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Is This Your Situation: Looking for a Home That Fits Your Needs and Budget?

 

The agent you're working with can guide you through the process of making a purchase offer. You'll want to start by learning as much as you can about how much the property is worth.

Check the Comparables

Your agent has up-to-the-minute price data at hand to help you analyze any comparable properties; just ask. Although every home is unique, here's some of what makes a home "comparable" to the one you're considering purchasing:

  • same neighborhood
  • same age and condition
  • same size lot
  • same home style—equivalent living space, number of rooms and baths
  • similar terms of sale

Follow Sales Price Trends

Ask about recent pricing trends in the neighborhood. Specifically, what has been the average difference between listing price and sales price for recent sales of comparable homes? What is the ratio of assessed tax value to market value?

Offer What You Think the House Is Worth

Some asking prices have built-in padding, but others are already priced to sell. You could lose a well-priced home with a low-ball bid. Remember, a lower mortgage interest rate will allow you to borrow more and pay a higher price for a home without increasing your monthly payment.

Spell Out the Details

Consider getting a pre-purchase appraisal and home inspection. The appraisal will give an independent valuation of the house, and the inspection will help identify any potential problems you may have overlooked. Consider including a contingency making the contract subject to a satisfactory appraisal and inspection.

Evaluate Contingencies

The contract can also be contingent upon an attorney's review, previous home sale and acceptable mortgage loan terms, etc. Contingencies are typically used to smooth acceptance of an offer without delaying the final decision. Too many contingencies, however, weaken your bargaining position.

Know What's Important to You

Prioritize the elements of the sale on paper ("must" and "want") and decide where you have negotiating room—what you'll give up or accept in exchange for a concession. Items frequently negotiated include adjustments for needed or requested repairs, what personal property stays and what goes with the seller, points and closing costs, and move-in date. Knowing exactly what you want and where you are willing to bargain is your most important negotiating tool.

Put Everything in the First Purchase Offer

If the first offer is accepted it may be too late to add anything. Include a financial statement. Do all negotiating in writing with a deadline for a response, often 48 hours. You are free to cancel an offer until it is accepted by the seller. Require that your binder or deposit be held in an escrow account with the interest credited to you.

Be Patient

Negotiating could take several days. Be patient. You don't want to rush into one of the most important purchases you'll ever make.

We Can Help

For help finding your dream home, please call or email us. We're here to help you make the right offer on the right home.

 
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The information provided in this email newsletter is for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax and accounting advice, real estate investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional real estate, tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Home value estimate calculators provided herein are general estimations based on publicly available data and should not be used as a substitute for a professional appraisal. The information is provided “as is,” with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.
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