Step 7 to Buying a Home: I Want to Make An Offer

Buying

 I Want to Make An Offer On A Home I Love

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Fabulous! You’ve found the perfect home and want to put in an offer.  In today’s market we need to put your offer in asap; ideally within a few hours. Before we can put an offer in on a home, there are a few things we need you to email to us: 

Full legal name:   Please email us the full legal name of anyone who will be on the contract as well as their phone number and email address. 

Offer price:  What price do you want to offer for the home?  Let’s have a discussion about the sale to list price in the neighborhood if we haven’t already, as that will tell you a lot about whether you should expect to pay below asking price, asking price, or above asking price based on today’s market. We will ask discuss the Comparable Market Analysis that we provide you on the home 

Your walk away price:   Don’t expect to pay your initial offer price as it’s rare for a seller to accept your initial offer without some negotiating back and forth.  That’s why it’s called an initial offer.  In addition to deciding what offer you want to put in to start, we need you to decide now how much you’re willing to pay for this property and what your walk away price is before thing get heated and emotional. 

Closing date:  Typically in Anne Arundel County, closing takes place 30-45 days from contract acceptance.  Sometimes you can ask for a longer closing date depending on the seller’s needs, but we wouldn’t expect it.  Therefore, if you want to move around July 1, plan on putting in offers at the beginning of May. If you’re paying 100% cash you can often close faster than 30 days (around 21 days), but 45 days is usually the required minimum if you’re using a mortgage to buy the property. 

Earnest money:  How much earnest money are you comfortable putting down on this property? Typically, contracts in Anne Arundel County have % of the purchase price as earnest money that you decide on, although we usually write 1% in our contracts. Ultimately, it is your decision- too low show seller less seriousness, too much may be too much risk for you the buyer.  This earnest money is due in one or two payments. Generally, the first payment is due at the presentation of offer or 1-2 business days after you and the sellers have signed the contract.  The second earnest money check is due 2 business days after the inspection is completed, generally about 10-14 days after everyone has signed the contract.  The earnest money is part of your down payment.  Therefore, if you’re planning to put $40,000 down for a down payment and you’re paying $10,000 in earnest money then at closing you would owe an additional $30,000 for the remainder of the down payment. 

Down payment:  For the contract, we need to know how much you’re going to put down for your down payment, lender %, & loan amount. Call your chosen lender for an updated pre-approval letter with max. offer purchase price as qualified amount and terms of loan. 

Closing cost credits:  Do you want to ask for any seller contribution for closing costs which would go towards the amount of closing cost fees you have to pay for on top of your down payment? If you are using a VA loan you have more options available.  Call your lender. 

Home warranty:  Do you want to ask the seller to provide a home warranty on the property? We recommend a warranty when systems and appliances are older. Another good reason for a warranty, some warranty companies will bring non-permitted problems to code. 

Contingencies:  Any other contingencies we need to be aware of? Do you need to sell your current home before we can buy this home? Does your lender require an appraisal? 
What inspections do you want (when applicable)? Home (highly recommended), chimney (recommended), septic, well, mold, water, pool etc? 

Competitive offers in Multiple Offer:  If you find yourself in a multiple bid/offer scenario, we will coach you on the most attractive bid for the seller keeping your situation covered.   

Lastly, buyers sometimes want to know what happens if the contract is accepted and they have a change of heart or the inspection reveals a huge problem. Remember, you have signed and executed a contract with the seller and are legally bound to the terms of the contract. Should the inspection reveal problems, we then go to the contract and follow to next steps. Don't worry, we will assist you  
It's important to walk through the contract with us before your first offer and that you have a complete understanding of the document.  We will assist you and also recommend an attorney to review for deeper explanations. 

Once we’ve talked through the above and you’ve emailed us your answers, we’ll write the offer and have you sign it via a program called DotLoop.  

 Click here to watch a video on signing documents electronically via DotLoop.          Click here for written instructions and video for first signing.


We’ll then submit the signed offer through DotLoop to the seller’s agent.  While negotiations sometimes go quickly, be prepared that it could take 24 – 72 hours to negotiate the purchase price if the seller is out of town, wants to sleep on the offer for a night, if we’re dealing with a bank, etc.  Every seller is different and some people can make decisions quickly whereas others need time to think things through. Patience is now the name of the game once an offer has been submitted!