Presenting an offer |

Presenting an offer

Sean and Aimee McDonald

Whether purchasing a home for the first time or well versed in the home buying process, consideration should be given to each step leading up to the presentation of an offer to buy a home. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to purchase a new home every 8-10 years; yet, the real estate market is ever-changing and buying a home now can prove to be a different experience than it was just ten years ago. Those who’ve bought homes in the past are likely to find the integration of new technologies and requirements has changed the home buying process. In preparation, there are beneficial steps buyers can take before initiating a search for a new home.

When buyers begin looking for a home, they typically seek out the services of a real estate professional. However, it is also recommended buyers meet with a mortgage lender before they actively begin their search. Mortgage professionals can assess a buyer’s financial situation, determining suitable loan options best meeting their individual needs. A mortgage lender’s analysis will also serve to help buyers find an appropriate price point which aligns within their budgetary constraints.

Pre-qualifying for a loan with a mortgage company provides buyers the ability to expediently submit an offer when the right opportunity presents itself. Further, knowing the effects of price as it translates to a monthly mortgage payment, enables buyers to be more productive in their search, allowing them to focus specifically on prospective properties residing within their price range. Once a buyer finds a home they want to place an offer on, a pre-approval letter, issued by the buyer’s mortgage lender, adds significant value to their position.

It’s not uncommon for potential buyers to passively look at different real estate opportunities online before committing to the home buying process. However, once a decision has been made to move forward, a real estate professional can guide a buyer through each phase, acting as an advisor who negotiates on their behalf and coordinating the multiple stages involved.

Real estate professionals can help buyers find a new home by outlining the options available and narrowing the scope of their search criteria. This begins by determining what geographic areas are of interest to the buyers and ascertaining what attributes they desire in their new home. The more definitive buyers are in outlining their individual needs and wants up front, the more equipped they’ll be to make educated and informed decisions regarding their search.

Having identified what they seek in a new home, buyers should prepare a list establishing basic parameters from which to work. It is important to remember finding a home is more of a process of elimination as opposed to being a process of selection. But, an itemized list will allow a real estate professional to put the home buyer’s selections into action, finding properties that closely meet with their client’s criteria and removing homes that don’t.

Another consideration that must be accounted for is a buyer’s need to sell an existing home before they’re able to purchase a new one. If this is the case, they should strongly consider putting their current home on the market prior to beginning their search. There is a significantly better chance buyers will be able to negotiate the purchase of a new home if their old home is under contract or they have cash in hand.

When buyers are ready to submit an offer, they’ll want it to attract the attention of the seller without unknowingly overpaying for the property. Buyers should be mindful of pricing and demand for comparable properties in the immediate area while also taking into consideration the seller’s motivation to sell. These three factors will play a pivotal role in bringing forth a competitively written offer.

It may also prove advantageous to consider a seller’s needs, accounting for closing dates and other flexible terms as requested by the selling party. If accommodations can be made, the seller may in turn be more flexible on the asking price of their home. A real estate professional can often provide insight into what would be considered a competitive offer given these circumstances.

It goes without saying, purchasing a home is a long-term investment. But, far too often buyers overlook the fact they too will likely one day wish to sell. It’s important to think about the home’s location, plans for area development and its proximity to service offerings. Although the future can be difficult to predict, a home’s resale value might be impacted by unforeseen changes to the home’s surrounding area.

The better prepared buyers are to present an offer, the more equipped they’ll be to make educated decisions. It is important home buyers give thought to their immediate needs while accounting for future lifestyle changes. Many potential frustrations can be averted early on if buyers take the time to position themselves to make an informed purchase. Managing expectations and remaining focused on the criteria they’ve set for achieving a successful home search will serve to help prospective buyers locate and accomplish their goal of owning a new home.

Sean and Aimee McDonald, realtors with RE/MAX North Lake Tahoe, can be reached at 775-250-8335 or