Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How to Make an Offer on a Home


You've found your dream home and you're ready to make your offer. Remember, the offer you make could become legally binding. Here are the steps you'll need to take.


Difficulty: Moderately challenging

Things You'll Need

  • Inspectors
  • Real Estate Attorneys



Step One

Consult a lender or mortgage broker to find out how much you can afford to spend on a home, or use a calculator on a financial Web site such as Quicken.com (see "eHow to Determine How Big a Mortgage You Can Afford').

Step Two

Decide what type of financing you want: a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage.

Step Three

Know how much money you have for a down payment; typically 5 to 20 percent of the purchase price is required, depending on the loan terms.

Step Four

Get prequalified for a loan by a lender or mortgage broker.

Step Five

State what inspections you want to have done before you'll agree to buy the home. You can get general home inspections, as well as geological, roof, pool/spa, earthquake/flood and environmental inspections.

Step Six

State whom you want to pay for inspections, the termite report, required work, title insurance and escrow fees, and warranties.

Step Seven

Decide how long you want the escrow period to be.

Step Eight

Establish how long both parties should have to complete inspections, approvals and work.

Step Nine

Put a limit on the amount of time the seller has to respond.

Step Ten

Present your offer and a letter of prequalification for financing to the seller yourself or through your agent.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult a real estate attorney or broker before you sign anything. What you agree to could severely limit the remedies available to you by law.

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