Negotiating your Home Purchase

When you've finally decided on your "dream house" and you are ready to make an offer - what's next?

Your REALTOR will assist you in preparing and submitting a signed real estate "offer to purchase" that includes the type of financing you desire, as well as any contingencies (which I'll go into tomorrow...)  .  This "offer" will be the sales contract once the seller accepts it. 

When you and the seller sign the offer, you both are agreeing to the contract conditions.  Before you sign the offer, read it carefully and make sure you understand every detail in it.  Ask questions of your REALTOR.  Verbal agreements should always be WRITTEN into the contract.  If you plan to have a lawyer represent or advise you, retain one as early as possible.  More tomorrow on contingencies...
  • September 16 2010 - Jupiter
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Answers (5)

Make sure your realtor has your lender information in hand. After the offer is accepted the real work of your realtor starts.
  • September 16 2010
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Indeed!!! Don't be afraid to ask quesions. Realtors do this for a living an  sometime the "lingo" gets in the way.
  • September 16 2010
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I always like to ask for a current CMA including recent sales and current listings before I sit down to write up a contract with my agent. It helps me be more prepared as a buyer and structure an offer that reflects the current market. It makes me feel better and helps prevent the seller from feeling insulted since the offer is based on current information.
  • September 16 2010
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
I can't wait for the rest of your serial postings. I so couldn't wait, I surfed the 'net and found this information, and this information.

Indeed, there were over 300,000,000 hits Google hits on "how to write an offer for a house". Many addressed specific locales, some specific types of financing, and yet others specific types of purchases.

My point is, there are any number of blogs and websites with the basic info - and they won't make the consumer wait to be fed it piecemeal. Bring something innovative to the table about writing an offer, something the consumer is not already inundated with.

As an example, a while back someone made a point about making sure that the sewer laterals are included as part of the house inspection. This will be an extra charge (about $275) as the typical inspector isn't equipped to handle this, so you will need to hire a plumber. However, replacing a sewer lateral can get majorly expensive. Even the fix-in-place technologies can run $3k-$7k. This should be part of the inspection contingency, but I've never heard of it being done.
  • September 16 2010
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The best recommendation I can give anyone looking for real estate services is to interview a minimum of three real estate agents and find one you know will have your very best interests at heart. Make sure you get referrals and never sign a buyer's broker agreement. The other thing I will share is it is usually not in a buyer's best interest in contacting the listing agent of any property as it can have a significant negative impact when you get to negotiating. 

You hit the nail on the head when you said that negotiating skills are one of the most important tools a qualified Realtor brings to the table. I just put a home under contract and wanted to share a couple comments I received. The first is from the listing agent who's client initially would not even counter what she thought was a 'low ball" offer. After carefully reviewing the reasoning as to why our offer was valid I received the following e-mail from her agent; 

Let me quote my Seller, " I really like this agent, he is truly trying to make this deal work and commend him for making a great attempt to convey the reasons for their offer." 

My client is a very sophisticated player who is in the securities industry and was a referral from his mother who is a long time Keller Williams agent from the northeast. Note that we negotiated a purchase price that was about 12% lower than an appraisal the seller had done about a month ago. After sending her a status update the note I received from his mother stated; 

"Thank you for the update! I have been in touch with my son every step of the way. He is very impressed with your negotiation techniques and emails me all information. My other children are following along as well. They all think I can learn a lot from you. I am very grateful that you are working with us and I will refer you whenever I can. Thanks again!" 

Negotiating is truly the art of the deal.



  • September 19 2010
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