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After you decide on which home to purchase, now it would be a time to write an offer and negotiate the best price.
Once you found the house you are 100% sure and convinced that is the one you want to own, do not try to sleep on it. You may be disappointed the following day when your realtor calls you and informs you “that one just sold”. This happens many times especially when there is an attractive home priced right from the very beginning.
When ready to make an offer meet with your realtor who can help you write an offer and present it to the seller on your behalf. The first important thing for you is to analyze the market of similar homes that sold in the closest neighborhood in the last 6 months to check if sellers are not out of line. You should ask your realtor to assist you with this. If you find out that sellers are 10-20% above similar homes that sold lately and the market is not appreciating a lot at the time you may want to look for another house especially if it is a newer listing. Some sellers need the time to realize that they are overpriced and it is usually difficult at the beginning of their selling process to bring them down that much. Keep in mind it is easy to buy but a lot harder to sell. If the sellers are in line with their asking price try to find out what is the sellers’ situation: how long the house has been on the market (the longer on the market the more you can bid down), have the sellers already bought another home? If yes they will be more eager to sell.
You may find yourself in the situation where there will be more buyers interested in the same house at the same time (usually hot listing priced a few percent below market value for a quick sale). If you absolutely fell in love with that home, be prepared to make an offer that is above the asking price. That will be the only way to have a chance to get it.
Considering the market is steady and all comparables (sold properties) sold on an average 3-5% below asking price in similar time frame you may try making an offer that is anywhere from 7-8 % lower than the asking price.
Depending on the market conditions, sellers’ situation, asking price, and number of buyers interested in the house at the time you will be making an appropriate offer trying to get the best deal for yourself. Experienced agent will help you to properly assess the situation and guide you through the process.
To make the offer stronger include reasonable dates for mortgage contingency, closing the transaction, and enough of earnest money that will assure the seller you are a serious buyer. Once the offer is written your agent should present it as soon as it is possible. The guidelines for submitting offers may differ from state to state. The usual process goes like this:
a. You write the offer with your realtor
b. Your realtor contacts the selling agent letting him know about the offer
c. Depending on the directions selling agent received from the seller about how to present the offers, he/she will ask your agent to either forward to him/her the offer or to bring the offer to the sellers’ house and present it directly to the seller when listing agent is present
d. The seller after reviewing your offer with his agent will either accept, reject, or make a counter offer
e. Depending on what would be the answer you will act accordingly until deal is either reached or not