A clear offer with all information and conditions explicitly spelled out can help prevent confusion and bad feelings later on.
Whether your offer is in the form of a contract or a letter, it's important to make sure it includes all of the required information.
Buyer name and contact information.
The offer should include the full name of all proposed buyers as well as contact information (address, phone number, etc.).
Seller and property information.
The offer should include the seller's name(s) and the address of the property to be purchased.
Purchase price and terms.
The offer should clearly state the purchase price being offered for the property as well as any terms that are required.
The offer should include a complete breakdown of any deposits as well as a description of how they will be handled prior to closing. Typically, a small deposit is made with the offer (or shortly thereafter), with the balance of 10% of the purchase price due in 7-14 days. All deposits should be held by an attorney or escrow agent and should be refundable unless the buyer defaults on the contract.
The offer should specify the proposed closing date. Of course, the date is approximate at this stage.
All contingencies should be clearly specified in the offer. Typically, a home purchase is subject to the buyer obtaining a mortgage and conducting a series of inspections. The offer should specify time limits to satisfy each contingency.
Contracts and attorney review.
If the offer is not in the form of a contract the letter should clearly state that it is subject to a satisfactory contract being drawn. If the offer is a contract it should provide for an attorney review period of at least three business days during which either party may cancel.