As a first time buyer you may be wondering how you get to that point where your agent says the house you have dreamed about, and found, is actually yours. You probably know about the process of going with your agent to view homes for sale, but what happens after you decide you have found “the one”?
Well for many, this is where the stress can come in. But if you have a qualified agent at your side working for you, your role in the bidding process is really simply that of a decision maker.
- You decide, with the advice from your agent, what the home is truly worth in the current market and what dollar amount you would like to start with as your offer. This does not mean you should low-ball or pay what they are asking, but it means your offer should allow some room to negotiate and be based on the price that other similar homes in the area have recently sold for. Listen to the advice of your agent and be ready for a little back and forth negotiation.
- Sometimes it takes several offers and counter offers before a deal is reached. You must realize it is not personal and that the homeowner is also emotionally attached to the home, so settling for less than asking price is not always easy for some sellers. Be prepared that sometimes this can be a quick process over a few hours and other times people may need to think about offers for a day or two.
- Provide your agent with every possible way to reach you if the process is taking a while. You want to be able to respond as quickly at possible, just as you want the seller to respond as soon as they can.
- During the negotiations your agent may suggest other things to sweeten the deal for you while keeping the offer at something the seller will accept. These may include the seller paying some of the closing costs or keeping items in the home such as appliances, lawn statues or that pool table in the basement you loved but the seller stated they were taking. These additions sweeten the deal for you and the seller often will comply if they can get the price they are looking for on the home.
- Once you have a deal the next step is scheduling a home inspection, which usually is done within 10 days or less. You may find yourself back in negotiation if the inspection turns up some major repairs, such as a new roof being needed. If there is something major needed you have the right to renegotiate on the price or have the seller fix the issue, accept the repair yourself or simply walk away from the deal. Usually a compromise is reached with the price of the home to cover the costs of the repair.
After the inspection you are on your way to closing on your new home. Though negotiating can be a stressful time and you will be anxious for the end results to be known, your agent will make the process as easy and worry free as possible while securing you the best deal.