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Making an Offer when Buying a Home

By Sadiya Anjum

When you are ready to make an offer on a home, there are a few points that can help you clinch the deal on reasonable terms. It is essential that you understand your situation, the owner’s situation, the market and the condition of the home. The following tips can aid you in making the offer smartly and properly.


Plenty of research needs to be done before you make an offer. You need to see how reasonable the asking price is and what you are willing to pay. Do in-depth research on the prices of similar homes to compare the asking price of the home you are looking at. Take into account the condition of the home and the various fixtures that may be sold along with the home. Does the price stated justify them? Having hard facts in hand will help you justify your offer. Also snoop around a bit to get an insight into the seller’s situation. This will prove to be advantageous when it comes down to negotiation.

Dollar Issues

Knowing your financial status and the pre-approved loan amount is more than important. Quoting higher than your pre-approval amount can land you in trouble in case the loan does not actually get approved. Make sure that your monthly payments fit your budget well. If the home is financially unfeasible, perhaps it makes sense to take a step back.

Time Frame

Once you have made the offer, set a time limit determining how long you will wait for a response. Without a time limit, you may land up waiting for a call which may actually not come at all. Once you know that your offer may be tempting to the buyer, put in a time frame to show the owner how serious you are. This prevents you from waiting unnecessarily as well as the whole process taking longer than it actually should. Be reasonable about the time limit as you do want the owner to seriously consider your offer.

Negotiation Tactics

Before you even state your offer, there are some ways to subtly soften up the owner. Show consideration, concern and a genuine interest in the property. Ask relevant questions which show you are interested but not those that may seem like you are looking for faults to negotiate on later. Make the owner feel like he is the authority on real estate. Compromise smartly: get your own terms but make it seem like you are hesitant but willing to let go on certain points. Avoid problem areas initially and work on the easier points first. If you hit a hitch, let go and come back to it later. Play smartly but tone down your behavior so you do not intimidate or make the buyer defensive.

Alternate Plans

Making an offer is the beginning to the end of your home buying process. Odds are that your offer may not be accepted right away. So stay prepared if a counter-offer comes your way and also know what you will do if the offer is rejected. Having a plan for every possibility will rescue you from unnecessary tension and hassles.

With these simple tips, chances of your offer being accepted are high. Unfortunately, you cannot always completely win. Compromising on certain aspects may help you own the home; and always remember to stay well within your limits.

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