In some states, especially on the east coast, it is not uncommon to write something called An Intent To Purchase. Other states have standard contracts that then contain the ability to cancel the contact if certain provisions are met.
While there are even other areas that have standardized contracts with contingencies that even allow the buyer to cancel the contract and still get back 100% of their earnest money deposit. Needless to say the way an “offer” on a house is made can vary from state to state or city to city.
Are You Debating Whether Or Not To Make An Offer?
If you’re in the position of debating making an offer on a home and can’t really decide; chances are most agents will give you a little prodding towards putting in the offer so you don’t lose this house because there are others out there who are ready to make an offer too.
You’ll probably hear this more while you’re looking than you can count on one hand but the truth of the matter is that often it is the truth. If you’re fairly sure about making an offer but have a little fear then it’s time to talk to your agent about drawing up an offer that can allow you back out with certain contingencies.
In some cases you may have to give up a percentage of your deposit; while in other cases you can get 100% back when certain conditions can’t be met. If your buyer’s agent is worth their weight they’ll be able to guide you through making an offer so you are feeling safe, yet aren’t completely stuck. Depending upon the market, acting fast can make the difference between finding the house of your dreams and owning it or finding the house of your dreams and watching it be taken right from under your nose.
It’s not always a ploy to get you to move on the home when they say “act now before someone else acts”; especially if the conditions are such that the home is in excellent condition, in a preferred neighborhood, and/or priced right. Utilize your agent’s knowledge on how to write up an offer so you are covered and as safe as possible when making the offer.
Keep in mind that as part of your offer you can have repair contingencies, inspection contingencies, and keep the ability to back out of the offer if things take too long without losing any money. Work with your agent to create an offer that is most beneficial to you but not so much so that the seller is offended or feels as though they are being taken advantage of.
Also keep in mind that making an exceptionally low-ball offer can also easily offend the seller and put you at risk of being out-bid during the waiting period to hear from the buyer on whether or not they accept your offer. It is not unusual that if you under-bid by a large amount another buyer can sneak in close to the same time with a reasonable offer and win.
Keep this in mind when deciding what to offer and listen to you agent when they help you make a decision as to whether your offer is too low or too high. They have the experience to know the current market and whether the home you’re making the offer on is worth what it is listed at or even sometimes more.
Making The Offer Isn’t The Final Deal
While you may think that you making the offer and the seller accepting your offer means that the deal is sealed; all but the drying of the ink at the closing but that’s far from the truth. Once your offer is accepted, if there are any contingencies that you’ve put into the offer (such as conditions of particular areas of the home or passing the home inspection) is the first hurdle. If these contingencies are all met without issue then the next hurdle comes; the lender.
The Lender’s Place
Once the offers are accepted and all contingencies and conditions met, then it goes to the lender. Now the lender has the final say on if this house is acceptable. They may require other testing or deny the mortgage in the underwriting. The underwriters are kind of the traffic cops in the lending industry who finalize the mortgage and analyze the risks taken by lending the money.
They have the right for certain conditions to be met and in some cases these conditions may seem like ridiculous but none-the-less a must before you get your money. Let’s just say, they hold the money so they can request what they want before they hand it over.
Then Comes The Closing
Once everyone agrees on the price and the contingencies, then you move forward. Once all inspections are done, everything is in place, and everyone from the buyer to the seller to the lender is happy then it’s time to have the closing. In some cases this can take a substantial amount of time to get to this point but in the end it’s all worth it.
Don’t fret if it feels like you’re being led around by a leash to jump through hoops to get what you want. It’s all part of the game. The best thing is to have an agent that you trust and who can assure you that what you’re experiencing is quite normal.
For more information on how to buy or sell a home, go to http://www.springscleverseller.com or contact Juanita Simkins, Professional Realtor & Expert Negotiator (719) 229-5770