Looking at homes can be a really exciting time, but when it comes to making an offer things can get stressful if you don’t know what you’re doing or are unsure of what the best strategy is. We’ve broken down the strategy of making an offer, and included helpful tips and tricks in understanding the process.
Once you find a house that fits everything you’ve been looking for it’s time to make an offer. You will first need to make a purchase offer, or purchase agreement. This is essentially a letter of intent to purchase that property. It’s a legal document that outlines the price that you’re willing to pay for the home, including how you plan to pay for it.
Most real estate brokers have pre-written templates of purchase offers, that are easy to update with the terms specific to your offer. The laws concerning purchase offers can vary by state, but typically are legally binding after the seller has accepted them. Purchase offers often include an earnest money deposit. This deposit shows the seller that you are serious about purchasing the home or property. In some cases, if the offer falls through the earnest money may not be refundable, but if the offer closes successfully, the earnest money is often credited toward closing costs.
Comparative Market Analysis
One of the best ways to make the strongest offer possible is to know what’s going on in the market around the property that you’re interested in. Ask your real estate broker to order a comparative market analysis, which will evaluate three recent sales of comparable properties in your desired properties’ area. It helps you to know what similar homes in a similar market are selling for, so you don’t over offer on an overpriced home. It helps you understand where the negotiation room is.
Time on Market
It’s important to consider how long a property has been on the market. If it’s been on the market for a long time, it shows that there has been little buyer interest in the property. This might indicate that it is over-priced, and that the owner might be more willing to accept a lower offer. If the home hasn’t been on the market for very long, and there seems to be a ton of interest, you may want to make an offer that is slightly above asking price.
Consider other offers that the owner may be receiving and talk to your real estate broker about what they would recommend. Brokers aren’t allowed to suggest asking prices, but they should give you recommendations and suggestions so that your offer is the strongest one. If you can try to learn about other offers on the property. Other purchase orders only become public record once the seller has accepted them.
The most important part of making an offer is to know everything you can about the seller and the available property. Once you do, you’re most likely to make an offer that they accept. Talk to your real estate broker for advice on individual listings and sellers, to see if they can help you send a winning offer.