You have probably gone through quite a bit of searching and preparation in trying to find the home you wish to purchase. Your HomeSmart agent has been there for you, showed you properties based on your initial list of desirable features and helped narrow down your options. At this point, you will have found the home you want and will be commencing the process of making an offer on the property.
There are a number of factors that will affect your decision on what to offer on the property. Market conditions are always a factor. For instance, if it is a “buyer’s market,” you will have more negotiating room for the property. In a “seller’s market,” you may want to place your best offer upfront in order to be the one chosen by the seller.
The values of the properties around the one you want are also factors that should be considered. These figures are typically called the “comps” or “comparables.” Your agent will show you all of the properties on a list that have closed or are for sale in the vicinity of the property you are making an offer on. These comps must be analyzed and a realistic value for the property can be established. There will be an appraisal on the property after you open escrow, and often what you are willing to pay for a property and what an appraiser determines as its value are two different numbers!
You will also want to establish the close of escrow date, or date you will actually become the owner, before writing an offer. If you are obtaining a loan, a lender will generally need about 30 days to complete your loan, order and evaluate the appraisal and furnish the closing documents. If you have been pre-approved, this time frame may shorten. You will want to give yourself ample time to conduct any inspections on the property prior to your closing date.
There are other terms to be considered when placing an offer that may affect whether or not the seller is willing to accept the offer or whether you are willing to accept the seller’s terms. Some of the factors to consider are if a pre- or post-possession of the property has been requested, if a home warranty will be included and, as stated previously, what market conditions currently are.
At HomeSmart, we want you to enter into an agreement equipped with as much information as possible. Our commitment to providing you with superior customer service is demonstrated by our training and support programs, which are designed to assist your agent and in turn help you be the most informed buyer you can be.
An offer to purchase property is a legally binding document that should be explained to you in detail as you are filling it out with your agent. You should always feel free to consult an attorney or tax advisor to obtain further information you deem necessary. We want you to be prepared but also enjoy this exciting experience. Anything we can do to help, just ask!