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Making an Offer on a House Without a Realtor

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Authored by Kate Beswick in Real Estate 
Published on 10-07-2009

If you’re in the market to buy a house and want to save some money, chances are you’re buying without a realtor. Not using an agent to help find you the home of your dreams can save you a lot of money. But there are some things that you need to be aware of and great attention to detail is a must. The biggest challenge in buying a home without using a realtor is usually in making the offer. An Offer to Purchase a home is a legal document. Making mistakes, or not making sure that you have all your bases covered, could have great consequences and could make you end up losing that perfect home.

Once you have found a home that you want to buy, you need to make an offer. You can find an Offer to Purchase form online, or you can speak to your state’s realty board and find one from them. Inside the Offer to Purchase, you will be asked many things. These will include: your offer price for buying the property, your financial payment plan, your deposit check must be included, how closing costs will be paid, your move-in date, and any inclusions and exclusions. Inclusions and exclusions are things that will either be staying in the home such as appliances and light fixtures.

To be sure that you’ve included everything in your Offer to Purchase, it’s a good idea to have a lawyer look over the contract before handing it over to the sellers. If you don’t already have a lawyer that is helping you in the purchase of your home, you can find a real estate lawyer that will do it for a flat fee. In addition to making sure you haven’t missed anything, a lawyer can also add in certain conditions to the offer. These conditions will protect you throughout the sale and allow you to back out should something happen.

Once you have handed in your Offer to Purchase to the seller, many different things could happen. The seller could accept the offer in which case, congratulations! You’re the owner of your new home! But the seller could also counter the offer. Counteroffers aren’t rejections of your original offer but they do occur if the seller is asking you to amend your offer. Counteroffers usually come with higher prices or with waivers of conditions that were on the original offer. The seller could also counter with an offer that has a firm price. This means that this is the price they want for the home and they are not willing to go any lower.

Sadly, sometimes the Offer to Purchase is just rejected right away. Using a realtor is helpful in these cases but not using one does not mean that you are automatically doomed. You still have hopes of owning that home if you really want it! Often sellers will reject an offer in the hopes that the buyer will come back with an offer that’s much higher. If you’re really serious about the home and are willing to pay much more for it, you could try using this tactic. Chances are whatever you do, you will have to pay a higher price. But you can also try to keep it as low as possible by going back to the sellers and showing them that you are a serious buyer.

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