The 10 things you must consider when reviewing an offer on your home:

  • PRICE – Is the offer in line with your price range?  If not, you’ll have to ask why.


  • DOWN PAYMENT – This is the amount the bank will require based on the type of loan a buyer is qualified for; this can range from 3.5% to as high as 20% and in some cases buyers may not be required to put a down payment.


  • EARNEST MONEY DEPOSIT – Generally speaking in this area we require at the very least a $1,000 “Good Faith Deposit” however it’s not a bad idea to ask for more should you have multiple offers on your home and 3% to 5% is not too much to ask if the buyer is serious.


  • IS THE BUYER PRE-APPROVED – A pre-approval is when a buyer already received the “green light” on their mortgage loan and has the funds ready and waiting to make their home purchase.  It’s different from a pre-qualification in that a pre-qualification indicates that their credit, income and bank statements have been reviewed but they will still need additional documents before receiving a pre-approval for a home loan


  • CLOSING/POSSESSION DATES – These dates in our area are usually one and the same.  The date the buyer takes possession of the property is usually on the closing / escrow date


  • LOAN COSTS – Consist of any payment required by the lender to obtain the loan; generally these are points and most often are paid by the buyer but in some cases the seller can pay in the form of a seller concession


  • CLOSING COSTS – They consist of what the buyer is responsible for paying at the time of closing.  Some of these items include prepaid taxes, insurance down payment etc.


  • INSPECTIONS – These include appraisal, home inspection, termite and in some cases septic certification and water testing.  These are negotiable with regards to who pays what but can be paid by the seller in the form of a seller concession


  • ITEMS INCLUDED – This should be decided during the listing process but items can be negotiated at the time of an “Offer to Purchase”; these items should be listed specifically and on a separate addendum to the contract; the addendum can include anything from furniture to light fixtures and outdoor lawn equipment.


  • CONTINGENCIES – These are critical because they lay out a time frame for the completion of certain actions within the contract.  This time frame of actions includes when the buyer must have their pre-approval, home inspection and other inspection deadlines.


In some cases, if the buyer has a home they have to sell before buying yours, as the seller, you should be protected with a contingency of first refusal.This protects you in the case that you get another offer on your home while they are waiting to sell their home. If this is the situation, they will have the right to either act on their offer and begin the process of purchasing your home before the sale of their home or simply rescind their offer and allow the new buyer to purchase.


Although not as common, there could be contingencies that the seller will have to follow through with as well and these will be stated in the contract.

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