The key to making a successful offer? Find the best real estate agent near me
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In a real estate transaction, your offer (or the buyer’s offer, if you’re the seller) marks the beginning of a back-and-forth between you and the buyer/seller, typically with a real estate agents advising each of you.
We’ll talk about the offer the from the buyer’s point of view, when your goal is to “make them an offer they can’t refuse” (Godfather voice).
Here’s 8 tips to make a great offer.
Tip #1 - Know your non-negotiables (Be willing to walk away)
Homes always have a listing price. Think of it as the seller’s opening bid in your negotiation to buy a home.
As the buyer, your offer will include an offer price. This is the first thing home sellers look at when they receive a bid.
Your agent will help you determine whether the seller’s listing price is fair by running comps (or comparables), a process that involves comparing the house you’re bidding on to similar properties that recently sold in the neighborhood.
Several factors can also affect your bargaining position and offer price. For example, if the home has been sitting on the market for a while or you’re in a buyer’s market where supply exceeds demand, the seller may be willing to accept an offer that’s below the list price. Or if the seller has already received another offer on the home, that may impact the price you’re willing to offer. Your agent will help you understand the context here.
Tip #2 - Find "the best real estate agent near me"
How? Interview agents and choose the one you want to work with. The better you and your agent work together, the more quickly you'll be able to move, and you both will benefit (they will be paid for helping you, and you will hopefully win the bid). However, the ultimate decision is up to you – you are the buyer; your agent is there to advise and assist.. Know yourself–your lifestyle, budget, and the number in mid that you absolutely cannot go above. If the seller won’t accept that number, then you walk away and this house wasn’t meant to be, you find another one.
“Make a Strong but Fair Offer - When you’re up against other offers, putting your best offer forward from the start is key. Lean on your agent to write a strong offer and use their expertise on which levers you can pull to make your offer as enticing as possible. One option is to wave some of your contract contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized). Just remember there are certain contingencies you don’t want to give up, like the home inspection.”
Source: How to Navigate a Market Where Multiple Offers is the New Normal (Metropolist, Mar. 11, 2022) - provided by NAR.realtor/multiple-offers
Tip #3 - Other things to consider
-Top price you can offer to maintain your budget and other financial goals like retirement and lifestyle.
-Must haves for the home (if you want a veggie garden but the HOA won’t allow it, can you live with that?)
-considerations for pets, children, older relatives, etc.
-I know this from personal experience - if you live in a townhouse especially, but it could also apply to a single family home, inspect the neighborhood. Drive by during lunchtime and the neighbors are already blasting their speakers that can be heard through the shared wall? For me, that would be a dealbreaker.
Tip #4 - Learn to speak Contract
An offer is technically a contract. LawDepot.com has purchase agreements for each state that you can review so you get the gist of what a contract says. Additionally, you can hire a real estate attorney. Your agent can walk you through the contract and homebuying process, but they do not have a law degree. If you have any questions or concerns, it’s a high stakes purchase, I firmly recommend that you hire a real estate attorney so you’re familiar with their vocabulary when you’re ready to pull the trigger on an offer with your agent. Your agent will have offer forms for your state.
Tip #5 - Figure out your downpayment situation
To get a mortgage, you have to make a down payment on your loan. For conventional loans (as opposed to government loans), making a 20% down payment enables borrowers to avoid having to pay private mortgage insurance, a monthly premium that protects the lender in case the borrower defaults on the loan.
But 20% isn’t always feasible — or even necessary. In fact, the median down payment in 2021 for buyers overall was 13%, and 7% for first-time buyers, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Your lender will help you determine what the best down payment amount is for your finances. Depending on the type of loan you get, you may even be able to put down as little as 0% on your mortgage.
You might qualify for one of the more than 2,400 down payment assistance programs nationwide. Many of them make funds available to households earning as much as 175% of area median income. In other words, middle-income households. And the savings can be substantial: Home buyers who use down payment assistance programs save an average of $17,766 over the life of their loan, according to real estate resource RealtyTrac. Find out more about down payment assistance programs in your state.
Find the right Realtor
Ensuring you have a pleasant transaction depends on having a real estate agent that is personable, honest and trustworthy and knows Northern Virginia, Loudoun County, Brambleton, Ashburn, Aldie and the surrounding area. Don't be shy, reach out.