Ready to Make An Offer?
So you have found THE house! You are ready to make an offer. What is the first step? Knowing in advance the most you are willing to pay is extremely important (remember, you have your pre-qualification letter from your lender stating what your budget it).
Next, talk to your agent about obtaining comparables to the property you are interested in making an offer on. This info will give you an idea of what similar properties in this particular area/neighborhood have sold for recently and help you determine what kind of offer you want to make. Your agent will be able to advise you on how to make your offer more appealing to the seller. But ultimately, the decision is yours as to what kind of offer you want to make.
Your Offer is Accepted! What's Next?
Once all terms are accepted, everyone has signed the paperwork, the house will go into escrow. This is the period of time it takes to complete all of the remaining steps in the home buying process.
Getting a Home Inspection
Typically, purchase offers are contingent on a home inspection of the property to check for signs of structural damage or things that may need fixing. Your real estate agent usually will help you arrange to have this inspection conducted within a few days of your offer being accepted or during your option period (which can range from 3 days to 12 days). This contingency protects you by giving you a chance to renegotiate your offer or withdraw it without penalty if the inspection reveals significant material damage. All of this will take place during your option period.
You will receive a report on the home inspector’s findings. You can then decide if you want to ask the seller to fix anything on the property before closing the sale. Before the sale closes, you will have a walk-through of the house, which gives you the chance to confirm that any agreed-upon repairs have been made.
Having the Home Appraised
Once all repairs have been negotiated, lenders will arrange for an appraiser to provide an independent estimate of the value of the house you are buying. The appraiser is a member of a third party company and is not directly associated with the lender. The appraisal will let all the parties involved know that you are paying a fair price for the home.