Found your dream home? Before you start packing, you’ll need to make an offer on the house.
A Realtor or attorney can help you with the paperwork that comes with writing an offer. An offer includes the terms you are asking for, the price you want to pay and when you want to close on the home. It is accompanied by a check from you, a good faith deposit, showing you’re a serious buyer. This deposit goes toward the inevitable down payment.
Once the seller accepts your offer, you have a legally binding contract. Their offer will usually come with some contingencies including that the buyer needs to secure financing and a home inspection. Make sure you can live with the contingencies before signing. If they’ve come back with a price or terms you don’t agree with, don’t be afraid to come back with a counteroffer, one that may be somewhere in the middle of the first two.
To know what you’re getting yourself into, every homebuyer should get an inspection of their future home. An inspector should scrutinize every single inch of the house, from roof to basement, and give you a report at the end spelling out any defects, problems or flaws. An inspection should run you at least $150.
If the inspection uncovers a serious problem, you can either walk away from the deal, negotiate for a lower price or ask the seller to fix it. This is why you should have a home inspection contingency written into your initial offer for the home. If you discover a major problem like a rotten foundation, leaking basement, bad plumbing or hazardous materials, you have an easy way out of the offer.
Make sure you’re there for the inspection and to follow the inspector around, you’ll learn a lot about your (potential) new home. A good inspector will give you both a verbal and written report on the house.
Like what you heard with your inspection? Then, your next step is Closing the Deal.