Making an Offer
Before the offer to purchase is created, you must be at least pre-qualified or, better yet, pre-approved by a lender. This is one of the best-negotiating tools a buyer can have. It shows the seller that you are financially able to purchase the home. After finding the right home, it is time to prepare the offer.
When buying a home, there are many problems that the seller is obligated to disclose. For example, in most states, it is illegal to withhold information about major physical defects on the property, but these disclosures don't always paint the entire picture of the home. Here are six questions you may want to ask that can offer additional insight about the prospective home before you make a final decision.
1) Why is the seller selling the house? This question may help you evaluate the "real value" of the property. Is there something about the place the seller does not like? If so, you may be able to adjust the purchase offer accordingly.
2) How much did the seller pay for the home? This question can, in some instances, help the buyer negotiate a better deal. However, it is essential to remember that the purchase price is influenced by factors like the current market conditions, supply and demand, and any improvements the seller may have made to the home. The original purchase price might not have anything to do with the house's current value.
3) What does the seller like most and least about the property? In a few cases, what a seller likes the most about a home might be something the buyer is looking to avoid. For example, if the seller describes his house as being in a "happening community," the buyer might consider this a negative factor because the area may be too noisy or busy for their taste. You might get some interesting information by asking the seller what they like most and least about the property.
4) Has the seller had any previous problems with the home? It is also a good idea to ask the seller if they have had any issues with the home while living there. Has the seller had problems with a leakage from the upstairs bedroom in the past? If so, even if the leak has been corrected, the floor and walls around the bathroom might have been damaged. You should also check that these items were repaired.
5) Are there any nuisances or problems with neighbors? Use this answer to find out about any noisy neighbors, barking dogs, heavy airplane traffic, or even planned changes to the community, such as a planned street widening. This may give you insight into why the seller is really moving.
6) How are the public schools in the area? Because the value of a community is usually greatly influenced by the public schools in the area, finding out the buyer's perception can give you some insight into the quality of the area's schools.
Knowing all you can about a prospective home helps you decide if it's the home of your dreams and what offer to make. Your real estate professional can help you get your key questions answered and advise how to evaluate your findings.