You found the perfect house! Now we need to get it for you.
One of the first things we do is look at the “comps, these are comparable homes that have sold in the last 6-12 months. They should be as close as possible to the same size, stats, condition and location. The more similar they are, and the more recently sold, the better they will work as an indicator of how well priced the home is, and what offer you should make. Your goal is to identify a price that you are comfortable paying, that also would be agreed upon by the seller. Often the buyer and the seller don’t have the same price in mind, and both parties have to give a bit to get to a signed contract.
In addition to price, you will need to talk about terms. These include when you plan to close on the property, how much money you will put at risk if you don’t close (called “hand money” or “earnest money”), any assistance with closing costs you will expect from the seller (called “sellers assist”), what inspections you will do on the home and how long those will take, if you are going to do an appraisal, if you are allowed to terminate a deal up to a point and if there is any private property that will be included with the sale. Sometimes the terms of the deal will be as important as the price, and can be used to strengthen your offer.
Once you have decided on a price, your agent will give you an estimate of closing costs and mortgage payment for the home. Then it is time for a lot of paperwork. The paperwork will include the sales contract, sellers disclosure (9 pages where they tell you everything they know about the house), cost sheets, addendums to the contract and real estate company documents.
Be sure to ask questions and clearly understand the timelines and obligations that go in to making an offer on a home.