Sheryl Simon's Blog
Selling a home takes patience. Especially when you’re balancing your time between settling into your new home, and keeping up with your work and family life. So, when you’ve finally gotten to the point of accepting an offer on your home, you’ll probably breathe a sigh of relief--and you should! However, there are still a few more things that will need to happen and a couple of things to consider before closing the deal on your home sale.
Contingencies on the purchase contract
A purchase contract typically includes contingency clauses that are designed to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller. These clauses mean that the contract is contingent upon the actions being completed before it can be legally valid.
There are three main contingencies that will likely be included in the purchase contract before closing--inspection, financing, and appraisal.
The inspection contingency allows the buyer to have the home inspected by a professional before closing (the time should be specified within the contract, but the inspection should usually occur no more than two weeks after you accept the offer). A home inspection lets the buyer know what to expect in terms of repairs that the home needs now or will need in the near future.
Since the vast majority of buyers will be purchasing their home through a loan, a financing contingency is included to allow the buyer time to secure their mortgage. Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved makes this process easier, but the buyer will still have to finalize and close on their mortgage before their financing is official.
This clause exists to protect the buyer in the event that their mortgage application is denied, ensuring that they aren’t penalized.
The third contingency most often found in purchase contracts is a home appraisal. The buyer will order an appraisal and then the appraiser will reach out to you to find a day to come and value your home.
If the home is then appraised at the amount agreed upon in your contract, this contingency is met. However, if the appraisal comes up lower than the purchase amount, the buyer can renegotiate the price.
Walkthrough and closing
Once the appraisal and inspection have been met and financing secured, the buyer will have a chance to do a final walkthrough of your home. The walkthrough usually occurs no more than two days prior to closing on the sale. A walkthrough allows the buyer view the home one last time to ensure that the condition of the home hasn’t drastically changed since the home was inspected or appraised. So, make sure the buyer is aware of any changes you planned to make to the home before closing.
Now you’re ready to close on your home sale. You’ll receive a disclosure form to review (read it carefully!) and sign. Once closing is complete, ownership of the home is officially transferred to the buyer.
While the closing process does include several steps, it’s important to be available and cooperative along the way to ensure a smooth sale and transition into your new home.
If you get an offer to buy your house, there is no need to make a snap decision. Instead, it generally is a good idea to allocate the necessary time and resources to analyze an offer and determine the best course of action.
Ultimately, there are lots of reasons why you should analyze a home offer, and these include:
1. You can boost the likelihood of getting the best price for your house.
An offer may fall at, above or below your house's initial asking price. However, regardless of the offer that you receive, it pays to perform a full evaluation to ensure you can maximize the value of your residence.
For many home sellers, it is beneficial to conduct a home appraisal prior to listing a residence. That way, when a home offer arrives, a seller can compare the proposal to a property valuation and proceed accordingly.
2. You can weigh the pros and cons of all of your options.
Let's face it – deciding whether to accept, reject or counter a homebuying proposal can be tough. Luckily, analyzing an offer enables you to weight the pros and cons of each option, making it easier than ever before to make an informed choice.
Oftentimes, creating a list of pros and cons can be helpful. This list will enable you to assess the advantages and disadvantages of each potential home selling decision. Then, you can use your list to guide the decision-making process.
3. You can receive expert housing market insights before you finalize your decision.
Imagine what it would be like to take a data-driven approach to decide whether to approve a homebuying proposal. Now, you can, thanks to the wealth of housing market data that is readily available to sellers.
As a home seller, you should have no trouble examining the prices of comparable houses that recently sold in your city or town. You then can use this housing market data to determine whether a proposal is "fair" based on the current real estate market's conditions.
Of course, as you assess a home offer, it often helps to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional knows exactly what it takes to sell a house – regardless of the real estate market's conditions. As such, he or she will enable you to conduct an in-depth review of any homebuying proposal, at any time.
A real estate agent also is happy to help you after you determine whether to accept, reject or counter a proposal. If you accept an offer, a real estate agent will help you move forward with the home selling journey. Or, if you reject an offer, a real estate agent will show you how to promote your house to potential buyers to boost your chances of receiving better proposals in the future. And if you counter an offer, a real estate agent can negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf.
