It’s Time To Make An Offer
Put yourself in the sellers’ shoes and imagine how they will react to everything you’re about to put in your offer. Oral promises are not legally enforceable when it comes to the sale of real estate. Please be sure you have communicated everything you want in the offer to your Realtor.
Have your REALTOR do a comparative market analysis for you. That will show you the fair market value of the property. The following factors could affect your offer price:
New home improvements
Market conditions (that old supply and demand again)
Seller’s motivationMultiple Offers – expect to pay more if there are multiple bidders on a property
You will be putting up some money to show the seller you are sincere about purchasing his home. Your Realtor can give you guidelines for how much this should be.
You will probably need to get a mortgage. Even if you have been pre-approved the lender will still need time to have the appraisal done, etc. Your Realtor can advise you as to how much time you need.
Don’t skip this, whether it’s because you think you can check out the house yourself or you want to save the money a professional inspector charges – it’s money well spent in the long run. But remember, no home is perfect and small maintenance-type things found by the home inspector should not be part of any renegotiation with the seller. And don’t skip your final walk-through just because you had a home inspection.
Make sure you received all the proper seller disclosures. Sellers may have completed a Seller Property Information Statement. Have your Realtor request a copy for your review. Further, material defects MUST be disclosed if known by the seller. Look over these documents carefully – the laws that govern them limit your recourse once you’ve signed them.
It doesn’t have to be a ‘hot’ market for a seller to have the luxury of choosing between multiple offers on their property. If you find yourself in a multiple offer situation don’t panic and don’t withdraw your offer – you may be the highest bidder and won’t even know it if you pull out. Go through at least one round of negotiations before you decide to withdraw. Have a price in your mind of where you want to go and stay in the game until that price has been reached.
Too many buyers lose the property by pulling out too soon. Having a well-seasoned Realtor familiar with the process can be instrumental in Multiple Offers. Taking the time to hire the right Realtor will find you a Realtor with a good reputation among their colleagues and peers; this too will aid in your efforts to attain a property in the event of Multiple offers.
From Offer to Closing
Once your offer has been presented to the seller the negotiating process begins. There are likely to be numerous counter-offers going back and forth between you and the seller. There are a few important things to remember:
Your offer is just that – an offer – until it has been accepted and agreed to by both you and the seller. At any time during the negotiating process another offer could come in and cause you to be in a multiple offer – or worse – lose the house completely. A wise buyer will try to come to an agreement with the seller in a reasonably short period of time.
If your contract calls for a home inspection and/or a financing condition, please choose both of these as quickly as possible and let your sales representative know who they are. Your service providers have a limited amount of time to protect your interests.
Be sure to comply with all requests of your lender after the mortgage application has been done. Not producing the documents or information they need can jeopardize your getting your mortgage on time.
Generally, the buyer accompanies the home inspector at the inspection. Please allow at least 2 to 3 hours for an average inspection. More time may be necessary for a large home.
Your Realtor will act as coordinator for all activities from this point and will keep everyone in the loop as far as what is going on. The lender, home inspector, both attorneys, the other REALTOR, the title company will all be performing necessary duties during this time.
If necessary your Realtor will work together with the cooperating Realtor to negotiate any repairs that were noted during the home inspection. Remember, routine maintenance items are not the type of thing that should be noted and negotiated. The purpose of the home inspection is to avoid buying a home with major structural deficiencies.
Your walk through will be scheduled as per your sales contract. Your Realtor will schedule this with you, the seller and the listing sales representative. It should happen just prior to the closing.
If all of this sounds a little overwhelming – don’t worry – you’re in good hands. Your Realtor has been through this many times and will be there for you during the entire process. Relax and enjoy the experience.