Buying a House: Working With a Real Estate Agent to Make an Offer

When making an offer, a real estate agent brings some pretty powerful assets to the table: market knowledge, objectivity and (hopefully) some well-honed negotiating skills. Buying a house is emotional, and your agent can help level the field by bringing a more rational approach to the transaction. Here’s how the two of you can work together to get the best possible deal.

Don’t ignore the market

When it comes to making an offer, it’s more important than ever to consider a home’s value — which might not be the same as its listing price. Carefully study the comparative market analysis provided by your real estate agent. When researching the home and neighborhood’s value online, compare the estimates provided by Zillow, Trulia and Redfin, which can range widely.

Your agent will help you interpret the data and establish a fair offer price.

Work with a Real Estate Agent to Make an Offer

Staying sane in a seller’s market

If you’re buying a house in a hot market, it’s easy to get caught up in auction fever. Your agent can help keep you focused only on what you can control. If a number of buyers are interested in the same home, make your first bid your best offer.

If you’re really motivated to buy a particular property, consider putting together two or more offers in advance. That way, if there are no competing offers, your agent can submit the lowest. The higher offers can be the go-to bids if there’s a crowded field.

Find out why the seller is moving

The seller usually wants to sell as much as, if not more than, you want to buy. He has just one house to sell; you have a market full of opportunities. Of course, this is less of a factor in a strong seller’s market where inventory is low. But if the seller has already signed a contract on his next home, or if there’s a divorce in the mix or a job relocation timetable in play, that’s all good information to have. Have your real estate agent do as much recon as possible.

Keep the contingencies in check

In competitive real estate markets, contingencies can be deal killers. When it comes to conditions, get creative. Forget the little stuff and concentrate on major issues that must be addressed — and offer alternatives.

For example, if an inspection reveals necessary repairs, ask for a credit adjustment to be applied at closing, rather than putting the onus of contracting and completing the repair work on the owner. Anything you can do to ease the sales process and shorten the time to loan closing may work in your favor.

Make sure your agent is a strong advocate

Ideally, your buyer’s agent is both a master negotiator and your biggest advocate. For sellers, it’s not always just about the money. If your agent is singing your praises (you’re preapproved, love the neighborhood, offering a bigger down payment), you might score the edge in what would have been a tie. Personalities play a part in any human interaction.

How a seller is treated — and how a buyer is represented — can often make or break a real estate deal. Make sure your agent is at least pretending to be your biggest fan.

If it’s a no, move on

Having a deal go south on you is going to hurt. You can wallow in your disappointment for as long as you want, or for about an hour — whichever comes first. Think of it this way: You’re not starting over; you’ve already eliminated a lot of the variables. You know how this whole thing works now. It’s just a matter of finding the right house.

But first, if you lost in a multiple-offer situation, see if your agent can get your bid in a backup position. Deals fall through, and if the accepted offer does crater — because of a loan snag, a broken contingency, whatever — you might be in a prime position to rescue a sale.

In the meantime, in addition to revisiting your house runners-up, consider asking your real estate agent to gather up some older or expired listings. Many buyers neglect this segment of the market. If a house has been on the market for a while without selling, you’ve got some leverage, perhaps even a motivated seller.Find the Best Real Estate Agent

Getting the deal done

Congratulations! You finally have a signed contract in hand and can almost smell the green grass (desert blooms, pine-covered mountains, salty sea air — fumes of rush-hour traffic?) of your new neighborhood. You’re like a long-distance runner stretching for the finish-line tape. It’s time to move from deal making to loan closing.

Hal Bundrick is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: Twitter: @halmbundrick

This article originally appeared on NerdWallet.

