Making 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.

It is one of the best-negotiating tools a buyer can possess. 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 paint an inaccurate picture of the house. 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. Is there anything the seller does not like about the house? You can adjust your purchase offer accordingly if this is the case.

2) How much did the seller pay for the home? The buyer may be able to negotiate a better deal with the seller by asking this question. The purchase price is influenced by several factors, such as the current market value and any improvements made by the seller. There might be no correlation between the original purchase price and the house's current value.

3) What does the seller like most and least about the property? You might learn some interesting things about the property by asking the seller 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? You should ask the seller if they have experienced any issues in the house over the years. Does the seller have any experience with leaking from the upstairs bathroom? The floor and walls around the toilet might have been damaged even if the leak had been repaired. Make sure these items were appropriately repaired as well.

5) Is there anything bothersome or problematic about the neighbors? It can be used to find out about barking dogs, noisy neighbors, airplane traffic, or even planned changes to the community, such as street widening. It may help you understand why the seller is moving.

6) What are the public schools like in the area? A buyer's perception of the area's schools can give insight into the quality of those schools since the value of a community is usually greatly influenced by its public schools.

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.