Taking the Next Step
You found the house that makes your heart go pitter-pat and you are ready to take the plunge see if you can make a deal.
You are going to make an offer.
You need to look at what has sold around that home that is similar to the house you are looking at. This is called “looking at the comps.” You want to make an offer that is reasonable to the current market.
Also you may want to look at the market in general to get an idea of what is happening.
If the market price of the homes around your house are about $75 a sq. foot for instance,
Then going in and making an offer at $60 a sq. foot most likely won’t fly.
Also if you go in and offer $90 a sq foot, the appraisal for your loan may not come up that high and the seller can ask you to make up the difference in cash.
All of that to say, you need to come up with an amount you are going to offer. Talk it over with your agent.
In my area, to make an offer I need to know your legal name. For instance, I sign my name Karen L. Sanchez for legal papers.
I would also need your address and your “proof of funds”, see the article on buying your first house where we talked about getting the “pre-qual.”
Basically the seller wants to know that if you make an offer on the house, you can complete the transaction.
Then the agent will write the offer for you.
The agent is going to write the best offer for you under the circumstances.
Many things affect the way the agent writes an offer.
Is it a standard sale? Bank owned? Short Sale? Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae?
Each of these is a little different and needs to be handled a little differently.
This is a legal contract, take your time and ask questions and for Pete’s sakes read the whole thing.
BRING A CHECK BOOK with you when you write the offer.
You will need to put down earnest money.
That check is what is sent to the escrow company to open up the escrow get things moving.
The seller may ask for certified funds in which case you will have your check returned and will need to bring in a cashier’s check.
After you sign the sign the offer and the other papers the agent asks you to sign the agent will present the offer to the other agent.
This can be done in person, by fax or email. Your agent will let you know how long you will need to wait to expect some sort of response.
So then go home and say your prayers and trust that you are being looked out for and if it is your HOME then you will get some sort of response. That response can be a yes, or a counter offer where they come back and say well how about this instead of that? Then the ball is in your court.
FYI. Bank owned homes will require you to sign a long addendum. Please read it .
This is a very simplified version of what happens.
Talk to your agent for what the variables can be in your circumstances. Markets change constantly.
Side note, the market in the Victor Valley is very competitive at the moment. It is rare to make one offer and get it accepted. Your Realtor is not a magic genie; we can not make someone except your offer. Remember looking at the comps? If you are bidding under and houses are selling over asking you may need to adjust the amount you are bidding on a house. Everyone has a pre-qual or the ability to buy a house that is bidding on it. Yes this can be frustrating. Yes it is worth it when you get your keys.