Great news – you’ve received an offer to purchase your home! …Now what?

In this 2-part series, we’ll walk you through everything to consider when reviewing an offer to purchase your home for a successful and smooth transaction.

Fully understanding all the points of the contract is imperative to negotiating the best possible result for our seller. The JS Realty Team strives to ensure our sellers have the best possible outcome in the many facets of the Real Estate transaction.

Now that you have an offer on your home, you and your agent need to do your due diligence on researching the offer. Whether you receive 1 offer or 5 – the Hands reviewing real estate property documents.contracts need to be carefully reviewed to ensure you know exactly what the potential buyer is proposing. Only after you have reviewed and researched all offers will you be able to proceed to choose the contract that works best for you.

At JS Realty we like to list all the negotiating points of the contract(s):

  • Sales price
  • Seller subsidy
  • Down Payment
  • Loan type
  • Earnest Money deposit
  • Settlement date
  • Title Company
  • Inspections – Termite, Home, Radon, Well and Septic
  • Home Warranty
  • Contingencies – Appraisal, Financing, HOA or Condo
  • Post settlement occupancy

First we will call the buyer’s lender and confirm that the lender has verified the buyer’s credit scores, income, debt to loan ratio, and money needed for down payment and closing costs. You do not want to ratify a contract and take your home out of “active” status, only to find out the buyer does not qualify for the loan.

Next we ask the following key questions about the offer and where the money is coming from:

  • How much did the buyer offer?
  • Are they asking for closing cost assistance?
  • What type of loan (conventional, FHA, VA or other) program?
  • Does the buyer’s down payment match up to the type of loan?
  • How much money did the buyer commit to an escrow account at the time of writing the offer? Note: We like to see a minimum of 1% of the sales price.

After you’ve answered the finance questions, it’s time to talk settlement dates! Make sure (as the seller) the date the buyer has chosen will work for you. Do you have enough time to schedule your move? Does the timing fit your moving plans? Do you need a rent back?  This is when you negotiate the timing of the transaction. Once you ratify the contract, you lose your leverage to negotiate different terms.

Now we will carefully review the conveyance section of the contract, making sure only the items that are supposed to convey are checked.  For example, if you do not want to convey your new front loading washer/dryer, now is the time to make sure the buyer did not ask for it!

Check back next week for Part 2Inspections, Warranties, Contingencies & Post Settlement Occupancy.

The JS Realty Team – not only serving Brambleton, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Scott Koval

Author: Scott Koval

Co-founder of JS Realty, Scott has been providing ethical, honest, & fair real estate transactions for more than 11 years. He strives to create a lifelong relationship with his clients and is always available for them. When he's not Pinning gardening tips, Scott spends much of his spare time on golf courses in his area.


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