Time to make an Offer – Checklist for Buyers
Oral promises are not legally enforceable when it comes to real estate.
First step is to determine PRICE.
For this we do a comparative market analysis for you, it will show you the fair market value of the property. The following factors could affect price:
- Condition of home
- New home improvements
- Market conditions
- Seller’s concessions – do you want/need them to pay closing cost?
Once we make an offer on a home it is our job to make sure that your offer is accepted, carefully executed, every detail of your transaction is completed, and adheres to the strict time schedules of your contract.
In a seller’s market, sellers have the luxury of choosing between multiple offers. In a multiple offer situation, don’t panic and don’t withdraw your offer – you could be the highest bidder. Go through at least one round of negotiations before you decide to withdraw. Have a price in mind of where you want to go and stay in the game until the price is reached.
The Offer and Contract
- When the offer has mutual acceptance, I deliver copies of the fully-signed contract to all parties, including the closing agent
- If not part of the contract, will return a signed copy of Seller Disclosure Form to listing agent.
- Provide copies of the signed contract for the office file.
- Track all dates in the contract, making sure that you are meeting all agreed-to deadlines.
Federal law requires the seller to disclose all material defects that they are aware of.
Tracking the Loan Process
Touch base with you weekly to ensure your loan is processing on track
Earnest Money Deposit
You will need to put up some money to show the seller you are sincere about purchasing the home.
If you will be purchasing with a mortgage. Even if you are pre-approved the lender will need to get an appraisal done and order title work.
Don’t skip a home inspection. It’s money well spent in the long run. If the home has major issues, you’ll want to know before buying it, not when you’re stuck with it after closing.
- Confirm with your lender that appraisal is scheduled.
- Follow up with you and your lender on the status of the appraisal.
- Alert the seller’s agent when the appraisal has been completed.
As a part of the loan approval process, the lender will require that the property be appraised to ensure that the value of the property is adequate to justify the loan. Although the buyer and seller have already agreed on a price, the appraiser’s evaluation must support that price.
When the appraisal has been satisfactorily completed and the lender has verified the buyer’s income, credit, etc., the lender can then make a decision on loan approval.
Title Company or Closing Attorney
Buyer chooses Title Company and/or if they desire to have an attorney represent them at closing. Among other items, the Title Company or attorney will check the title to the property, prepare necessary paperwork, and handle the receipt and distribution of all monies in the transaction (holds escrow deposit).
If the home will be subject to a mortgage, the buyers must arrange for a homeowner’s insurance policy covering the property. These arrangements must be made prior to closing and the policy must be present at the closing.
Re-Inspection of Repairs
In the event the seller is required to make repairs, sellers should be careful to hire reputable repairmen and keep good records of completion and payments involved. Buyers will normally have the property re-inspected to ensure satisfactory completion.
Closing Preparations and Duties
- Confirm you have received the title insurance commitment.
- Coordinate the closing process with you, the seller’s agent and escrow company.
- Update closing forms and files.
- Ensure all parties have all forms and information needed to close the sale.
- Coordinate the closing location with you and the closing agent.
- Work with the seller’s agent in scheduling and conducting your final walk-thru prior to closing.
- Request final closing figures from the closing agent.
- Receive and carefully review closing figures to ensure accuracy of preparation.
- Request a copy of closing documents from closing agent.
- If a Home Warranty was purchased, deliver claim forms/directions to you.
- Review all closing documents carefully for errors.
Prior to closing, both buyers and sellers should arrange to have the utilities transferred. To accomplish this task, a date (usually the possession date) will be agreed upon for the transfer. The sellers notify the utility companies to cancel their services and the buyers make applications with the various utilities to establish their services that same day.
Two Weeks Before Closing Date
- Get a change of address package from the post office
- Begin notifying family, friends, debtors, etc of address change
One Week Before Closing
- Call your utility companies to schedule the new service
- Get directions to closing attorney’s office from your real estate agent
Day Before Closing
- Review the Settlement Agreement to verify that the terms of the contract are correct and pay special attention to the line items for water bills, homeowner association dues, and mortgage balances
- If you have any concerns, discuss them with your agent
Day of Closing
- Bring a photo ID and any documents requested by the closing attorney or title agent
- Bring your checkbook, just in case there is a small item that needs to be handled on the spot (this is usually not necessary, but it’s always nice to have that option)
- Bring updated termite clearance letter, if required by contract