Before You Make an Offer: What You Need to Know

by ShelbyW on April 25, 2013

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If you are currently in the market to purchase a new home, it is important that you make sure that you educate yourself about the entire process. After all, unless you have a firm understanding of how real estate works, it is very likely that you will end up spending more than necessary. Fortunately, there have been millions of real estate purchases made in the past, and you have the option of learning exactly what to look for by discussing previous experiences with other home buyers.

Important Steps to Take before You Make an Offer

1. Consult With Your Real Estate Agent – If you are looking for a home without a Realtor, you should definitely find one immediately. Even though it is possible to locate homes on your own using the Internet, you will not have access to all of the available options in your target market, and you will also lose the legal advantage that accompanies working with a real estate agent. After all, they will have a firm understanding of exactly what the contract should say, and they can also help you negotiate terms. Without a Realtor, you are probably going to end up spending more money.

2. Seek the Advice of an Attorney – When legal issues come up that your agent can’t handle, you are going to need the help of an experienced attorney. Experienced Realtors are fully capable of handling negotiations and standard contracts but there are some legal issues they are not qualified to handle. In the current real estate market, many properties have tenants, foreclosure issues, and other potential legal problems that should be addressed by a qualified legal professional.

3. Carefully Review the Market – Regardless of how much money you have available, it is important to do an analysis of the local market to ensure that you are not going to overpay for the home. For example, if you are relocating to the Washington DC are and are looking at Alexandria real estate where comparable properties typically sells for $400,000, it does not make any sense to offer $450,000.

4. Get Pre-Approval for a Mortgage – Many sellers will not even accept your bid without mortgage pre-approval. Therefore, you should always take the time to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you move forward with your intentions to locate and purchase a home. Another perk of getting approved in advance is that you will have a much better idea how much money you will be able to spend.

5. Observe the Neighborhood – Everyone has an ideal scenario for the neighborhood that they will live in. Although your neighbors are free to sell their home at any time, it is still important to make sure that you like the current makeup of the neighborhood. In other words, if you want to live in an active community that participates in neighborhood watches and hosts an annual block-wide garage sale, you will need to do some research before you make an offer.

6. Find out the History of the Home – If it has been sitting on the market for a long time or has had any serious issues in the past, you should consider either skipping it or reducing your offer.

The process of buying a home can take a long time, but it does not need to be stressful. By working with an experienced real estate professional and utilizing the tips listed above, you can easily get the best possible deal in your price range.

Legal researcher Shelby Warden has been involved in hundreds of real estate transactions and shares this information to help those who are contemplating a new real estate purchase. Just outside of DC, the Alexandria real estate market continues to flourish, ranking among the most expensive in the country. Movoto uses insider real estate statistics to recruit the most active and experienced agents in the area for their clients.




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