Making an Offer
Before the offer to purchase is created, it is very important that you have been at least pre-approved by a lender. Typically, you will want your pre-approval letter before you begin your active search. If you are paying cash, you will want to have proof of funds ready to accompany your offer.
Most sellers will not to accept a contract without either an accompanying pre-approval letter or proof of funds. It shows the seller that you are financially able to purchase the home. After you have found the right home, it is time to prepare the offer.
When you are buying a home, there are many problems that the seller is obligated to disclose. For example, it is illegal to withhold information about major physical defects on the property in the form of the residential real property disclosure. However, these disclosures don't always paint the entire picture of the home. Here are five questions you may want to ask that can offer additional insight about the prospective home before you make a final decision.
1) Why is the seller selling the house? The seller or seller's agent is not required to answer this question. However, this question may help you evaluate the "real value" of the property. Is there something about the house the seller does not like? If so, you may be able to adjust the purchase offer accordingly.
2) How much did the seller pay for the home? This question can, in some instances, help the buyer negotiate a better deal-maybe even get the seller to carry part of the loan. However, it is important to remember that the purchase price is influenced by several factors, like the current market value and any improvements the seller may have made to the home. The original purchase price might not have anything to do with the current value of the house.
3) What does the seller like most about the property? Top features are usually highlighted by the seller or sellers agent. By asking the seller what he, she, or they like most about the property, you might get some interesting information. In a few cases, what a seller likes the most about a home might actually be something the buyer is looking to avoid. For example, if the seller describes his house as being in a "happening community," the buyer might consider this a negative factor because the area may be too noisy or busy for his or her taste.
4) Has the seller had any problems with the home in the past? Your buyer's agent will ask the seller's agent if the sellers have had any problems with the home while living there. Has the seller had problems with a leakage from the upstairs bathroom in the past? If so, even if the leak has been corrected, the floor and walls around the bathroom might have been damaged. You should also check that these items were repaired properly.
5) How are the public schools in the area? Because the value of a community is usually greatly influenced by the public schools in the area, finding out the buyer's perception can give you some insight about the quality of the area's schools. In North Shore Chicago, the public schools disctricts vary by municipality and township and are highly rated.
Knowing all you can about a prospective home, not only helps you decide if it's the home of your dreams, but what offer to make as well. Your Burling Square Group agent can help you get your key questions answered and give you advice on how to evaluate your findings.