Buying a home, you are entering into a legally binding contract
that must be clearly understood both in terms of rights and obligations.
Today's real estate contracts are quite lengthy. Agents are trained
to understand and explain the contract along with the reports that
are involved in a real estate transaction. Have your agent give
you a sample contract to read over prior to you making your first
offer. Get explainations to areas you don't understand. This will
take a lot of pressure off you during the negotiation period. When
it comes to contracts, put everything in writing and fill in all
the blanks. Wording should be specific and carefully chosen. When
it comes to who pays for what or if it ever comes to litigation,
it's what is in writing that counts.
Presenting the Offer
When you find the right home, move on it quickly. Have your agent
run "comps" on similar sales in the neighborhood. Use
this information to base your initial offer. Before your agent writes
up the offer, he should attempt to find the sellers motivation.
Where are they moving? Why are they selling? How long has the home
been on the market? Do they have an offer on another house?
The agent will want to consider other aspects before
writing up an intelligent offer. Is the property still for sale
or are there offers pending? Is it a probate or foreclosure sale?
How much do the sellers owe, are they willing to carry back a loan?
Who pays for certain transfer fees may be decided by local custom.
Different scenarios will dictate how a contract will be written
up and presented.
Be Realistic with Your Offer
Negotiation time can be very emotional. If you give a lowball offer,
the seller may reject it and any other offers. Your agent will present
your offer with all the reasoning behind it. Your agent will be
more effective if you are not present at the negotiating table.
Let them do their job. They know more about the details of the offer
and can present your offer in a positive light. When an agent presents
an offer on your behalf, often there is another agent involved,
the listing agent. If your offer is reasonable, expect 1 or 2 counter
offers. You will be signing many papers during this time. Contract,
counter offers, disclosures, addendums, reports and so on. Make
sure to get a copy of everything you sign. You should have copies
with the signatures of all those involved in the transactions.
After the seller has accepted your offer, the process
of escrow and closing begins. Inspections need to be ordered and
schedualed in a timely manner. The loan process will begin and generate
an equal amount of paperwork. This can be a very emotional and confusing
time because of what is involved. The agent will follow the transaction
through the closing and will walk you through the steps and keep
Be patient, realistic and educated about the process.
The typical real estate transaction takes 30-45 days to close after
a contract is ratified. Click Here to Find A Lawyer
here to find out what homes are listed for sale in the Manasota Key
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