Evaluate a home offer closely – you'll be glad you did. If you perform a deep analysis of a homebuying proposal, you can assess a home offer from multiple angles and make the best-possible decision based on your individual needs.
A "lowball" homebuying proposal is unlikely to do you any favors, particularly if you want to acquire your dream residence as quickly as possible. In fact, after you submit a lowball offer, it may be only a matter of time before you receive a "No" from a home seller.
When it comes to buying a house, it helps to prepare a competitive offer. That way, you can increase the likelihood of getting a seller to accept your home offer and speed up the homebuying journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid the risk of submitting a lowball offer on your dream residence.
1. Analyze the Housing Market
Are you searching for a house in a buyer's or seller's market? Are homes selling quickly in the current real estate market? And are houses selling at, above or below their initial asking prices? These are just some of the questions that homebuyers need to consider as they assess the real estate sector.
With a diligent approach to buying a house, a homebuyer can become a real estate market expert. This buyer can assess a wide assortment of housing market data, and by doing so, gain the insights that he or she needs to submit a competitive offer on any residence.
2. Understand a Home's Condition
A home purchase is one of the biggest transactions that an individual will complete over the course of his or her lifetime. As such, the decision to submit an offer on a house should not be taken lightly.
To make the best-possible choice, it helps to look at all of the available information about a residence. You should review a home listing closely and attend a home showing. In many instances, it may be beneficial to check out a house a few times to get an up-close look at it before you submit an offer.
The condition of a home will play a major role in how much you are willing to offer to acquire a residence. Therefore, you should learn as much as possible about a house's condition. And if you feel comfortable with a home, you should be ready to submit an offer that will match a seller's expectations.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Hiring a real estate agent generally is a good idea, particularly for a homebuyer who wants to reduce the risk of submitting a lowball offer on a house. A real estate agent can help a homebuyer prepare a competitive offer, as well as ensure that a buyer can enjoy a seamless home transaction.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will allocate the necessary time and resources to help you analyze a house. He or she will even offer homebuying recommendations and teach you everything you need to know about the homebuying cycle.
Avoid the temptation to submit a lowball offer on a house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can submit a competitive proposal to acquire your dream residence.
Putting an offer on a home is an exciting event. You don’t want to get so excited that you overlook the important factors that go into buying a home. Follow the tips below before you put an offer on a property.
In order to come up with a price to offer on a home, you need to do some research. You should have a general understanding of the local market. Although your realtor will have a good grasp on this, it’s always a good idea to be an informed buyer. You can work with your realtor to find the right price. You don’t want to blurt out a number that is completely out of line for the neighborhood or market conditions.
A good place to start is by taking a look at what the homes in the the neighborhood are selling for. You can also look at what homes in the area have recently sold for. The advantage to hiring a realtor is that they have easy access to all of this research and information. Be sure that the properties that you look at are comparable to the one that you hope to put an offer on. You can even do this ahead of time if you have an idea of what kind of property you’re looking to buy.
Another useful tool in the research part of making a offer is the history of the property. When did the seller purchase the property? At what price? If the seller has moved in more recently, you may have some wiggle room for negotiations.
Getting pre-approved gives you some buying power. First, you’ll know how much house you can afford. Next, you’ll know that a lender is dedicated to lending you that amount to buy a home. Your offer will be taken more seriously if you have been pre-approved because the seller will know that you can get the funds to purchase the home.
Get The Help Of A Realtor
When you hire a realtor, you’re getting the agent along with the team of people that they work with. Realtors can recommend you to everyone from home inspectors real estate attorneys. An attorney is an especially helpful advocate in the process of buying a home because they can check to be sure that your offer meets the legal requirements within your state and protect your interests as a buyer.
The attorney will also look at the purchase agreement for the home. This will include all of the details of the property transaction:
- The date of the offer
- The address and property description
- Amount offered for the home
- Loan details including the down payment amount
- The closing date
- Any contingencies
These will all be very important to you as a buyer and a lawyer make sure that everything is legally sound will be a great protection for you.
Now, you’ll be ready to seal the deal!