This series grew from a post on our blog titled "First Time Home Buyer Guide: Steps to Buying a House."
Find Your Dream Home and Begin Negotiations
Work with a REALTOR and make your offer!
As soon as you are ready to start house-hunting, we will meet up and learn more about what you are looking for. From there, we create a custom search and set-up home viewing appointments. The seller pays all real estate agent fees. As your agents, we keep a pulse on the market to make sure you get to see what kinds of homes would be an ideal fit for you. Some people look at dozens of homes before making an offer, other people find their dream home on the first day out. We help you explore and find the perfect fit for you.
Once you find your home, we will be with you to guide you along the buying process. You will start by making your offer. If the buyer likes the offer, there will be several points throughout the transaction in which negotiating comes into play. Having a REALTOR to help negotiate on your behalf can make all the difference when purchasing your new home.
Leaving Room to Negotiate
With current low inventory, buyers often find that their offers are one of several and that everything is up for negotiation.
We always ask our clients to work in good faith and to remember they want to buy a home and the seller wants to sell a home. When you sign your offer, you put up earnest money (about 1-3% of the home price.) This is cash you deposit to show that you intend to follow through on a sale. Think of it as both a deposit and a qualifier for serious buyers. This money will be added to your down payment, if you’re making one, or applied against your closing costs.
A Winning Offer
There can be a lot of back and forth, particularly in cases with multiple offers. So, it is important to put in your best offer lest another buyer beat you to the punch. Know that a seller may counter your offer rather than accept it or reject it outright.
In Dustin’s case, the seller came back with a counter offer after he put in his. Check out our conversation in the video!
Kicking the Tires
Once you have both signed an offer, your inspection period begins. This is your chance to have an inspector look through the house and for you to look through it too.
So far, the asking price and your offer reflect the best situation for the seller and for you, based on what’s known. The trouble is that sometimes not everything is known. These steps help the buyer ensure that the house and its systems are intact and functioning.
Though a seller may have had the home inspected, you want to pay for your own inspection. This usually runs between $300 and $500 and allows you to verify the condition of the home and make sure that nothing has been missed. Inspectors will check out the plumbing and electrical systems, the heating, cooling, and structure. We recommend everyone get an inspection - you can learn a lot about a property, and there may be repair items brought to light that the seller is willing to pay for. Good inspections protect both parties in the long run.
We are happy to suggest reliable home inspectors.
Your inspection may bring up repairs that you would like handled by the seller, in which case negotiation may be opened up again with a repair addendum. This is an opportunity for the seller to offer to pay for certain repairs or come down on their purchase price.
Dustin's home is pretty new, and the negotiations for his repairs went pretty smoothly!