You’ve done it! You’ve pulled the trigger on an offer and the seller has accepted! Now what? Once the seller accepts your offer, even after there has been some negotiation, the transaction moves on to inspection. This is where your earnest money will be deposited and you or your real estate agent can set up the inspection. You are free to choose whomever you want as your inspector but often times your buyer’s agent will have a list of references and reputable home inspectors for you to choose from. It is not mandatory for you or your agent to be present during the home inspection but it is strongly recommended that you attend.
Home inspectors know a broad range of information about a lot of different things when it comes to the house. They usually are not experts on every detail of the home. If they recommend having an additional inspection, such as to the roof or to the septic system, it’s important to listen. Some home inspectors do know a lot about many different features of the home, especially if they have been in the business for several years. The more experienced the inspector, the more trustworthy their information and advice can be.
It is always important to accompany your home inspector throughout the property asking questions and learning about your home. Remember, this is one of the most expensive investments you’ll ever purchase and it’s important to know as much as you can about the property, protecting it, and maintaining it. Home inspectors will issue a report of all of their findings which then you can use to negotiate further requests for the seller.
A good rule of thumb is that if there is a lot of issues wrong with the house and you “ask for all of them to be repaired you may get nothing” and end up with the rejected or terminated real estate contract altogether. Discuss your findings with your real estate agent to determine the best way to approach the inspection report and request addendum. If there are hazardous or unsafe items, large problem areas or issues that should definitely be addressed before the home is even sold, these are items to certainly ask for. Simple items such as a missing light switch plate or holes in the walls from picture frames are probably not worth losing the deal over.
You have several choices on the inspection addendum:
- You can accept the home inspection as is and move the transaction on to closing
- You can request money off of the purchase price to cover any repairs after the closing
- You can request certain repairs or replacements be completed before closing
- You can simply reject the entire inspection and terminate the transaction walking away with your earnest money deposit.
The inspection doesn’t have to be a scary event but it is something that is critical to loving and appreciating your new home. The home inspection will also be paid out of pocket at the time of the inspection. Home inspections can run anywhere from $300-$800 depending on the type of inspection needed. Additional inspections from specialists can run as high as $1200 depending on what they are inspecting.
Finding out all you can about your new property can help you make wise financial decisions on repairs or major replacements in the future. If you have more questions feel free to give us a call at any time.
Thank you to Tina Saporito for her guest post this week. Tina is an expert in Palm Desert real estate in helping buyers and sellers in her area.
You want your offer to be accepted but what if there are multiple offers on the table? How do your offers stack up to the others and how can you make it stand out. Because we worked with buyers for decades we know key negotiating strategies that will help our buyer’s offer get accepted, but there are some tricks of the trade. Here are five ways you can get your real estate offer accepted.
Work with a real estate agent.
Anyone can technically make an offer on a property but if you don’t know all of the legal jargon and real estate terms, you could be missing out on how to write up a solid and tight offer. Always have your own agent representing you, the buyer, when submitting an offer.
Make sure your offer is first.
Some sellers will hold off accepting offers just in case they might get more offers. However, being the earlybird can have benefits. Try to ask your agent to get in an offer early and always be the first one.
Be careful about contingencies.
Sellers technically have the upper hand in a multiple offer situation so the price isn’t the only thing that will get your offer accepted. Minimal contingencies can also be very attractive. While we don’t highly recommend waving home inspection, it can entice sellers to accept your offer knowing that there are minimal things standing in the way from you buying the home.
Consider a higher price.
Sellers are more likely to review your offer if it is over the asking price. You have to be careful, though, because you want the home to appraise for the inflated asking price. If you are in a hot market, writing an offer over the asking price you feel the deal for the seller.
Write a letter.
Agents have long since touted the benefit of writing a letter to the seller but this isn’t always a good idea. We had a seller who received seven offers in two weeks, five of them had letters and they ended up going with the offer that didn’t provide a letter. So it depends on the seller. Having your buyer’s agent talk to the listing agent may make this tactic more clear.
Again, working with a seasoned and experienced real estate agent on how to write up a solid and tight offer is really the key to getting your offer noticed and accepted.
We all want to make wise decisions, especially when it comes to buying a house. I mean, this is going to be one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make and you certainly don’t want any regrets. While there are a lot of things you’ll want to follow when it comes to buying a house, there is some bad advice out there as well. Listen up for some of the worst advice we’ve ever heard given to homebuyers.
Skip the home inspection.
Even if you think you will buy the house regardless of the results, a home inspection is a crucial point to the process. We’ve had people tell our buyers, “oh don’t worry about the home inspection, especially if you love the house, it doesn’t matter what’s wrong with it.” And that’s simply not true. You could be in a world of hurt and a mountain of debt if the home inspection reveals something that could’ve saved you all of that money. Always spend the extra few hundred dollars and get a professional home inspection. You never know what is going to turn up, and even if you’re satisfied with the results, at least you understand more about your investment.
