This is where your agent really shines. When determining how much you want to offer on a particular house, your agent will research similar homes in the area that have recently sold and compare those prices with your individual price range. Your agent’s job is to find you the best house at the lowest possible price. But at the same time the seller’s agent is trying to get the highest price.
If a property has been listed for a longer period of time compared to other home sales in the area it could mean the property is priced too high relative to its location, or the home has some underlying issues.
Do homes sell rather quickly? Is it a popular neighborhood? If so, you might be caught up in a bidding war. Be careful here and listen to your agent. When making a competing offer sometimes your heart rules over your head. Stay within budget. If you don’t, you might need to get a new preapproval letter.
Be prepared to go back and forth a few times before a final sales price is reached. Remember, everyone’s agent has different goals. Once an offer is finally accepted, your next step is to order a property inspection.
An inspection is performed by a licensed property inspector who will physically inspect the home from to bottom looking for any structural issues, broken or cracked windows. Do the faucets leak? How is the hot water heater? Do the light switches work? The inspector will go down a list of nearly 300 different issues.
Minor issues such as a light bulb that needs replacing isn’t a problem. Noticeable cracks above door jambs are and could indicate some serious foundation problems. Others, such as a deck that needs some attention or there are some carpet stains can cause you to renegotiate the sales price or have the sellers fix whatever needs fixing. If there are issue that cannot be resolved, your agent will make sure there is working in your contract that allows you to cancel the offer.
Once the home passes a final inspection, it’s time to prepare for your closing.