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Pretend you are about to sell your vehicle. You check the internet to learn the value of your Buick, then place an ad in the newspaper. The first caller wants to take a look, then makes an offer of 10% less than you're asking.

He wants you to finance the full price at 2% for 10 years, and expects you to replace the tires, purchase a 5-year extended warranty, install a CD player, and pay his insurance for the first year. Oh yes, and he also wants you to include your first-born child in the deal. Can you see what's happening? The buyer has made the entire transaction so confusing, it's highly unlikely that an agreement could ever be reached.

Remember this story when buying your next home. Although you can make a purchase offer that includes whatever terms and conditions you choose, the seller is likely to be blown away by a confusing, unrealistic offer. Here's some simple advice when writing a home purchase offer.

First, include a substantial earnest money deposit so the seller knows you're serious. Next offer a price that is at or near full price (provided the asking price is backed up with an appraisal). Finally, leave out all the special conditions about drapes, swing sets, microwaves, and first-born children. Give the seller a reason to accept your offer - keep it clean!


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