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Making an Offer

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Decide what you are willing to offer

You want to be as calm and objective as possible when you decide to make an offer on a house, but finally locating a place that says "home" to you is a pretty exciting and emotional experience.

It can be difficult to put all that enthusiasm aside while you weigh the asking price against what you think the seller might accept.

And, it can get tricky. If the price you say you're prepared to pay is way too low, you run the risk of irritating the seller, who might respond indignantly by becoming completely inflexible. On the other hand, you don't want to agree to a price that's higher than it should be, either. Your mortgage lender is going to conduct an independent appraisal of the property before any loan is approved. If the contracted price is in excess of what the appraiser says the property is worth, financing is going to be tough to obtain.

Seek the Advise of an Agent

Making your offer is the stage at which your real estate agent's expertise is going to be invaluable. An agent will be able to provide you with comparative selling prices for similar properties in the neighborhood.

An agent also may be able to tell you how long the house has been on the market. If it's a new listing, chances are there's less room to maneuver than if the house has been on the market for six months or a year.

You'll also want to take into consideration the condition of the property. If major repairs need to be made, this should be reflected in the price you pay. Your agent can advise the seller that your offer reflects these conditions.

Just remember, in your negotiations, you can always go up, but you can't come down. Because a little haggling over price is often necessary in real estate, be prepared for counter-offers, and general financial gamesmanship, and don't let it get to you. Remain patient.


Fran 507-951-3746     Rachael 507-951-0600     Eric 507-259-8438

Licensed in Minnesota and Wisconsin