Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ready to Write An Offer - 8 Big Questions To Answer

I've been working with a first-time home buyer for a couple of weeks now. We've been out 3 or 4 times to look at property and yesterday we went back to look at one a second time. He's really thinking that this might be the one.

Choosing which property to purchase is a big decision. BUT, it is only ONE of many important decisions that come with buying a property. That is why I like to begin the home buying process with a review of a purchase contract before we begin to look at homes. That way, buyers can have some time to think through the decisions before their emotions are tied up into a particular property.

In general, these are the questions that need to be answered as we sit down to structure your purchase offer:

  • What price are you thinking of offering?
  • Will you be getting a mortgage? And if so, how much do you plan to put down?
  • Will your offer be contingent on inspections (engineer, radon, chimney, pest, other)?
  • Do you have a house to sell? Will your offer be contingent on selling that house?
  • What personal property do you plan to ask for (appliances, window treatments other)?
  • When would you like to close on the property? Are there any special possession requirements (early possession, rent back to seller, etc)?
  • How much of a good faith deposit do you plan to put into escrow? (Generally due in 48 hours)
  • What attorney would you like to represent you at closing?

If you are thinking about buying a house in the near future, invest an hour or so to become familiar with the process and paperwork before you start your search. No, it's not as much fun as looking at houses, but it will go a long way to make the process smoother when you find 'the one'.
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