How to Put a Winning Bid on a Home

You finally found the home of your dreams and you’re ready to make the purchase. Here are the steps you can expect to take during the process of making an offer on a property.
Real Estate Purchase Contract

Determine with your real estate agent what price you will offer and fill out a Real Estate Purchase Contract form. An offer can be made with or without conditions. Some typical conditions are dependent on such things as financial approval, the sale of the buyer’s house or a home inspection approval. Your real estate agent will present your offer to the home’s seller or their agent. The seller will then accept, reject or make a counter-offer.


If your offer is rejected, that is the end of the transaction. If the seller presents a counter-offer with a change in terms, the potential buyer is free to accept, reject or make their own counter-offer. This is when the seller may decide to change terms such as the price, closing date or conditions. Counter-offers can go back and forth until the seller or buyer accepts or rejects the terms presented.


Once an offer is finally accepted, the buyer is expected to make a deposit to the seller as a sign of intention to purchase the property in question; the amount of the deposit is applied against the selling price of the home once the transaction has closed. The buyer’s real estate agent can help to determine an appropriate amount to offer as a deposit.

The Final Steps

Get a professional inspection done, finalize your mortgage with your lender and purchase homeowner’s insurance. You’ll also want to hire a lawyer to take care of the last crucial items such as ensuring the money has been transferred from buyer to seller and registering you as the owner of the property.

Once everything is in order and completed and the sale has closed, the home is yours — congratulations!

Angela Slager is with CENTURY 21 Heritage House Ltd. in Woodstock, ON.


  1. Tony Morrow 07/11/2011 at 3:51 PM

    Neighborhood comparisons and viewings are key to a solid bid, in my opinion!

  2. Jeff Trounsell 07/13/2011 at 3:18 PM

    Good Idea to just before writing the offer with no conditions, is talk to your mortgage professional (especially if you need financing). Sometimes, your dream home might not be so dreamy with lenders. (if there is issues with it being a previous growup, age restricted condo, etc.). Your mortgage profession can sometimes pick out potential "red flags" on a home ... and it only takes a few minutes to look at.

  3. Diane Brennan 07/18/2011 at 10:06 PM

    I agree, talking to your mortgage lender is extremely important when making an offer

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