You’re ready to make an offer on the home of your dreams. This is the home you want for the next five to ten years but the speed of the marketplace means lots of competition from other buyers. So how do you make the one offer the seller will accept?

First, your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional will pull up a competitive market analysis (CMA) to show you what homes are selling for within a reasonable radius of the home you want. They’ll have similar sizes, features and amenities. If the seller’s home is reasonably priced, offer asking price or close to it.

To show the seller you’re serious, include a copy of your lender’s pre-approval letter, along with a cover letter summarizing your strengths as a buyer, including your creditworthiness and why you want this home. Include a copy of the CMA to show how you arrived at your offer price.

Nothing shows a seller you’re serious more than cash. The larger the down payment you have, the better, because sellers don’t want to waste time on buyers who may not get their loans approved. Sellers won’t accept contingencies like waiting for your present home to sell.

Your real estate professional will help you draft the offer with a price, estimated closing date and terms, and earnest money (a guarantee that you’ll perform as a buyer in good faith.) Once you and the seller have agreed to terms, you’re on your way to owning a home!