So you have found the home you have been looking for…and now it’s time to start negotiating with the seller. Be sure you have thought through the process completely. Let’s go over some things you should consider before writing that offer.
You have been doing your research, looking at other homes online and in person, and taking your time to find exactly what you want. Don’t second guess yourself. Use the knowledge you have gained from your shopping experience and advice from your well trained agent to confidently make an offer. Just remember, there is not one right offer with the rest being wrong. It’s not a multiple choice test. Your offer will be unique to what you desire in your new home and will not look just like any others that the seller receives.
Use the internet and your agent to get all of the information you can get regarding the home and the sellers. If you know why the sellers are moving, have looked at the comps in the area, and know the listing details such as how long the house has been on the market, you will be able to make an informed offer.
Make sure you have been in touch with your lender. You will want to stay up to date on interest rates as they will effect what you can afford to pay for your home. You will also need to show a pre-approval letter along with the offer. This gives the seller proof that you are serious about your intent to purchase and that you are financially able to afford the home. Read more about mortgages and pre-approval here.
You will need to list your terms and keep in mind, of course, that they will likely be countered. Maybe you are wanting a quick closing, or maybe you need time to sell your home first. Are you needing to negotiate who will pay for closing costs or renovations? Inspections, contingencies, appraisals, and time lines need to be listed specifically in the offer. Don’t let your desire for the house cause you to forgo crucial steps that ensure your investment. You want the sellers to like you and accept your offer, but not at the expense of overlooking these important details. According to Kent Sisk, an account executive at NexTitle, a title and escrow agency based in Bellevue, Washington, “the market is so hot right now [that] many buyers are waiving the inspection period, sometimes waiving the inspection altogether, in order to get their offer approved.” (usnews.com) Kent goes on to discourage this advising that it is much better to find a leaky roof or moldy walls before the sale goes through rather than after closing leaving the buyer with a huge financial and emotional burden.
Finally, don’t be discouraged if the first one falls through. There will be another house that comes along that will work out for you. Buying a house is not a quick process. Take your time and give it careful consideration. Your real estate agent is a valuable tool at your disposal. If you are struggling with making the offer and the conditions that need to be met in order for this deal to work for you, talk it over with them. Some of the best advice is learned from experience rather than by doing research and they have learned a lot from their years in the business.
Sources: zillow.com, usnews.com