You finally found it. Now you want to buy it. How to make an offer on a house you love is the next big important step to homeownership!
What do you need to know to get your offer accepted?
We break it down here.
Should I Offer Asking Price on a House?
As far as making the offer, you’ll often hear that the offer should be a certain percentage below what the seller is asking.
You may also hear that the offer should be less than what you’re actually willing to pay.
We suggest that there’s another huge factor to consider here: supply and demand. If there are multiple buyers for the same home, the seller is most likely going to get full-priced offers. Sometimes, if the market is “hot,” buyers will even offer more than the listing price.
If real estate demand is weak in your area, an offer that is below the seller’s asking price can be a good strategy.
Always consider market conditions first before moving forward with a contract offer.
How to Make an Offer on a House
Making an offer on a house varies around the country. Typically, though, your realtor completes a proposed contract and the owner’s agent presents it to the seller.
If the seller likes your terms, the contract is accepted. If not, the seller can make a counter-offer or outright reject your offer.
The Bigger Question: “When making an offer on a house, what is fair?”
In our experience as a title and settlement company in Staunton and Waynesboro, VA, sellers are generally offended by ridiculously low offers as you would be if it were your house.
That’s why we recommend that you write your offer with integrity. Consider if the house was yours. How would you view the contract that’s about to be presented?
If you would be offended by the amount offered, then most likely the seller will be, too. If you make what you consider to be a fair offer with attractive terms, your offer is most likely going to be considered.
And that’s fair.
Inspections: How Many Should You Include with Your Offer
A termite inspection in Virginia is required by the lender. as are surveys and appraisals.
However, home inspections are optional. For the buyer’s protection, get a home inspection! You don’t want to buy a home and then discover there are problems. That’s never good especially if it could end up going to court to settle.
It’s better to spend the money on the inspection upfront and save yourself possible heartache down the road.
Title Insurance: Should You or Shouldn’t You?
Lenders require the buyer to purchase title insurance for the lender. That should tell you how important it is.
However, buying title insurance to protect the buyer is optional. Should you cross it off your closing cost statement?
Before you do, know that title insurance is a one-time investment that protects you against possible future claims against your home.
While a title search of your property looks for defects in the title (no legal claims against the property), it doesn’t protect you against what wasn’t legally recorded, such as:
- Mechanics lien
- Defective recording of document
- Another person has an interest in your title
For these reasons, it’s a good idea to include homeowner’s title insurance as part of your closing costs.
How to make an offer on a house is a critical step and one that shouldn’t be done without the assistance of an experienced real estate agent.
The legalities of homebuying cannot be overstated. It’s an exciting prospect to own a home, but buyer beware. Protect yourself in the process!
Lilly Title & Settlement is a woman-owned agency in Staunton, VA. When you’re ready to settle your real estate transaction, consider giving us a call. Learn more about us here.