HUNT Gives Back To Their Communities

HUNT Real Estate sales professionals and employees have stepped up to support their local communities during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Branches across the company created tabs at local restaurants for medical professionals and first responders. This was not only done as a “thank you” to those on the front lines, but also as a way to support local restaurants in the area that have been affected by the statewide shutdown. Pepper Jack’s, a local restaurant selected for the tab in Albany, NY, shared a special thank you on the HUNT Clifton Park branch Facebook page, “…our phones were busy and we appreciate you supporting a small business…”

HUNT Charitable Foundation logo

Along with the support offered by our branches, the HUNT Charitable Fund, a private foundation funded by contributors from HUNT Real Estate and other family members, is supporting United Ways in Western NY, Rochester, Central NY and the Capital Regions with their COVID-19 Community Initiatives. The United Way has created these initiatives to, “…rapidly deploy flexible resources to nonprofits that are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the economic consequences of the outbreak, community, and organizational recovery…”.

ERA Key Realty Services Cares logo

In our Massachusetts region, the team at ERA Key Realty is also working with local restaurants to create tabs for first responders, as well as supporting Northbridge Food Pantry and Peace of Bread through their ERA Key Charitable Trust.

HUNT and ERA Key will continue to support their communities during this crisis. If you would like additional information about the United Way Community Initiatives, please visit the following sites:

United Way of Buffalo and Erie County:

United Way of Greater Rochester:

United Way of Central New York:

United Way of the Greater Capital Region:

Who’s Moved to HUNT Real Estate ERA

We are pleased to welcome the following sales professionals to the HUNT Real Estate ERA family. Their association further affirms our commitment to offering the highest level of service to our clients.

Buffalo/Niagara Region


Samuel Campbell


Isaiah Gary


Kevin Kirby


Alisha Alfano


Brittany Madej


Theodore Davis

Julie Parke


Suzanne Graves

Xavier Summons


Kevin Smyers



Joshua Wolpe

Tamara Jiles


Robert Merletti


Sherry Solomon


Courtney Tinker



Jeb Farneth



Victoria Maddalone

Sage Baltrusaitis


The HUNT® Reputation
Rankings & Accolades

  • #1 Family-Owned and Operated Real Estate Firm in New York State
  • Top-Ranked Broker in the ERA Real Estate network 
  • Ranked #35 on REAL Trends Top 500 Brokerages Survey* 
  • Gene Francis Memorial Award Winner Honoring ERA’s Top All-Around Company 
  • Member of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate 
  • Ranked one of Western New York’s Fastest-Growing Companies

The Most Productive Agents 

  • 1600 Licensed Real Estate Professionals in 50+ Branches
  • 13,000+ Transactions
  • $2.756 Billion in Closed Sales
  • Per Person Productivity of Nearly 9 Transactions

If you’re ready to take advantage of everything we have to offer AND make more money, join HUNT Real Estate ERA today!

*Source: 2019 REAL Trends 500 | Ranked by Closed Transaction Sides

How HUNT Can List Your Home in Today’s Environment

Now, more than ever, it is important to be able to market homes virtually. Our real estate professionals have cutting-edge technology and marketing tools at their fingertips that allow them to market your home effectively online. 


Accessible from any desktop or mobile device, our consumer-focused website feature every MLS-listed property for sale. With in-depth community information, school rankings, and neighborhood videos, allows buyers to explore their ideal place to call home. It also offers instant access to our family of ancillary residential services – HUNT Mortgage, HUNT Insurance, and Network Title Agency.  


Walk-through any property from the comfort of home. Virtual Showings allow an alternative to the in-person Open House and allow you to tour listings safely and on your own schedule. As an added benefit, a HUNT Sales Professional can join you via video conference to give you additional details about the property while you view it.


Our automated marketing platform, the HUNT Digital Listing Center, creates and distributes stunning digital and print marketing materials for every property. 


We have partnered with Adwerx to power automated online and social media advertising for every residential listing. Your home will be marketed on Facebook, Instagram, and across thousands of websites. The ads are geo-targeted to be seen specifically by local home buyers. 


HUNT listings get additional exposure via our marketing partnerships with the most highly-trafficked real estate search engines, including Zillow, Trulia,, and

With a wide variety of technology and training at their fingertips, our sales professionals can be the partner you need to get your listing seen by potential buyers online. If you have any questions, our sales professionals are ready to answer. Find a sales professional in your area now: Find an Agent.