Making an Offer

Once you’ve found the home you want to purchase, we will sit down and write the offer…

…and it’s more than just deciding on the price.

First, we will sit down and go over the “comps” (comparable sales in the same neighborhood or the immediate surrounding area). The comps will help us to determine if the price the seller is asking is a fair one, or whether they are overpriced, and how we should structure our offer. In addition to the comps, there are a number of other terms and factors that will affect how much you should offer for a property:

  • Earnest Money Deposit. Amount of earnest money you’re putting down with the offer can show the seller how serious you are about making your offer.
  • Closing Date. What date are you asking for a closing… more than 45 or 60 days from the offer date?
  • Contract Timeline. Length of Due Diligence Period, Appraisal Contingency Period, Financing Contingency Period… the shorter and more compact your contingency periods, the stronger your offer seems to the seller.
  • Seller Concessions. Are you asking for the seller to provide a termite bond, a home warranty and/or contribute to your closing costs?

Once we’ve determined our offer price and any other concessions we’ll be asking for, I will compile the offer paperwork for your signature. Oftentimes the offer paperwork will consist of multiple documents some of which are listed here:

  • Standard Purchase Agreement. The main body of the contract, this document contains the “meat” of your offer, including price, seller contribution to your closing costs, closing date, closing attorney, and any special stipulations.
  • Lead-Based Paint Disclosure. Homes that were built prior to 1978 most likely had lead-based paint; this disclosure acknowledges that and lets you decide if you wish to have a lead-based paint inspection (at your expense).
  • Community/Condo Association Contingency. If the home is located in a neighborhood or condominium complex that has a homeowners association, this disclosure includes the release authorization to have the homeownership by-laws and financial documents delivered for review.
  • Seller’s Property Disclosure. Unless the home you’re purchasing is a foreclosure or has some other extenuating circumstances, we will obtain a copy of the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement, which is filled out by the seller and contains all of the information that they know about the property, during the time that they have owned the home.

Once we’ve completed all of the paperwork and reviewed and signed it, I will submit the package to the listing agent, who will present it to the seller.  We then wait for a response by the deadline we have indicated on the offer.

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