Making an Offer

Before the offer to purchase is created, it is very important that you have been 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 you have found the right home, it is time to prepare the offer.

When you are 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) What does the seller need? This question may help you evaluate the motivation of the seller. Is there something you can do to stand out in the crowd? If so, you may be able to adjust the purchase offer accordingly or include things like a lease back. Most times a seller is selling because they just want to move to a new area or cash in on their house, but if you can figure out what they want it can make a big difference.

2) Does the seller already have a new home? This question can, in some instances, help the buyer negotiate a better deal. If you can close on their timeline it can help them which will certainly make things more favorable for you. The purchase price is no the only thing that motivates the seller. They have different pieces of their life to coordinate, help them with this.

3) What does the seller like most about the property? By asking the seller what he or she likes most about the property, you might get some interesting information. In a few cases, what a seller likes the most about a home might actually be something the buyer is looking to avoid. But this can also help you figure out how to best tailor your offer to look attractive to them!

4) Has the seller had any problems with the home in the past?  Has the seller had problems with a leakage from the upstairs bathroom 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 properly. You will get a sellers disclosure on anything under 2 units with a list of all issues, make sure to read it carefully!

5) 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 about the quality of the area's schools. You can search this information easliy but you can also ask your agent how and where to find this informatuion.

Knowing all you can about a prospective home, not only helps you decide if it's the home of your dreams, but what offer to make as well. Your real estate professional can help you get your key questions answered and give you advice on how to evaluate your findings.