One of the toughest parts of buying a home for many people is actually finding one that you love. Some homebuyers look for weeks or even months before they find the house that’s just right for them. It can be very exciting to finally zero in on a North County home to buy – one that you can imagine you and your family living in happily for years to come. So what happens next? Let’s discuss the steps involved in making a competitive offer on the North County home of your dreams.
Get pre-approved for a home loan
Maybe you’ve heard us say this before, but it’s only because it’s so important – if you want your offer to be taken seriously, you must get pre-approved for a mortgage. The real estate market in North County San Diego can be very competitive, and your offer is unlikely to garner a favorable response if you’re not preapproved. Getting pre-approved signals to the seller that you’re a serious buyer. And you can bet that other offers they receive are from buyers who have been pre-approved. Don’t skip this step!
Determine what you’ll offer
So you’re ready to make an offer – but exactly how much are you going to offer? You don’t always have to offer the asking price, especially in times when the market is slow. Research what the comps are in the area and lean on your agent for advice. They will be able to help you determine what a competitive offer will be. Remember, too, that you may be able to get a break on the price if you’re willing to pay all cash or if the home has been on the market for a long time. Limiting contingencies can also help you get a better price. Be aware, though, that during times when the market is hot, you will likely be offering the full amount as quickly as you can.
Get your paperwork together
Formal paperwork is required to submit your offer and your agent will help you prepare it. The written offer is often referred to as the purchase agreement. This document will become a legally binding sales contract if your offer is accepted. Your document should include information such as a description of the property, the amount offered, the terms of the deal, how much you’ll put down for a down payment, and a target closing date. You’ll also include details of the escrow, any contingencies such as a home inspection, the date of possession and the expiration date of the offer.
Pay your earnest money
When you submit your offer letter or purchase agreement, you will also submit your earnest money. Earnest money is a deposit that you submit in good faith and those funds will be applied toward your down payment. They will be held in escrow until closing. Note that in most cases your earnest money is not refundable should you back out of the contract for a reason other than what is stated in the agreement.
Wait for a response
Once your offer is submitted by one of our agents, then you’ll be waiting for a response from the seller’s agent. There are three ways they can respond to your offer. They can reject the offer, they can accept the offer, or they can come back with a counteroffer. The counteroffer will have suggestions about how to modify your offer so that it is acceptable. This negotiation process can continue until both parties agree on the offer and terms.
Contact the Clark & Gilman Team
Are you ready to make an offer on a house you love? Then contact the Cristine Clark & Jamie Gilman Team at 760-758-1211 or [email protected]. Let’s make 2020 the year you move into your dream North County home!