When you make an offer on a house, the actual amount of money you agree to put down is only one component of the offer; there are other considerations that should be expressed as well. It's important to voice your concerns at this point -- before finalizing the contract.
Even if the offer is accepted, it should be contingent on several factors. First, you need to do a thorough inspection of the property before the deal goes through, making sure that the house doesn't leak, the attic is free of radon and the sewer system is sanitary. In addition, you need to conduct a title check on the house to make sure that there are no legal claims against the property and the seller has the legal right to transfer the title to you. Finally, the offer should be contingent on your ability to secure a mortgage. Without the mortgage, there is nothing to discuss.
Along with the purchase price and contingencies, you should include a list of items that were agreed upon to be included in the purchase of the house. This includes anything from furniture and fixtures to major appliances and the outdoor sprinkler system. While some sellers include certain items in order to increase the value of the house, the buyer might see things differently and consider those items liabilities to get rid of as soon as he can.
Before making a final offer on a house, you should attain a copy of the current comparative market analysis (CMA) from your agent. This report shows other similar properties that were sold recently in your neighborhood and their listed prices. You should take the CMA into consideration and come armed with this information when making an offer. Chances are that the seller already has this information but is trying to get a higher price for his house, nevertheless. Finally, heed the advice of your agent or attorney; their experience and recommendations can save you future aggravation.