Making the Offer
Everyone worries about paying too much or buying a house
with "hidden" defects. You can avoid problems like these and
prepare yourself for each step. To buy a home, you always
have to do some negotiating. Even if the seller doesn't haggle
over the offering price, you still need to negotiate whether
to include appliances and other household items in the sale,
and what contingencies to include in the sales agreement.
Should I start low and negotiate?
Every potential transaction will be different. Sometimes
a seller will overprice a property assuming that a buyer will
want to start with a low offer. Often when a seller chooses
an experienced agent to list their home, the asking price
will already be right on target. In either case, maintain
some emotional distance so you can negotiate well, and refer
to your comparative market analysis (CMA) often so you don't
pay more than "fair market value."
Time is of the essence?
You may have to act more quickly in a hot (seller's) market,
but consider your decision carefully, weigh the asking price
against the home's true market value. Prioritize your tasks
so you don't get overwhelmed. You have to meet certain deadlines
imposed by the sales contract, but many other things--like
planning a remodel--can be put off until after you move in.
Be prepared for unexpected problems
Every transaction hits a few snags, but most of them are
solvable problems. Think through some common problems, and
how you can resolve them.