pricing, research, marketing costs, as well as the overall easing of the selling/buying process. To get firsthand experiences from people who used the services of a realtor versus those that went tried selling by themselves, you can visit research websites such as


Evaluate the available options

Before we jump into making an offer, you must evaluate the house – both the insides and the outsides. The home options for a bachelor might be too sparse or small for a family of five; and other such considerations.

While it is possible to let your realtor do the heavy lifting in searching for houses that meet a predetermined specification provided by you, it is just best to visit the potential homes and try to envision how your life can fit into the building and the environment.

Determine your financial capabilities

You might have a figure in mind for the home you want, but upon seeing the options available, find out that the house you fall in love with is way below or above the limits you have set for the project. If it is below the limit, all’s well that ends well; but if it is above the limit, there is a need to be realistic about one’s financial capabilities. Consider the down payment requirements, estimated monthly payment and if there is a need for any renovations required, among others.

Leverage on your real estate agent/agency

Competition and comparisons are part of the business environment, and real estate agencies can run comparison searches meeting your specifications for similar houses that you might find easier to purchase and see if it fits your needs.

Get your purchase offer airtight

Your purchase offer will serve as the blueprint to guide the final sale, and should therefore include all the elements like the address and description of the property; the price that the buyer is offering to obtain the property for; a detailed term of payment- all cash, instalments, mortgages, etc.; and a promise towards the provision of title ownership by the seller.

Other things to include are the target date for closing the actual sale; earnest money deposit accompanying the offer, and how it should be returned if the offer is rejected; how bills such as taxes, water bills, etc. can be prorated between the two parties and types of deed to be granted, among several others.

Be specific about your contingencies

The vaguer your language in your purchasing offer, the more challenging it is to finalize the sale. The major contingencies in the housing sector usually include financing and home inspection.


Getting the right price for your home, whether as a seller or buyer, will at some point require some negotiating skills. You can leverage the realtor’s experience here, or research other options to get a range of prices in that location, for that structure, etc.

What should a buyer know about making an offer on a house?