You’re ready to buy a house and are wondering what you need to know. You’ve shopped and have picked out the perfect home and are ready to write an offer – how exciting!
Sales price. What you offer in terms of the sales price is going to depend on whether the home is priced competitively and how long it’s been on the market. Obviously, the longer a home has been on the market, we assume that the Seller is going to be more negotiable. But if the list price is now where it should have been to begin with, you may not want to insult the Seller with too low an offer. Have your Realtor pull comparable sales and guide you.
Earnest money. The amount of earnest money should be one percent of the sales price. If you want to make your offer appear stronger, write a larger amount. It will be cashed once all terms of the contract are agreed upon; however, it will be credited towards your down-payment at closing.
Closing date. We typically set our closing dates thirty days out. This amount of time is needed for the Lender to qualify you through Underwriting; and the Title company needs this amount of time to bring the abstract up to date and ensure a clear title. Asking for more than thirty days makes Sellers nervous, so keep it in line with the norm if possible.
Repairs. We’re going to ask the Seller to be responsible for an amount for repairs before we’ve had an opportunity to inspect the property. Keep this amount close to the amount of earnest money.
Closing costs. Many Buyers are asking Sellers to contribute to their closing costs and with most financing, you can ask for up to six percent of the sales price. However, if you want to keep your offer clean and attractive, try to come up with this money on your own. You might ask your Lender to increase your already-low interest rate slightly and cover your closing costs through that avenue.
Residential Service Agreement. It never hurts to ask for a home warranty, particularly if you are a first-time home Buyer. Keep in mind that the residential service agreement is another $500+ Seller expense, so consider purchasing this on your own IF you need to write an attractive offer.
What I need to know when buying a house
You are apt to negotiate a great deal if your offer does not look like a laundry list. If you need to ask for the washer, dryer and refrigerator, consider what those items would cost new and keep that in mind when determining your requests.
An experienced Realtor who knows property values in the neighborhood can help you craft a great offer. You are on the right track if you’ve selected a Tulsa Realtor to be your Buyer Broker!
Content written and published by Lori Cain.