Finding a Home and Making an Offer – What to Expect

Finding the right home takes time. If you prepare ahead of time and know exactly what to look for, though, it can speed the process up.

But, finding a home is only the beginning. Next, you must make an offer – an offer that the seller accepts. It’s a process, but if you know what to expect, it’s not as overwhelming.

Use these steps to find the perfect home and make an offer they can’t refuse.

Write Down your Needs

Start by writing down your needs. What does the house require that you can’t live without? These are the musts, so keep them separate.

Think about all your needs now and in the future. How long do you plan to stay in the home? Make sure you won’t outgrow the home too fast. Features to think about are size (square footage), the number of bedrooms, and bathrooms, and the number of stories.

Write Down your Wants

Your wants are features you’d like to have but could live without. Maybe you’d love a two-story great room, but is it a deal-breaker if you can’t find one in your budget?

Wants are subjective but are features you could either add later or live without in this home. They are things you would be happy if the home had, but wouldn’t be a deal-breaker if they didn’t.

Know your Budget

Your budget is a key factor. You can’t make an offer that’s outside of your budget. If you do, you’ll end up backing out of the deal and could lose your earnest money. Work with a lender to get pre-approved before you look at homes. This helps you stay within your budget and make the right offer.

Work with a Reputable Real Estate Agent

The bidding is often the hardest part of buying a home. You not only need to choose the right dollar amount but the right conditions too.

When you make an offer on a home, sellers have the option to accept it, counter your offer, or decline it.

Working with a reputable real estate agent, you’ll know the best price to bid based on your pre-approval, market data, and interest in the home. The more potential buyers interested in the home, the more likely you are to be in a bidding war.

A real estate agent can help you through this stressful process, increasing your chances of coming out as the homeowner.

Completing the Sales Contract

If a seller accepts the price you bid, they may counter other factors, such as the closing date, what they’re leaving in the home, or the contingencies you want. Consider all factors, not just the price as the total offer includes all aspects of the contract.

Bottom Line

Work with your team (your lender and real estate agent) to come up with the best offer for a home. Your sales contract is a legally binding agreement you must adhere to once you sign it.

Increase your chances of a seller accepting your bid by working closely with your team so you have loan approval, know the best price to bid, and understand the factors that affect the seller’s choices.

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