REALTORS® Can Help Make Offer

Price and terms
REALTOR® groups, working with legal counsel, have developed forms that are appropriate for real estate property transactions in most areas. Such documents include various sale conditions and their wording should be carefully reviewed to assure that they cover the terms buyers and sellers want to offer. Realtors can explain the contracting process in your local community as well as their role in the transaction.

While much scrutiny is spent on offering prices, a proposal to buy includes both price and terms. In some cases, terms can render thousands of dollars in additional value for buyers -- or additional costs. Terms are very important and should be carefully reviewed by all buyers and sellers.

How much?
You sometimes hear that the amount of your offer should be a certain percent below the seller's asking price or another amount less than you're really willing to pay. In reality, the offer depends on the basic laws of supply and demand: If many buyers are competing for a home, then sellers will likely get full-price offers and sometimes more. If demand is slow for homes in an area, then offers below the asking price may be in order.

How do you make an offer?
The process of making an offer on a home varies in different communities. In a typical situation, you will complete an offer that your agent will present to the seller and their representative. The seller, in turn, could accept the offer, reject it or make a counter-offer.

Because counter-offers are very common (any change to an offer can be considered a "counter-offer"), it's important for buyers to remain in close contact with their Realtor or agent during the negotiation process so that any proposed changes can be reviewed quickly.

Home inspections
A number of inspections are common in realty transactions. They include checks for termites, plumbing, electrical, surveys to determine boundaries, appraisals to determine value for lenders, title reviews and structural inspections.

Structural inspections are particularly important for real estate property. During these examinations, an inspector comes to the property to determine if there are defects and whether expensive repairs and replacements are likely to be required in the near future. Such inspections for a home often require several hours, and buyers should attend if possible. This is an opportunity to examine the property's mechanics and structure, ask questions and learn more about the new property than is otherwise possible.

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