0 Buyer's Guide: Making an Offer

>> Saturday, June 20, 2009

So you've found the home you can't live without. Now it is time to make it yours!

No aspect of the home buying process is more complex, personal or variable than bargaining between buyers and sellers. This is the point where the value of an experienced Realtor is clearly evident because they know the community, have seen numerous homes for sale, know local property values and have experience negotiating real estate transactions.

How much? You sometimes hear that the amount of your offer should be "x percent" below the seller's asking price or "y percent" less than you're really willing to pay. In practice, the offer depends on the basic laws of supply and demand: If many buyers are competing for homes, then sellers will likely get full-price offers and sometimes even more. If demand is weak, then offers below the asking price may be in order.

What else is involved? While much attention is spent on price, an offer to buy a home includes both the price and additional terms, including closing costs and financing options. For example, you may choose to ask the seller to assist with closing costs or a home warranty.

What's next? Your Realtor will then present your offer to the owner and the owner's representative. The owner, in turn, may accept the offer, reject it or make a counter offer.

Because counter offers are common--any change in an offer can be considered a "counter offer"--, it's important for you to remain in close contact with your Realtor during the negotiation process so that any proposed changes can be quickly reviewed.

Once you and the seller have reached an agreement, you are officially on the road to closing on your new home.

Check in soon for Part 5: The Road to Closing!



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