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Submitting An Offer

To create an offer to purchase, you must at least be pre-qualified or, better yet, pre-approved by a lender. A pre-approval shows the seller that you are financially capable of buying the house. Without it, your offer may not be considered or taken seriously. The next step is to prepare an offer once you’ve found the perfect home.

It is the seller’s responsibility to disclose many problems when you are purchasing a home. In many states, it is illegal to withhold information about home defects, but these disclosures sometimes don’t paint the full picture of the property. Here are six questions you may want to ask before making a final decision about the prospective home.

1) Why is the seller selling? You may be able to determine a property’s “real value” by asking this question. There may be something about the home that no longer suits the seller that you can use to your advantage and you may be able to adjust your purchase offer accordingly if this is the case.

2) How much did the seller pay for the home, what improvements have they made, and what is their current mortgage? All of these factors can help you in determining the value of the home as compared to the list price.  Not all sellers have realistic expectations when pricing the home, so keep these factors in mind when discussing an offer price with your agent.  Their current financial situation may be to your advantage.

3) What are the positives and negatives about the property and location? You might learn some interesting things about the property by asking neighbors what they like and dislike. Sometimes, what a seller likes most about a home is what a buyer wants to avoid. When a seller describes his house as in a “happening community,” a buyer may consider this a negative factor because the area may be too noisy or busy

4) Has the seller ever had any problems with the home? While you should reference the disclosures, you can also check for building permit history with the city or town the home is located in or records of improvements, maintenance and repairs.  Not all sellers have these records, but if they do, they can be very useful.  And use city/town hall as a resource when appropriate.

5) Is there anything about the neighborhood in the news?  Do your due diligence by doing some research with neighbors, newspapers, city websites, etc.  There may be changes to the community in discussion such as a new school or playground, or new development planned nearby.  Such changes may be seen as a positive or negative to you, so it helps to do some research about the area you’re looking to buy in. 

​6) What are the public resources like in the area:  such as schools, parks and rec departments, utilities, outdoor space, municipal support.  Any or all of these services may be important to you, again lean on researching areas with your agent to make an informed decision.

Getting as much information about a prospective home as possible helps you decide if it’s the home of your dreams but also helps you determine what offer to make. A real estate professional can help you answer your key questions and advise you on evaluating things.

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The Fitzpatrick Team has trusted mortgage partners to provide you with an accurate mortgage you can afford, but also the education on the homebuying process. Not only will we help you understand your money, but we will help you find a home that’s perfect for your budget. 


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