Things to Expect When Buying a Home, Part II

You have found a house your really like, and your next step is submitting the offer. Start with a low amount and be willing to accept the fact that the owner could refuse it and not even offer a counter offer. That’s fine. There are thousands of other listings that could interest you. And don’t forget, the seller could be desperate, and they just might take your offer.

Most likely, the seller will come back with a number slightly lower than the original asking price. That number will give you a good indication of how quickly they want to move the property and at what price. If they only came down a percent or two, then there’s not much wiggle room.

But if the seller drops the price by five or 10 percent, then you know they want the house gone, and a couple thousand won’t break the deal.

Another thing to consider when making an offer is to put some earnest money down. Drop your bid by $5,000, but put up $500 to $1,000 in earnest money. This will let the seller know you are very serious about your offer and the property, because if you should choose to back out, the seller gets that cash.

The seller counter offered and you liked the deal, so you accepted and are in contract. Now it’s time to get shopping for insurance. You don’t have to make a bunch of calls or go into offices. Select three to five companies in your area, and make them work against each other. Once you start receiving different policies, you can start comparing deductibles and limits and all the details. And if you hear, “That’s all we can do, we can’t limit any more of your coverage,” then keep looking until you find the plan and rate that’s right for you.

Last, go over your closing documents before you go to the closing. It’s never “too late” if you haven’t signed everything yet, but it sure makes life a lot easier when everything is gone over before you sit down.