The Basics Of Making An Offer
|A written proposal is the foundation of a real estate transaction. Therefore, you need to enter into a written contract, which starts with your purchase offer. This proposal not only specifies price, but all the term and conditions of the purchase. There are a variety of standard forms used by agents and bound by both the law and local practice. After the offer is written and signed, it will be presented to the seller by your agent in the presence of the seller’s agent, or by the seller’s agent alone.
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The Purchase Agreement
|Your agent will use a standard form of Purchase Agreement, developed by the Association of Realtors ® , a local Association of Realtors ® , or a private publishing company, depending on the custom in the area. You can make changes – but the seller must agree to each of the changes you make.
In the United States, oral contracts are not enforceable – real estate contracts must be in writing. Even if you give me, your agent, permission to bargain on your behalf, I must have a Purchase Agreement signed by all buyers before I can present your offer.
When you read the Purchase Agreement, try to imagine yourself as an independent party who has no knowledge of the transaction other than what’s included in the contract. Is the meaning of each clause clear? For example, to avoid miscommunication list all personal property you expect to be included in the transaction. Also, it’s a good idea to stipulate the exact date and time of possession – if you’re not specific, you and your moving van could arrive and find that the seller still inside the home!
Specify in the contract that the seller is obligated to repair any damage (along with the conditions causing such damage) noted in the pest control report and the reports of other inspections.
Elements in the Purchase Agreement
Other Disclosure and Inspection Terms
Obviously, in a slower home sale market, sellers are more willing to accept contingencies than they are during more active circumstances. Too many contingencies in a strong real estate market may prevent your offer from being accepted. Make sure your contingencies are clear.
Withdrawing an offer
The seller’s response to the offer
Each time either party makes any change in the terms, the other side is free to accept or reject it, or counter again. The document becomes a binding contract only when one party finally signs an unconditional acceptance of the other side’s proposal and that final, unchanged document is delivered to the other party or their agent.
How the seller may counteroffer
What You Need To Know
|The homebuying process is one of discovery. Throughout, you will receive crucial information on the condition of the property – from its physical attributes to the condition of its title. Piece by piece, you will learn what you need to know to make an informed purchase. Following is an explanation of the most significant parts of the puzzle.
Transfer Disclosure Statement
In the TDS, the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent are also obligated to inspect the property and to provide results regarding any known existing conditions, any hazards or nuisances. If the TDS is delivered to you after execution of the offer to purchase, you have three days if the form is delivered to you in person or five days if it is delivered to you by mail, to use it to terminate the contract if you are not satisfied with its contents.
Home Inspection Report
As a result, I advise anyone buying a home to first have it inspected by a professional home inspector who is:
Your home inspector will provide you with a written report, which will advise you of the physical condition of the property as determined from the inspection of accessible areas. Generally, the cost is approximately $300-$500.
The inspector does not evaluate whether or not you’re getting good value for your money.
Usually, there will be an inspection clause in the contract. Sometimes, the seller will provide a report of a home inspection aid for by the seller. If conditions or defects are disclosed in the report you can:
Negotiate for the seller to fix the problems prior to close of escrow,
Pest Control Inspection Report
While you are in escrow, you should have the property inspected by a licensed pest control professional. While termites or other pest infestations are not common, pest control operators also are trained to look for dry rot, usually caused where wood comes into continuous contact with water. Dry rot can be serious and should be fixed immediately. If any condition is discovered in a pest control report, it needs to be corrected and the property re-inspected by a certified pest control inspector, before you close the sale of the home. Pest control reports generally cost around $200-$300.
Smoke Detector and Water Heater
|Of course, negotiating is a huge part of the homebuying process. I will negotiate on your behalf, bringing to the table years of experience and local expertise. There are some principles that are universal, though.
You’re in a strong bargaining position if:
These circumstances give you a little more leeway in negotiating. However, even if you are in a strong position, in a “hot” market, you may want to make your offer more desirable by offering more than asking price. When the market is “soft,” homes tend to sell more slowly, creating a larger pool of homes from which to choose. On the other hand, when the market is “hot,” there may be a limited number of homes to visit and the demand for them may be high.
How Much Should I Offer?
|Generally, I will help you with this. However, there are several things to consider as you develop your purchase offer:
Common points of negotiation
There are many options to explore:
At what point are negotiations binding?