Making an Offer
To determine your initial offer for the home, we'll sit down with our notes on the home and neighborhood, including prices of other area homes, and figure out the most you'd be willing to pay for the home as well as the price you expect to pay. Your initial offer will be less than you're willing to pay (so there's room for negotiation), but not so low that you insult the seller. Homes are intensely personal, and creating bad feelings with the seller will only make it more difficult for everyone.
But an offer is more than just a number: It's a proposed contract that includes the physical details of the property, who is making the offer, the proposed purchase price, the down payment and mortgage amount, and any conditions on the offer.
Title assurance: This simply means that the seller has to prove that he or she owns the property and has the right to sell it.
Anything you want included with the home: Typically, the home's price includes anything that is attached, like the carpets or light fixtures. Anything that's not permanently attached, like window treatments, must be specified if you want to make sure it's included.
Any repairs: Your offer should specify any repairs you require as a condition of buying the home. If the seller doesn't want to make those repairs, that can be the basis for lowering your offer.
Final financing approval: Even if you're pre-approved for your mortgage, you don't have final approval until your lender approves the loan amount for this home.
Selling your previous home: If you already own a home, you probably need to make the offer contingent on selling your old home.
Inspections: You may want to make a successful home inspection (including a termite inspection and a check of the septic system, if any) a condition of your offer. You will need to pay for the inspection, but most people find the cost is a bargain compared to knowing they won't be looking at thousands of dollars in termite damage, foundation repair or septic tank refits.
Final walk-through: You may want to require a final walk-through to look over the home before closing, to make sure everything is in the same condition as when it was inspected.
In addition to the purchase details and conditions, you will need to put down a deposit to show the sellers you are serious about buying the home. I'll help you determine how large a deposit is appropriate and how to safeguard your money.
That's a lot of detail. Fortunately, I can handle the paperwork for you, using standard formats for making a real estate offer.