Preparing to own your first home is an exciting step. The entire process of buying a house, and making an offer, can be intimidating. Especially if it’s your first time.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
It’s important to be confident going into the housing market. With this guide, you will learn all about the steps of making an offer on a house from start to finish.
Before You Make an Offer on a House
Buying a house isn’t as simple as finding one and sending in your offer. It’s best to be prepared before you even start looking at homes. Indeed, it will make the process go as smoothly as possible.
Of course, you’ll need to find a real estate agent to show you houses in your area of interest, with the amenities you need, and within your budget.
Even more essential is going through the preapproval process for a mortgage. You can always get pre-approved after you find the house of your dreams. But, it takes time and by the time you get everything together your house might not be on the market anymore.
Figure out your options as soon as you decide you want to buy a house. Whether you already have a bank in mind or it’s better for you to get a specialized loan such as a physician mortgage.
Whatever your circumstances, make sure you have your pre-approved status before you start house hunting. Things will be so much easier when it comes time to make your offer.
Finding the Right House for You
Everyone goes about house hunting in their own way. That’s because there are so many different ways to look for places to live nowadays.
The best way to find your perfect house is to combine resources.
Go to open houses, look at listings picked by your real estate agent. Then, set up searches on different real estate websites so you get notifications when new homes are listed.
Never look at houses outside of your budget.
Make sure you have an idea of what you can and can’t compromise on while looking at houses. You may be able to find that one place that matches all of your criteria but never go above your budget just to fill other wants.
Decide on Your Offer Price
A lot of factors can help you decide what number to put out there when you’re ready to make an offer.
Take into consideration how long the house has been on the market, what similar homes in the area have sold for. And, what kind of repairs the house needs, and what kind of competition you have from other buyers.
It may be helpful to ask your real estate agent what will help you sweeten your offer.
On top of your offer price, you will also need to include any home sale contingencies, such as home inspection and appraisal, which will give you an out if things don’t add up the way you thought.
Write Your Offer Letter
If you’re working with a real estate agent, they will probably draft an offer letter for you. It will then be sent to the seller so they can decide whether or not they want to accept your offer.
In the event you have to or want to write your own offer letter, make sure you include all of the important details like the price, earnest money, closing costs, contingencies, and the expiration of your offer.
This is where you sell yourself, so make sure you take your time writing it.
Seller Responds to Your Offer
There are three ways a seller can reply to your offer letter: accept, counteroffer, or decline.
If they outright accept your offer, congratulations! You can move on to signing an agreement to buy your new home.
In the case of a counteroffer, you decide whether you want to negotiate or not. You may be able to change small things like repair requests or your timeline in order to keep your original price. Or the seller might just be after more money.
If your offer is declined, it’s time to move on to the next option. Maybe this one just wasn’t meant for you after all.
Buying a house starts when you decide you’re ready to take that leap. Everything after that may seem like a lot of work but as long as you get all your ducks in a row and keep them there, you have nothing to fear.
By the time you get to the point of submitting your offer, you’ll know exactly what you’re able and willing to put on the table.