Do you think they will take less?

Your Realtor doesn't know, however, experience has shown there are some basic things that will have a positive influence on how the seller views your offer.

  • Present your offer in writing
  • Include substantial earnest money with the offer (e.g. 3 to 5 percent of the offer price)
  • Attach a written and signed mortgage approval from your lender
  • Request few contingencies and have a short time frame within which to have them completed
  • Coordinate settlement with the seller's needs

If you must sell your current property before you buy, even if your current property is under agreement, that fact must be reflected in the offer. If your current property is under agreement, consider sending a copy of that agreement along with your offer.

Are there other homes to see?

Buying a property is analogous to finding a spouse. Obviously there are others to see. The question you want to answer - is the property to which I'm attracted able to meet my needs and priorities? A Realtor can help you through this evaluation process. If that happens to be the first property you see, buy it before someone else does.

How do I get pre-qualified for financing?

Discuss some of your primary financing needs with your Realtor. At that point your Realtor will be able to recommend one or two reputable lenders with whom you can communicate, usually by phone or email. Your Realtor and your lender can assist you far better if you reveal all the relevant facts up front.

How do I choose a REALTOR®?

Carefully! First, there are various ways to find a Realtor; it could be a referral by a friend, relative or coworker; at an open house; on a web site; or by coincidence. A Realtor will want to meet with you, before showing property, to understand your timing, why you're moving, your prior experience in the market, your needs and priorities and financing goals. During this short discussion you and the Realtor should be able to determine if this could be a good business relationship. Don't omit checking references.

How do REALTORS® get paid?

Realtors receive compensation from the company with which they are associated. The company receives a fee from the proceeds of the transaction, usually expressed as a percent of the sale price.

There are three common scenarios when a transaction involves a real estate company(s). 1) A company and its Realtor (listing agent) are working for the seller and the same company and another of its Realtor's (buyer agent) are working for the buyer. 2) A company and its Realtor (listing agent) are working for the seller and a different company and its Realtor (buyer agent) are working for the buyer. This is often referred to as a cooperative transaction. 3) A company and its Realtor (listing agent) are working for the seller and the same company and the same Realtor (buyer agent) are working for the buyer. This is referred to as dual agency.

When a real estate company enters its seller client's property in the multi-list system, that real estate company is agreeing to split the fee it receives with a cooperative office which is working for the buyer. Therefore, when a buyer purchases a property that has been entered in the multi-list system, there is normally no fee paid by the buyer.

What happens if I'm attracted to a property for sale which is not listed by a REALTOR®; for example: builder, for sale by owner, or auction properties?

This subject should be discussed prior to hiring your Realtor of choice. Agreement, prior to looking for a property, as to how your Realtor will be paid can then allow both of you to focus on the goal, that of finding a property from the entire market place that meets your needs and priorities quickly and anxiety free.

If the seller does not have a fee included in the asking price have your Realtor submit an offer which does include the agreed upon fee. The offer should state the amount of the fee.

Before you start negotiations, have your Realtor do a market analysis on the property to establish the current value range of the property. The offer can include a contingency that makes the offer null and void, at your discretion, if it does not appraise for your offer or higher.

Can I go to open houses without my REALTOR®?

Yes, however, please immediately disclose your Realtor's name to the Realtor hosting the open house. Remember, your Realtor, not the host of the open house, has been hired by you to represent you! If the property appeals to you, call your Realtor and have them set up an appointment to go through the property with you.