Making an offer on a home is one of the important steps to owning your dream home. While placing an offer isn’t complicated, rushing through the process could be the difference between acquiring your dream home or having to continue the search for a new one. It’s important to discuss your potential offer with your real estate agent and ensure that you understand each step.
An offer consists of three basic parts:
- The property address and legal description.
- Consideration, which is the price you are willing to pay.
- The closing date.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when viewing and considering the purchase of a potential home, but it’s critical to be as objective as possible throughout the entire home-buying process to ensure you buy the home that is right for you.
Getting the Most Out of Your Offer
Generally, the offer will be proposed in a “Contract to Purchase” form or “Offer for Purchase” form. Whatever the case, there are a few issues you must address before completing the offer.
1. Earnest Money
Also known as a good faith deposit, earnest money represents a buyer’s seriousness and intent to purchase a property. Typically buyers offer as little as $1,000 in a slow market to as much as 10% of the sales price in a hot market.
While problems can sometimes arise during a buying process, contingencies allow you to back out of a contract for a specific reason. Here are a few examples of possible contingencies that you may want to consider including in your offer:
- Sale of your current residence
- Inspections satisfactory
- Financing secured
3. Miscellaneous Requests
You should consider listing any fixtures or additional items that you want to be sure are included with the purchase. These items can include window coverings, hot tubs or even appliances and furniture if you are interested in including it in the purchase price. It is best to be clear what will be staying with the property and what will be leaving with the seller, in order to avoid misunderstandings or surprises on either side.
It’s important not to rush through the process of making an offer. If you have questions about the contract or property – don’t sign until your questions are answered. You want to be sure that you are presenting the best offer possible before going forward, and have the best chance of having your offer accepted. Your agent will be a valuable resource to answer your questions and to help make the home-buying process as smooth as possible.