Can I make a verbal offer to buy a home?

Writing offerDo you really have to write a full offer (now often more than 20 pages!) to make an offer to buy a home? Wouldn't it be much more efficient to just call and make a verbal offer, then do all the paperwork afterwards if you come to an agreement?

It certainly seems to make sense… and can sometimes work in unique circumstances. However, most sellers won't consider offers unless they are written.

Why?  Mainly because there is no commitment on either side with a verbal offer.

  • The seller doesn't know if the buyer is serious about buying, or is even qualified to purchase
  • Even if buyer and seller come to an agreement, there is nothing in writing confirming the agreement and holding them to it
    • Buyer or seller could change their minds
    • Another written offer could come in that the seller accepts and the verbal buyer would be simply out of luck with nothing in writing showing they had even made an offer

With REO (Real Estate Owned) foreclosure sales, banks will not respond to verbal offers…. everything must be in writing for the seller to consider. However, just as is typical with traditional sellers, the selling bank will typically verbally negotiate a written offer, then follow up with completing the signed paperwork after coming to an agreement.

Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results –


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I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

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