Making an Offer
Most buyers who are dreaming about buying a home, spend a lot of time browsing through "eye candy" on the internet.
If that's you, welcome! I am glad you're here, and... I do the same thing when in the market for a home.
It's a great way to learn approximately "what's out there" and what it's going to cost...
When you're ready to swtich from "dreaming" to "doing" however, there are a few things you'll want to get in order.
I hope the first thing you'll do is give me a call, so we can talk about your timeline, goals, and next-steps.
Everyone's plan is different.
Once you "get serious" about buying a home, one of the first things we'll have you do is chat with a lender about what type of mortgage you'll want to get for the property.
You want to have this done early in the game so you know what you can afford, and you can take action if you "stumble across" a home that you love!
Don't Lose That House: I had a buyer just last week who was eager to buy a condominium right down the street from a friend of his. However, he didn't have his financing lined up, and by the time he got it handled, another buyer had already put the unit under contract and he missed out.
Don't let that happen to you.
You need to have a pre-approval letter in hand before you start making offers on homes. Otherwise, it's like going to the store, but not bringing your wallet with you...
A strong pre-approval letter from a thorough and reputable lender is one of the best negotiating tools a buyer can have. It shows the seller that you are financially able to purchase the home. If you need help with this step, I will recommend several people that I work with who are great at getting loans done fast, being certain about what they are doing, and figuring out how to overcome any last-minute glitches that may come up along the way. It happens!
A Lender Who Goes The Extra Mile: I recently had a deal where we had negotiated $15,000 in concessions for the buyer, that the seller was going to give him at closing. At the last minute the bank didn't want to honor the agreement, and wouldn't give the buyer credit for all we had negotiated. One of my best-of-breed lenders was on the job, and stepped up to make things right... out of his own pocket. Wow! That is good customer service!
Preparing The Purchase Agreement For The Property You Want To Buy
When you are buying a home, there are many problems that the seller is required to disclose. Here in Washington State, it is illegal to withhold information about major physical defects on the property, but these disclosures don't always paint the entire picture of the home.
Questions To Ask About The Home You Want To Buy
Here are six questions you may want to ask that can offer additional insight about the prospective home before you make a final decision.
1) Why is the seller selling the house? This question may help you evaluate the "real value" of the property and whether there's room to negotiate. Is there something about the house the seller does not like? Will that same problem bother you? If so, you may need to walk away, or you may be able to reduce the purchase offer accordingly.
2) How much did the seller pay for the home? This question can, in some instances, help the buyer negotiate a better deal-maybe even get the seller to carry part of the loan. I, as your real estate agent, can look up information about when the home was bought, how much they paid for it, and whether there are refinanced loans on the property.
However, it is important to remember that the purchase price is influenced by several factors, like the current market value and any improvements the seller may have made to the home. The original purchase price might not have anything to do with the current value of the house.
3) What does the seller like most and least about the property? By asking the seller what he or she likes most and least about the property, you might get some interesting information. In a few cases, what a seller likes the most about a home might actually be something the buyer is looking to avoid. For example, if the seller describes his house as being in a "happening community," the buyer might consider this a negative factor because the area may be too noisy or busy for his or her taste.
4) Has the seller had any problems with the home in the past? It is also a good idea to ask the seller if he or she has had any problems with the home while living there. Has the seller had problems with a leakage from the upstairs bathroom in the past? If so, even if the leak has been corrected, the floor and walls around the bathroom might have been damaged. You should also check that these items were repaired properly.
5) Are there any nuisances or problem neighbors? Use this answer to find out about any noisy neighbors, barking dogs, heavy airplane traffic or even planned changes to the community, such as a planned street widening. This may give you insight on why the seller is really moving.
6) How are the public schools in the area? Because the value of a community is usually greatly influenced by the public schools in the area, finding out the buyer's perception can give you some insight about the quality of the area's schools.
Knowing all you can about a prospective home, not only helps you decide if it's the home of your dreams, but what offer to make as well. Your real estate professional can help you get your key questions answered and give you advice on how to evaluate your findings.