Making an Offer to Purchase 

 So You’ve Found a Home

You have been prequalified for a home and found your ideal location.  Now what?  The next step in getting a home is to make an offer on a home you like.  This is an extremely important part of the process and one that can be complicated, so a professional real estate agent will be extremely helpful in navigating the process.  They have the experience, legal knowledge and appropriate forms to successfully and beneficially make a comprehensive offer.

The offer will consist of the suggested sales price as well as the conditions for sale.  Make sure you completely review all forms that are submitted on your behalf and that you are fully aware of the terms of sale.  The terms can greatly affect the financial aspects of the sale. 

Determining an Offer Price

The amount you should offer on a house depends on many factors.  Your realtor should be able to assist you in this process.  First, the overall market is a factor.  If it is a buyer’s market, this means the supply of houses is greater than the demand.  A buyer will likely be able to make a lower bid than the asking price.  The condition of the home is also a factor.  The value of the home will increase if there are improvements, newer amenities and the home is in excellent condition.  The sales prices for homes in the area are also a factor.  The lower home purchases are in the area, the lower a bid can probably be.

Making the Offer

The specifics of how an offer is made vary from state to state.  However, the basics are that a potential buyer, with the assistance of the realtor, makes an offer to the buyer including the terms of the sale.  The owner may accept the offer outright or propose a counter offer.  A counter offer can be any change from the original offer and may not necessarily include just the price.  This is a period of negotiation where your realtor will be of great assistance.  The realtor should know the area and what is acceptable.  The realtor should advise you on where the cut off point is and let you know when an offer is lucrative or when it would be advisable to walk away from the deal. 

Inspections

Inspections are an important part of valuing the home.  The buyer should be included in the inspection process so all issues are divulged.  This is a great opportunity for a buyer to get an intimate look at the home and ask pertinent questions of the inspector.  There are several inspections that are common:

  • Termite checks to ensure there is no damage to the home
  • Lot inspections to ensure the proper boundaries are denoted
  • Appraisals to show a potential lender the value of the home
  • Title reviews to ensure the title is free and clear with no liens attached that would affect the sale of the home
  • Structural inspections to survey defects and determine possible upcoming repairs and replacements that will be needed

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