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Making an Offer on a House

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When you find a home you want to buy, it's not as easy as saying "I'll take it".  The process of making an offer to the seller can almost feel like an intricate dance that has to be done with no time to waste, just the right way.  An offer will be made up of a monetary amount on how much you're willing to pay the seller, how you're planning to pay the seller, how long the offer stands and stipulation on what needs to happen for you to continue.  Here is a little more detail on what the offer is made up of: 

First off, setting the amount you are willing to offer to the seller should be compared to other nearby houses that were sold recently and that are currently on the market as well.  Aside from checking it out yourself, your real estate agent will be the one to guide you to the most reasonable value to offer on the home you want to buy.

If your offer isn't looking as high as the asking price listed, it'll be beneficial to include a letter explaining compared market values or explaining yourself as to how you came up with your offer.

Discuss a good timeline for your offer to expire with your real estate agent.  It can depend on the popularity of the home and the current market.  Don't forget that you'll be adding the date you'd be hoping to close the deal of the house, as well. 

You'll want to prove to the sellers that you have a plan to come up with the money as well as a pre approval letter that states that you can execute your plan in your offer letter. 

With the offer you will be providing an "earnest money" check that serves as a down payment or deposit that shows sellers you're serious about this offer.  The earnest money will be added to your escrow account as part of your down payment. 

Adding an escape route of contingency's like financing and inspection issues can keep you and your earnest money safe just in case you decide (within the contract time) that this isn't the right path for you.  Be aware that sometimes contingency's can work against you in a sellers market if other offers don't have any safety nets. 

After completing your offer your real estate agent will present it to the selling agent and it'll be a waiting game to hear back from that agent. 

If the seller accepts your offer you are now legally bound to what your offered.  If the seller rejects your offer it usually means that they accepted another offer or it amount you offered is non-negotiable.  If the seller counters your offer it essentially means that they rejected your first offer and but they are sending back an offer of their own that they is a negotiation to what they prefer. If you cannot come up with an agreement the offer and the earnest money deposit will be cancelled.  If an agreement is reached then you will be moving to the next step.

Lastly, once the offer is accepted and the contracts are signed the seller has one last chance to provide a full disclosure on any last things that they are aware are defective on the property.  You as the buyer will have a certain amount of days to either continue, modify or safely exit this contract with no consequences. 

Putting in an offer on the home you have your eye has to be done with precision and timeliness.  Having the guidance from your real estate agent is crucial so you make the best informed offer without missing any steps. 

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