Buyer Step 6: Make an Offer

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Real Estate

Making an Offer

Fabulous! You’ve found the perfect home and want to put in an offer.

Before I can put an offer in on a home, there are a few things I need from you:

Full legal name:   Please email me the full legal name of anyone who will be on the contract as well as their phone number and email address. The legal name has to match what is on your driver’s license as you’ll need to show your driver’s license or passport at closing and this name needs to match what is on the contract.

Initial offer price:  What initial price do you want to offer for the home? Let’s have a discussion about the sale to list price in the neighborhood if we haven’t already as that will tell you a lot about whether you should expect to pay below asking price, asking price, or above asking price based on today’s market. I will also email you comps to review and give you my opinion as to what the home is worth.

Your walk away price: Don’t expect to pay your initial offer price as it’s extremely rare for a seller to accept your initial offer without some negotiating back and forth. That’s why it’s called an initial offer. In addition to deciding what offer you want to put in to start, you need to decide now how much you’re willing to pay for this property and what your walk away price is before thing get heated and emotional.

Closing date: Typically in Utah, closing can take place as quickly as your lender can finalize the loan, in some cases as short as 8 days. More typically, I am seeing settlement deadlines of 30 days  from contract acceptance. Closings can only take place Mon – Fri; they cannot take place on weekends or bank holidays when the banks are closed. 

Sometimes you can ask for a longer closing date (60 – 90 days) depending on the seller’s needs, but don’t expect it to be granted. Therefore, if you want to move around July 1, plan on putting in offers May 10 – 15. If you want to close faster than 30 days please let me know as I'll need to direct you lenders in town who are capable of closing quickly. 

If you’re not getting a loan and are paying 100% cash you could close as quickly as 24 hours (though that would not leave time for Inspection). 

Before putting in an offer, please email me what exact date you want to close on the home (remember it has to be a Mon – Fri). Usually we cannot specify a specific time for the settlement/closing as that depends on when title company is available so plan to take the entire day off of work as a time won’t be assigned until 2-3 days before closing. Closings can take place anytime from 9am – 4pm and usually take 2-3 hours. If you cannot attend closing, we need to know that 2-3 weeks in advance so we can ask the lender to approve a Power of Attorney so a family member or your attorney can sign the documents on your behalf.

Earnest money:  How much earnest money are you comfortable putting down on this property? Depending on how we write the contract, this money may be refundable if you do the inspection and decide to walk away from the contract based on the inspection results. The earnest money is part of your down payment. 

Down payment:  For the contract, we need to know how much you’re going to put down for your down payment.

Closing cost credits:  Do you want to ask the sellers to pay any of your closing costs? Generally the sellers pay their closing costs and the buyers pay their own closings costs, however, we can ask the sellers to pay some of your closing costs on top of theirs, if needed.

Home warranty:  Do you want to ask the seller to provide a home warranty on the property? If the property doesn’t have multiple offers, we always recommend asking the seller to provide you with a one year home warranty.  Depending on the type of property you’re buying, this usually costs the sellers between $500 – $800. 

Contingencies:  Any other contingencies we need to be aware of? Do you need to sell your current home before we can buy this home? 

Once we’ve talked through the above and you’ve given me your answers, we’ll write the contract and have you sign it via a program called Dotloop. I will then submit it to the seller’s agent. While negotiations sometimes go quickly, be prepared that it often takes 2-4 days to negotiate the purchase price and terms of the contract. Every seller is different and some people can make decisions quickly whereas others need time to think things through. Patience is the name of the game once an offer has been submitted as we don’t want to look too eager as it weakens our negotiating position!