How to Determine an Offer Price When Buying a House in MN
The moment you have been waiting for has arrived. The home you want to buy has come on the market. You feel like Goldilocks when she lays in the baby bear’s bed. That felt just right. Unlike Goldy, who proceeded to take a nap, you are ready to rock and roll. It’s time to write an offer, also known as writing a purchase agreement.
The central theme of the offer is the amount you agree to pay to the seller for the property. Your goal is to reach that magical place where deals come together. It’s that sweet price point where the seller receives the amount he wants, and the buyer knows she is not paying too much.
The starting point is the seller’s asking price. Your real estate agent’s job is to help you decide if it is reasonable or too high. Several factors to consider affecting your offer price include a comparable market analysis of homes that have recently sold, market conditions, property conditions and updates, length of time on the market, and seller motivation.
The Comparative Market Analysis or CMA
Your buyers’ agent will pull several months of data on homes that have sold in the exact general location to help you determine a range where your offer price should...
My Best Advice For First-Time Home Buyers
Joy. Joy is the first word I think of when I hear the term first-time home buyer. It’s what my wife and I felt moving into our first house. It’s what I always hope my clients feel at closing because buyer remorse has never been on anyone’s bucket list.
The process of buying a house has a lot of moving parts and involves many people. It can be stressful and intimidating even when it’s going well. When the pieces do not fall into place as you expect, it will be frustrating and even overwhelming on occasion.
Over the years, I have shared all those emotions with my clients on their journey to home-ownership. No two experiences are ever the same. However, it becomes glaringly evident that buyers who have the best outcomes are those that are most prepared. Knowledge is power. Here is some of my primo advice if you are buying your first home or even your last.
Make an Appointment with a Mortgage Broker
Before you get serious at looking for a home, you need to know if you qualify for a mortgage and how much the bank will lend you. You will also discuss what type of mortgage will best suit your financial circumstances and how you can receive the best interest rate. Shopping lenders is wise. Some offer better deals and options. A half-point or even a quarter-point less on your rate can generate significant savings over the life of your loan.
Decide How Much You Can...
How to Write a Winning Offer in a Seller's Market
Forget the spin. Take off the rose-colored glasses too. Let's be honest. Most buyers are hoping to score a home at the current real estate market's lower pricing tiers and face fierce competition, creating a process fraught with disappointment.
That's the bad news. But I am by nature a confident guy, a problem solver, and a believer in the philosophy that winners never quit. So here is the good news. A buyer with a savvy agent can write an offer that a seller will find hard to refuse.
Be Ready to Act Fast
Desirable properties often have multiple offers a couple of days after hitting the market. There is no margin of error for indecisiveness or being unprepared to offer a hot property as quickly as possible. That means you should not even consider offering a home if you do not have a preapproval letter from an accredited lender.
Don't Be Coy
In this market, you can feel reasonably confident that if you have fallen in love with a home, so have other buyers. The occasion calls for an assertive approach, not a timid one. Open with your best offer, which should equal the asking price or higher. Your real estate professional will provide insights based on competitive properties also for sale in the neighborhood and homes that have already sold.
Look Past the Pretty Package
When a buyer looks at a beautifully staged home that fits their criteria, emotions rule. Fall in love with a particular house, and almost immediately, the heart works against our own best interest by suppressing our better judgment. You know what I mean, that little voice inside your head saying, "but what about those battered floors?"
Consider the facts first.
The more you know about a home before making an offer, the better. The condition of the house should be a significant consideration. Hopefully, unless expensive, unforeseen repairs are part of your plan, you will have a professional home inspection as a contingency in the offer. But, before you even make that offer, you can do your preliminary evaluation of the home's condition yourself.
Don't set the stage today for financial regrets later.
There is no way to say that refinishing floors, painting, or other minor repairs should be dealbreakers. But if too many items fall on the fix list, added altogether, they may prove to be a tipping point on the no-sale side or affect the dollar amount of your offer. Even when a home checks off all the needs boxes and many of the nice-to-haves, costly repairs can quickly lead to regret.
Look before you leap.
Here is a suggested list of items you can check before you take that first step by offering to purchase. A second visit to the property is preferred. Still, given the competitiveness of the housing market at the lower price brackets, this is also something you can do on the initial tour of the property.
Warning signs to look for inside the home.
- Floors – squeaks or sponginess, or worn-out carpet or wood that needs refinishing.