Making an Offer
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Decide what you are
willing to offer
You want to be as calm
and objective as possible when you decide to make an offer on a
house, but finally locating a place that says "home" to you is a
pretty exciting and emotional experience.
It can be difficult to
put all that enthusiasm aside while you weigh the asking price
against what you think the seller might accept.
And, it can get tricky.
If the price you say you're prepared to pay is way too low, you run
the risk of irritating the seller, who might respond indignantly by
becoming completely inflexible. On the other hand, you don't want to
agree to a price that's higher than it should be, either. Your
mortgage lender is going to conduct an independent appraisal of the
property before any loan is approved. If the contracted price is in
excess of what the appraiser says the property is worth, financing
is going to be tough to obtain.
Seek the Advise of
Making your offer is
the stage at which your real estate agent's expertise is going to be
invaluable. An agent will be able to provide you with comparative
selling prices for similar properties in the neighborhood.
An agent also may be
able to tell you how long the house has been on the market. If it's
a new listing, chances are there's less room to maneuver than if the
house has been on the market for six months or a year.
You'll also want to
take into consideration the condition of the property. If major
repairs need to be made, this should be reflected in the price you
pay. Your agent can advise the seller that your offer reflects these
Just remember, in your
negotiations, you can always go up, but you can't come down. Because
a little haggling over price is often necessary in real estate, be
prepared for counter-offers, and general financial gamesmanship, and
don't let it get to you. Remain patient.