An offer to buy a home is binding and you should always make it in writing

You should always make a written offer to buy a home, as it’s difficult to verify a verbal offer and its details afterwards. 

A purchase offer can be written freely and you don’t need an official form for making one. Often real estate agents will have a template for an offer that you can use. Alternatively, you can send an offer in an email that includes all the necessary details.

You must include at least the following information in your home purchase offer:

  • the exact address of the home you are making an offer for 
  • the amount of your offer 
  • the details of the buyer and the seller
  • dates on which ownership and possession will change hands 
  • date of closing the transaction
  • validity of the offer.

You can also make a conditional offer

You can add certain conditions that must be fulfilled before your offer becomes binding. If you know of any reason that could prevent you from closing the transaction, you should add a condition to your offer that makes the offer void if the condition is not fulfilled. Often the condition is related to the financing for the home.

For example, you can make an offer for a new home even if you’re still waiting to sell your current home. In this case, you should add a condition stating that the offer is valid if you manage to sell your current home before your offer expires.

You can also make an offer that is conditional on you receiving a home loan. So if your negotiations with your bank are still in progress, the condition would be that your bank will grant you the loan.

A loan promise allows you to make a binding offer

When we give you a loan promise, we commit to lending you the agreed amount. This commitment gives you peace of mind and makes it easy for you to make an offer on a home. A loan promise does not oblige you to take out a loan. 

If you have already found the right home when you apply for a loan, you should tell us about this when we negotiate on your loan. We will check that we can accept the home as collateral.

If the home is acceptable for a loan, we will give you a loan promise and you can make a binding offer on the home. Our promise to grant you a loan will be valid for 6 months, but the cost of the home loan stated in the loan promise (the interest rate and the margin) will be valid for one month.

If you don’t have a loan promise, you should make an offer that is conditional on you obtaining a home loan for the home in question.

Read more about the loan promise and the preliminary loan offer

What should I pay attention to when making an offer?

Read all the information about the home and the housing company carefully. Find out if the housing company plans to carry out major renovations and what repairs it has already completed. You’ll find information on completed renovations and repairs from the housing manager’s certificate, and upcoming repairs are listed under the long-term repairs plan (pitkän tähtäimen korjaussuunnitelma, PTS) 

If you’re buying a full property, it’s really important to read the report on its condition so that you’re well aware of any areas in need of repairs before you buy it. 

How to make an offer?

The situation in the housing market varies from time to time and from one locality to another. However, if a home has been on the market for a long time, you can always make an offer below the asking price.   

If the seller doesn’t accept your offer, they will usually make you a counter-offer, which you can accept or reject. On the other hand, if a home is in high demand and is considered good value for money, it may sell for the asking price or even above it.

A deposit confirms your purchase offer

If the seller accepts your offer, you have to pay a deposit. Its maximum amount is 4% of the transaction price. The deposit is your promise to buy the home. 

The purchase offer is binding on both parties, so if the seller cancels the sale, they will have to pay you compensation. However, if you withdraw your purchase offer without this being due to a condition you set, you can lose some of your deposit.

If the sale goes through as agreed, your deposit will be considered as a prepayment and count towards the final transaction price. You can also make an offer on a home without a deposit. In this case, you will usually need to agree on a standard compensation instead.

You can pay your deposit from your home loan. In that case, you will draw down the amount from your home loan in advance in order to pay the deposit. However, you can’t withdraw the deposit amount from an ASP account. 

Preliminary agreement concerning a property

In the case of full properties, the parties to the sale transaction are bound by a preliminary agreement on the property, not a purchase offer. Content-wise, a preliminary agreement is fairly similar to the final real estate sale agreement, and it must be made on a standard form. 

In the preliminary agreement, the parties agree on the upcoming real estate sale at a certain price and on certain conditions. The parties commit to the transaction that will be concluded at a later date. 

Both the seller and the buyer will sign the agreement, which will be confirmed by a notary. 

A bidding sale listing has a different offer procedure

In most home sales, the seller sets an asking price and the buyer places an offer for the home. Potential buyers will often offer less than the asking price, and the seller will accept or refuse such offers. 

A bidding sale works the other way round: The seller sets a minimum price for the home, based on which potential buyers can decide how much they want to offer above this price. The seller doesn’t make any counter-offers. 

A bidding sale is suitable for homes that are expected to be in high demand or are difficult to price correctly because there are few homes on the market in the area. A bidding sale is a good option when several potential buyers are expected to place competing offers anyway. 

The advertisement for homes for sale will indicate if the home is subject to open bidding. The minimum asking price for the home that the seller will accept will be shown on public home listing sites, such as and 

Loan promise

A loan promise negotiated with the bank will help you buy your new home. A loan promise in your pocket makes home hunting easier.

Read more about loan promise

Housing loan

Nordea will give you an affordable housing loan that suits your needs. Get a loan promise beforehand, so you can make a bid right away when you find the home of your choice.

Read more about housing loan

Benefits for Nordea's home loan customers

When you take out a home loan from us, you get a loan and services that are suited to your financial situation and needs. Your home loan also comes with some special benefits.

Read more about our loan customers' benefits