Now you've finally found the home of your dreams and you are ready to make an offer. This is the part where your agent will be really essential. First of all, it's important for the agent to look at all the comparative sales in the area. This will help you determine what you want to offer for the home. At this point you need to determine not just the offering price but also whether you want to request seller credit for closing costs, etc.
The other thing you need to determine is what contingencies are going to be placed on the offer. I ALWAYS recommend a buyer have a home inspection contingency. Even if the home is listed, as-is, it is still important for the buyer to know what they are getting and to be able to have the option to walk away from the home. Depending on the situation there may be other contingencies that need to be included. These might include sale of previous home, mold inspection, lead based paint inspection, well, sewer, and septic inspections, as well as appraisal & financing contingencies.
During the offer, you will also need to determine when you want the settlement date to be. Your lender will give good guidance as to how long he/she needs to complete the loan. Related to this, it is the buyer's responsibility to choose a settlement company. Your real estate agent or your lender can provide referrals for trusted settlement companies.
To make your offer attractive to the selller, it is important to include a pre-approval letter from your lender. Many lenders will provide a generic pre-approval letter with a maximum amount you can spend. I prefer to have the letter tailored to each property. This is especially true if your pre-approval amount is much higher than the amount you are offering on a property.
The earnest money depost is a very important part of the offer. This is the amount of money that you submit with the offer. This indicates how serious you are about the offer. The amount of your earnest money deposit is relative to the purchase price and can be determined with advice from your real estate agent. It is important to note that this check WILL be cashed and held in escrow. It will be applied to your down payment/closing costs at closing.
If you are ready to start the home buying process give me a call!