You should always make a lowball offer.
We’ve heard buyers say that no one should ever make a full price offer, regardless of the market. And that’s fine if you want to lose the house. It really comes down to the type of housing market we’re in. If it’s a seller’s market, a lowball offer or even an offer under asking price is likely to get thrown out right away. Unless it’s a buyer’s market where sellers are motivated to sell as quickly as possible, a lowball offer will probably get rejected. It’s important to trust your real estate agent when it comes to the right offer price.
You can get into the house before closing.
Let me make this extremely clear, I cannot give you the keys until the deal closes. Sellers may allow you to get back into the house before closing for measurements, final walk-throughs, and home inspections, but other than that, they really don’t need to let you in for any legal reason and you absolutely cannot get into the house until the deed records in the county. It is not your house and you would technically be breaking and entering if you’ve got into the house prior to closing without your agent or permission.
On the opposite side, letting a seller stay in the house past the closing date could open yourself up to a world of problems. The closing date needs to be the end-all, be-all when it comes to ownership.
The listing agent can also help you buy the house.
Now, while this is legal, it’s not ethical. This is why we have buyers agents and selling agents both in the same office. We feel that there needs to be two different agents working on the same transaction so that each party is represented properly and with fiduciary duty. A buyers agent should represent the buyer in a transaction and the listing agent should only represent the seller. Having the same agent do both sides of the transaction, also called dual agency, is really a conflict of interest and it comes down to who the agent is really working for.
We want you to buy a house without any regrets so these are some of the top issues we see, especially with first-time homebuyers. We want you to be happy with your purchase, have no regrets, and fill confident and satisfied long after the deal closes.
Whether you are a Patriots fan or a Rams fan, Super Bowl is happening this Sunday, February 3 and it is unofficially the start of the home buying season. Although with the weather around the country, spring seems like light years away, actually, it’s right around the corner and many feel that the Super Bowl Sunday is the major kickoff to the spring home-buying season. Many homebuyers that have been delaying looking at homes or jumping on the ball of the lender situation will now be in full swing come Monday morning.
So what does this mean for buyers and sellers right now?
As a seller, if your home is already listed on the market don’t be surprised by an influx of showings or interest starting next week. We are seeing some of the more milder temperatures around the country, not like some of our northern states hit with this polar vortex. Because of that, more buyers are willing to venture out and see homes, start conversations with their lender, and get in touch with a buyers agent in their area. But, this also means that buyers will have more competition.
Because there will be more buyers on the market you’ll see some competition, but I don’t think it will be a competition like we saw last year at this time. The market, while still balanced in a lot of places, is not as hot as it was just a year or two ago. Homes are sitting on the market a little bit longer, which means that buyers have a bit of an advantage. Although we’re not quite into a buyers market, depending on the neighborhood or community, you may have a little bit more time to decide whether the home is right for you. However, newer listings will have more competition than older ones. But, this might be a great time to consider offering a lower price for homes that have been on the market for longer than three months.
What does this mean for sellers?
If you’ve been holding off listing your property, now might be a perfect time. Again, will have more buyers on the market, and you’ll probably get more activity over the next couple of weeks than you would have the previous two weeks. Home prices are steadily rising, so you might be able to get more for your house now than a couple of years ago, but the demand won’t be as strong.
The biggest thing to do when considering buying a home next to vacant land is to ask questions! And ask a lot! This will protect you from ugly surprises. Find out who owns the land, find out the zoning of the land, and the approved use of the land. Do it before you buy.
Why Ask These Questions? What Could Happen?
If you buy a home next to vacant land without knowing the potential of what could happen, a few things could happen…
– Does your new home have a gorgeous view of the location of the vacant land? Well, that view could eventually get blocked by the building of new homes.
– Do you like your new home because of the quiet area it’s located at? Well, that vacant land you’re next to could one day become a very busy road or a huge shopping center.
Read more: Bargain hunting is perfect in the winter
– Does your new home have a huge yard? Well, is it because you don’t know where the property lines are? Because if so, the owner of the vacant lot next to yours may soon take over.
Check the Emotion at the Door – Be Diligent with Inspections
Buying a home is an emotional process and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of it all. No matter what your experience with home buying is, you should stay the ground during it all. This is especially true when it comes time to make the offer and during the inspection.
Additionally, don’t rely on the information of one person alone. Do your research to YOUR satisfaction.
Research County Records & Ask Neighbors
In a lot of cases, researching a property or vacant property may be as simple as reviewing county records online to see who owns it and what it’s zoned for. If that’s not good enough, then ask other homeowners in the area what they know.
Regardless of what you actually do to research a property or how you do it, make sure you take into consideration all the potential possibilities before you purchase a home next to vacant land.