How Do I Make an Offer in Carlsbad?
What is the RPA?
Making an offer once you’ve found the right home is an exciting time, and an important administrative one.
Here in Carlsbad (and in California in general), an offer is written on a special form, the RPA or Residential Purchase Agreement (formally, the California Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions).
If you have an opportunity to review this form before you have to put together an offer, do so. Ask your agent for a sample to read if you haven’t seen one as it can be a bit daunting, and it will save time when you and your agent need to craft the offer.
The RPA, from the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) is a 10-page form much of which is boilerplate clauses. But there are key components of the RPA where decisions must be made by you, and information must be filled in. Here are some of those decision points:
Amount of offer
Desired date of closing
Amount of deposit (you’ll hear this also called earnest money or EMD)
Amount of Loan (if any) or a notation that the offer is all cash
Any addenda or advisories to be included
Allocation of costs (i.e., who pays for what, such as the Natural Hazard Disclosure or other requested reports)
Escrow and title insurance fees
Other Costs (e.g., home inspection, the County transfer tax, the costs for HOA documents, the termite inspection and Section 1 repairs if any, the cost of a Home Warranty)
Items included in the sale (e.g,, appliances) and items to be excluded
While you will find there tend to be some standard practices (each party pays their own escrow) a number of matters are negotiable and are part of creating the best offer, terms and conditions to present to the seller.
The RPA will lay out critical dates for when certain things are to be done by one or the other party (again, these can vary), buyer and seller rights and obligations, and various contingencies (e.g., property investigation, reports and seller disclosures, review of HOA documents if applicable).
Crafting the best offer you can, with your agent’s help is essential, as poorly written or incomplete offers, missing signatures and initials, and other problems will not put your offer in the best light. You will want to review everything before you initial and sign, and be sure to ask questions about any of the content that you do not understand. Good luck!