Buying a house doesn’t mean you have to be represented by a real estate agent. Some people just prefer to handle things on their own. Even though a real estate agent may have access to listings sooner or can handle your offer for you, it’s still doable on your own.
Before you set out to bid on your dream home, though, know the steps of making a correct offer so that you don’t lose the home you want to call your own.
Do Your Research
The most important thing you can do is research. When you do use a real estate agent, you don’t have anyone spewing knowledgeable facts at you regarding the home and the area. You will have to find this information out on your own. This includes:
- Finding information on comparable properties – You’ll need to know the size, features, and sales price of the home. You can find this information on your own or ask the listing agent for their Comparative Market Analysis.
- Read the property disclosure – Make sure you know the condition of the home, including the age of the roof, home improvements the owner made, and any issues the home has had (fire, storm damage, etc.).
- Know the area – Do your research on the area surrounding the home, not just the home itself. What’s the school district like? What are the taxes and how much have they increased lately?
With this information, you can then make an informed decision on the home. This will also give you the basis regarding how much you want to offer for the home.
This might sound strange, but you want the seller to know you. Remember, they are selling a piece of themselves. Yes, it’s just a home and they are probably eager to sell it, but it’s still a place they called home and that has many memories for them. Putting a face with the offer may help the seller choose your bid.
Try to find a connection with the seller. Maybe you have some of the same interests or you grew up in the same area. Find something that the two of you can connect with and the bidding process will go over even easier than you thought. When you get personal and let the seller know exactly why you want to buy the home, you put yourself in a better position when it’s time for the offer.
Put the Offer in Writing
Don’t rely on anything verbal – you must put the offer in writing. Make sure it’s legible and that you cover all of the following topics:
- The property address
- The amount of earnest money you will put down
- Any contingencies you want to include (financing, inspection, or appraisal)
- Put in a closing date, but be flexible about it if you can
- Detail which fees you will pay and which the seller will pay
- The timeframe in which you require a response
It’s best if you have an attorney review your bid. Since you don’t have an agent that will handle it for you, that third neutral third party can give you the input you need. Maybe you missed a crucial detail or the attorney feels you were not strict enough on one of your requests. Remember, once the seller accepts your offer and the contract is signed, that’s it. You can’t change anything at that point. So you want to take your time doing this now.
Wait for a Response
Perhaps the hardest part of making an offer whether with an agent or without is waiting for a response from the seller. Sometimes they respond right away and other times they may take the full allotted time. They have a lot to think about, so make sure to give them their space.
While you wait for the response, make sure you have your reasons ready for the offer you made. The seller may have questions regarding how you came up with the figure. If you based it on the comparable values in the area, you should have proof of those values. If you based it on the fact that you know the seller does not have to pay the buyer’s agent fees since you represent yourself, show him how much he saves by not paying the buyer’s agent commission.
The bottom line is the more details you have, the better off you’ll be when you put in your own offer on a home. Not using an agent is perfectly acceptable as long as you have an attorney to represent you and that you have the time and motivation to do the legwork involved in getting to know the area and the home you want to buy.Click to See the Latest Mortgage Rates»