Searching for a first home to buy is often a confusing yet exhilarating process. The market today offers tons of excellent deals on homes, so those who are ready to buy will have a lot to choose from. It’s important to work closely with a real estate agent during this time and to carefully consider each home that’s viewed to make sure it’s the right one. By going through the right steps for making an offer, negotiating repairs, and more, it’s possible to find the perfect home and start settling in right away. Use the information below to learn more about negotiations and what to expect after you start looking at homes to buy.
Put in an Offer for the Home
Once the buyer finds a home they like, they’ll need to put in an offer. It’s best to work with a real estate agent to find the right amount to offer for the home. Remember, there is the chance for negotiation after a home inspection, so the amount offered won’t necessarily be the amount paid for the home. Still, it’s not a good idea to offer something over budget, as there may be little to no room for negotiation with the inspection and it could mean walking away from the home. The real estate agent can help the buyer know what to expect later in the process and what the offer should consider.
Consider the Type of Home Wanted
What type of home is going to be best? Some homebuyers will want a fixer-upper so they can save money on the initial purchase, handle repairs on their own, and make the home what they want. This is great for those who have the time to dedicate to home renovations, but it’s not the right choice for everyone. Others will want a home that’s already in good shape and that won’t need much work before they move in. In either case, it is important to have an inspection done to see what needs to be done for the house and if it falls under their plans for repairs or if it’s something they’ll want the current owner to fix before closing.
Have a Home Inspection Done
Once the offer has been made, it’s time for the inspection. The inspector will look through the whole house to determine if there are any issues. There are some things they cannot do, like damage the home in any way, but they can still get a good idea of what repairs will be an immediate need once the house is purchased. Most inspectors will then provide a thorough inspection report, including photos, so the potential buyer can see what they’ll need to repair right away, what might need to be repaired later on, and what will need to be fixed eventually but isn’t a big concern now.
Look at the Home Inspection Report
When the home inspection report is ready, the potential buyer should review it carefully. They may find out that appliances that come with the home are older than expected and will need to be replaced or that there are signs of water damage they didn’t notice in the home. They’ll want to compare the inspection report with their ideal home, as those who are looking for a fixer-upper may be more willing to accept a house with a longer inspection report compared to those who want a home that’s ready to move into. Even those who are willing to do some repairs on their own, however, will want to look into what the repairs are and how much work it will take before the home is move-in ready.
Learn How Much the Repairs Will Cost
It’s a good idea to get an estimate of how much the potential repairs will cost. Prospective buyers can have a company review the inspection report and determine the cost per item or for everything on the report to be repaired. Which one they do may depend on what they plan to repair on their own, but even if they want to handle the repairs, knowing the cost to have them done can help with negotiations.
Decide if You Want to Move Forward
Once someone has an idea of what they want, the repairs the home will need, and the cost of those repairs, they can start thinking of how to negotiate for the home. There are different options during this part that they can ask for, depending on how they want the repairs handled. The real estate agent they’re working with can help determine what the seller is more likely to accept and let them know if it’s likely the seller will help with any of the repairs that are needed. If there is just too much that needs to be done for the home to be livable, the buyer may want to walk away.
Request Repairs Done or Cash Back
During negotiations, the buyer can have the seller handle the repairs or request either cash at closing or a lower price instead of the repairs being done. There are pros and cons to each of these. If the buyer would like the seller to handle the repairs, it’s best to make sure they’ll use a licensed professional so the job is done right. If the buyer wants to tackle repairs on their own, they can use the inspection report to negotiate cash back at closing, giving them some extra funds to use to fund the repairs. If you’re planning on buying a home, make sure there won’t be any major surprises by having a home inspection done. Once the inspection is done, you’ll know what needs to be fixed and can start negotiating for a much better price or for the repairs to be finished so the home is ready for you to move into. Always read the inspection report carefully and know what you want to tackle on your own before starting the negotiations, so you can make sure the repairs are done quickly and properly.