You’ve found it, now what? First, you must find out a few things:
Comparables (similar properties that have sold in the area / building in the last 12 months)
- Why are the sellers selling?
- How long has it been on the market?
- How much is owed on the property?
- How much activity have they had on the property?
- Why is it vacant?
- Besides the price, what’s important to the sellers?
This is only a sample of the investigative questions your agent will want to research. Now, some of this info is easy to obtain, some not so much. And this all depends on whether the home has been sitting on the market with no activity or it’s a new hot listing where time is crucial.
Should you offer 20% off the listing price? Maybe you should, maybe that’s a bad idea. Again, information is key at this point and having the right agent makes all the difference in the world.
Best advice: If you are not utilizing a buyer’s agent, DO NOT negotiate through the seller’s agent and participate in dual agency. The seller’s agent works for the seller, not you. Find someone that will watch your back and fight for you.
Please understand you might have to make a couple of offers before getting a contract signed. This primarily depends on the time of year (spring is hot, late fall is not). But once your contract is signed, here’s where you have to step it up and push your emotions to the side. Within a week of your contract being signed, you should be getting an inspection done by a professional, speaking with a real estate attorney, gathering and reviewing condo financials and 22.1 disclosure (if condo purchase), looking over several Good Faith Estimates from several lenders and deciding on one to go with. Lots going on? You bet. But what happens when something goes wrong? Here’s where your agent, attorney, home inspector, and lender come into play. If something doesn’t look right and you can’t negotiate solid ground, move on and find something else.
But once everything is looking solid and you’re past all the hoops, you’re ready to buy your home. Now you can get really excited!