You’ve done it— you’ve found the home you want to buy! Now you’re ready to make an offer and tackle the next steps that will make you a homeowner.
First, it’s time to determine your offer price. You want to show that you’re a serious buyer, but there’s no reason to go overboard.
You also need to prepare for some smart negotiation. Here are some tips on making a winning offer and getting a home for a price you’re happy with.
Evaluate the Home and Look Closely at the Price
Look at the home’s current value and comparable homes in the area. From there, you’ll discuss several other factors with your agent. These include factors such as how long the house has been on the market, current market conditions, and any information from the seller’s agent about other offers they are expecting.
- Don’t just go with the asking price. A home’s asking price might be too high or too low, so do your own research to see what price makes the most sense based on recent sales of similar homes.
- Closely compare the features of your home to the others that recently sold. Determine if the home has any features that add value to the home or any defects that could lower the asking price.
- Consider all variables. Has this home been on the market for a while, or has it just been listed? If it’s fresh on the market, it may sell quickly.
- Find out information on competing bids. At this stage, your agent should be in communication with the seller’s agent to find out whether there will be multiple offers coming in. Based on that information, you might want to make an offer above the asking price.
- Determine your walk-away price and stick to it. Make a clear decision about what price you feel comfortable paying. Whether you win or lose, sticking to this number will make you feel comfortable no matter the outcome.
Make a Winning Offer and be Willing to Negotiate
- Keep your offer simple with as few stipulations as possible. This makes it easier for the seller to accept your offer and can help seal the deal quickly.
- On the other hand, be flexible. If you can accommodate the seller, do so. For example, they may want to rent back from you for a month until they can move out of the home.
- Be cordial and not critical of the home. Sellers can be sentimental and may select buyers for more personal reasons than just the offer price. Use that to your advantage!
- Make your offer contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. The home inspection is critical. Never skip this step! If any significant defects are found, make sure you can back out of the sale or renegotiate the price.
Show that you are a Serious Buyer
If you want to make a winning offer, you must demonstrate that you are serious about buying this home. You can do so in the following ways:
- Include your approval letter and put up a reasonable amount for your earnest money deposit. Show the sellers you are serious and financially capable of buying this home. At the very least, be ready to show an approval letter from a reputable lender who has already checked your documents and run your credit.
- Your earnest deposit should send an encouraging signal to the sellers. Depending on the situation, you’ll need to make a deposit of 1% to 5%. Your deposit will show the sellers you really want this home and are making a serious offer.
There are many steps you need to take before getting to this place. When you’re ready to start the process of buying a home, give me a call or send me an email! Let’s work together to buy the home of your dreams.
I'm Lauren Haug! I'm a teacher-turned-real estate agent, and I teach people how to build wealth through real estate in Northern Colorado.
443 E 4th Street #100
Loveland, CO 80537
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