You have searched and evaluated and listed the pros and cons. You finally found the house you are ready to call home. You have saved money, been pre-approved and are ready to make that offer. Here are some tips to make the offer that is right for you and will get you into your new home.
- Keep emotions out of it
It’s so easy to fall in love with a home, offer too much. When we fall in love with a home we see things through ‘love goggles’ and don’t think things through. Be careful not to be obsessed with where you will put the Christmas Tree or the swingset in the backyard. This is an investment, be smart and stay calm.
- Act quickly
Because buyer demand is greater than the supply of houses for sale you may be competing with someone else for your new home. Work with your agent to give the best offer you can, quickly.
- Know the facts
Make sure you know what you can afford and what the property value is. Make the bid something reasonable. Use square footage and price-per-square-foot as compared to others as an equalizer. Work with your realtor and research other sales in the neighborhood. This is important to help you present a strong offer. Your agent has experience and can bring things into the equation such as the condition of the home, recent sales in the area and what you can afford.
- Kick the tires… or plumbing
Just like you would not buy a car without checking the mechanics, make sure you know what is going on with the house before you make an offer. A home inspection will cost about $300-$400 but the inspector will provide you with information that can potentially save you thousands. You will have peace of mind that everything is great or know what repairs need to be made and use them to negotiate your offer.
- Stand out
An oddball number will stand out over other rounded number bids. Being specific will let the sellers know you’ve given it a lot of thought.
- Make it personal to seller
Another way to stand out is to write a personal letter to the seller so they will know how much you love their home and why it is great for you.
- Prepare to negotiate
It’s very normal to get at least a counteroffer from the sellers. Be prepared for two things that will likely be negotiated, the selling price and the closing date. Your agent will be a key asset in the negotiation process and will counsel you on the counteroffer to make sure you arrive at an affordable agreement.
- Understand the contract
Because this is the largest purchase you will likely make, be sure to understand the contract. If there is something you don’t understand your real estate agent can help so that you understand what you are entering into.
- Bidding war
You may find yourself stuck in a bidding war with another buyer who has also prepared. After months of searching and researching, list making and planning you know this is the home you want. One idea is to include an escalation clause with your offer. This amount is what you would automatically be willing to pay above another bid. If you add an escalation clause of $1,500 to your bid of $185,000 and the other buyer offers $187,000, your bid automatically goes to $188,500.
Your realtor will assist you in making a wise offer and help to guide you through the process with some tips of their own to ensure that you get the house you want for the right price and avoid the pitfalls that take away from the love that you will have for your new home.