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7 Things to do before making an offer on your dream home

Lovely couple walking towards the house

So you’ve gone through several homes now and a few of them have even made it to your shortlist. One house in particular is the closest to resembling your dream home and you’re seriously thinking of sending an offer straight away.

But before you go down that path, make sure you’ve got all your bases covered. The following tips may prove invaluable.

Consider the seller’s timeline

Some buyers focus too much on their schedules and forget to take into account the seller’s timeline. Both must be aligned in a real estate transaction.

In many instances, a seller is selling their property to finance a home upgrade or a relocation. If their timeline for moving out doesn’t sync with your ideal move-in date, they may be willing to find a more convenient deal with other buyers.

Walk around the neighborhood

Carve out some time to walk the streets and observe the overall vibe. Is there enough green space? Are noise levels bearable or will it be a problem? Is the neighborhood close to schools, parks, a strip mall, or the workplace? These are some things to bear in mind as you try to get a proper feel of the neighborhood.

If your schedule permits, check out the neighborhood a few more times and at different parts of the day. That’ll give you a better idea of what a community is truly like.

Find out more about the home’s history

There’s a lot of information that doesn’t appear on a home listing. You might need to uncover some of it to make a more informed decision.

This is where examining the home’s history comes handy. You can verify if the listing has appeared multiple times in previous years. Seeing the price changes is particularly useful for preparing your potential offer. You can also check the home’s financial standing to see if there are any additional loans or liens taken out on the property.

With access to various real estate databases and in-depth neighborhood knowledge, your agent can look into a home’s history for you.

Check past permits

Checking past permits (or the lack of permits, in some cases) helps you verify if the new upgrades listed in the property description, such as the heating/cooling system, is actually true. Such advertised features often add to the asking price — even if they were never there in the first place.

Look out for permits that were granted or not granted. If the home you’re eyeing is priced a bit too high, you can base your counteroffer on these receipts.

Factor in future development

It’s important for buyers to take future development into account when contemplating on a potential offer.

Neighborhoods change throughout the years. A new public park may be added or a commercial development may soon rise in a nearby area. These types of changes — positive or negative — can affect the appeal of the neighborhood and the home’s value over time.

While it’s difficult for anyone to accurately know what changes will take place, asking the homeowners association or residents and reading the local news are good places to start.

Circle back on the most glaring issues

It’s helpful to pause for a moment and think of any detail about the home that concerns you. Whether it’s the old roofing, lack of natural light in a couple of rooms, or the existence of mold and mildew, there will likely be issues that can potentially hold you back from extending an offer.

But maybe there are no major issues at all, which is the best scenario that any homebuyer can hope for. To be sure, sit down with your agent and walk through the things you liked and didn’t like during the home tour.

Calculate closing costs ahead of time

Should you ever decide to buy the home, it’s essential to know the total cost of the purchase to avoid any surprises during the closing phase.

Closing costs usually pile an additional 3-6% of the home sale price. The specific line items typically include attorney fees, title insurance, taxes, escrow, and courier and wire transfer fees. These are all standard in any home purchase and a sizable portion of these costs will be paid by the buyer.

Are you exploring the real estate market in Williamsburg, VA? Pursue your dream home with our agents from Coldwell Banker Traditions. Our 100 years of real estate experience will surely be an asset. Contact us at 757.229.9595 or email us at info(at)cbtraditions(dotted)com to learn more about our services.