The purchase offer
Determine the value range of comparable properties so
that you don't overpay for the home. Your agent should be able to help
with this or you can go to the local assessor's office or office of
deeds and records to check out the sale prices of other similar
properties in the area. Other factors to consider are: condition of the
property, seller's motivation for selling, price seller paid for the
property, improvements that the seller did since they bought, closing
costs to be paid by the seller.
When writing an offer there are several contingencies
that should be put into the contract. A contingency allows you to get
out of the contract if certain conditions aren't met. These would
include, Attorney's approval; Getting a mortgage; Bank appraisal being
equal to or greater than purchase price; Engineer's inspection; Property
condition disclosure; and Other inspections such as radon gas, furnace,
septic, well, pest infestations, lead paint, chimney.
Then, determine a negotiation strategy. Putting in an
offer at too low a price sometimes can backfire. The seller may not take
your offer seriously and may be angered by what they view is a �low
ball� offer. On the other hand a price that is too high doesn't leave
negotiating room and may result in paying too high a price. And, in a
hot market with very few homes available for sale or if there is another
buyer with an offer on the same property, sometimes the purchase price
you offer may have to be close to or higher than asking price.
Ask your agent or your attorney for a copy of the
so-called �standard� contract that is used in the area. Standard
contracts often favor sellers. So, be sure to ask your agent or attorney
for changes or additions that should be made to the language in the
�standard� contract to protect your best interest.