Buying a house in Alexandria – Step Seven

Time to write an offer

From Buying a house in Alexandria – Overview

How exciting! You found your perfect home, now it is time to write your offer.

An offer encompasses the complete Terms of the contract, not just the price.

An offer that perfectly matches the sellers overall terms WINS, offered price isn’t the entire story.

Having an expert negotiator at your side (someone that has achieved the Master’s negotiations Expert certification) will help you with the best outcome and ultimately get you to an accepted offer.

PRICE: Let’s look at the comparable sales first. Your agent will give you a list of all recent sales of homes/condos in the area that resemble the house of your dreams.

Armed with the comparable sales, you have the information required to decide how much you want to offer for your dream home.

Is this REALLY the house of your dreams, or is this the house of your dreams, but only at the RIGHT price? Two different considerations.

In all negotiations, you must consider  a Price Range, a Low and High of what you are comfortable spending (which should be your monthly payment). And most importantly, establish your BATNA or (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement).  BATNA is your bottom line, the line that you will not cross.

TIME FRAME: How much time will it take to complete the loan approval, to get to the settlement, to take possession of the house and to finally move in? All these questions need to be answered and reviewed. A good offer is an offer that allows both sides see a benefit, an offer that, in the end produces a WIN – WIN for the buyer and seller. In some cases, although the offered price is not as high as the seller wants, but if they need a quick closing, and you can accommodate (where other buyers potentially can’t), you may get acceptance (this assumes the seller has determined that a quick closing is their highest priority.  So don’t get discourage if the price you can afford is not exactly what the seller is asking, that might not be his highest priority. One job of your Realtor is to gather information and try to determine the counter-parties real priorities.

CONTINGENCIES: A regular offer / contract can include contingencies. Examples of contingent clauses are contingent on financing, on appraisal, on lead base paint study, on mold studies, on termite reports, on septic system function, on the home inspection and many others. From a sellers point of view, the fewer contingencies equate to a better offer, from a buyers point of view you want to ask for those things that are really important for you. It is definitely a balancing act with the following considerations: Is it a Hot Market? a Neutral Market? a Buyers Market? balanced against how badly you want this house.

Ensure that your Realtor understands as much about your requirements, concerns, both financial and emotional, as possible so that she can secure the best outcome for you which is usually an accepted offer, accepted on terms that work for you


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