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Buying a Home: The Missing Manual by Nancy Conner

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Chapter 10. Make an Offer

It’s an exciting moment—you found a home you love, and you’re ready to make an offer. You’re ready to take the next step—and it’s a big one—on your journey from househunter to homeowner. Even in the midst of all the excitement, though, it’s easy to worry whether you’re doing things right. If you offer too much, the bank might not approve your loan. If you offer too little, the seller might reject the offer without a counteroffer from which you can negotiate. In addition, you need to think carefully about how to protect yourself if something goes wrong between now and closing.

Although you may make a verbal offer to the seller, nothing is binding until you put it in writing. And a formal offer is a promise to buy. When you write up an offer with your real estate agent, you’re not simply feeling out whether the seller might sell at a certain price—you’re making a commitment to buy the home. If you and the seller can work out all the details, the home will be yours. It’s important that you craft your offer carefully to make sure it reflects your desires and protects your interests. This chapter takes you through the process: figuring out how much you want to offer, deciding on the contingencies and other conditions you want to include in your offer, and negotiating with the seller to come to an agreement that both of you can live with.

Figure Out What the Home Is Worth

The central part of any purchase offer is the proposed purchase price. You already know how ...

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