Step 2: Shopping for Your Home, Disclosures, & Making an Offer
The next phase of your home buying journey involves defining what the ideal home means to you.
Taking time to sit down and compile a list of both ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ will help guide Dawn and her Team in locating properties that fit your lifestyle, budget, and desires. She will set up key searches in the MLS based on your criteria. This will notify you in real time about properties that are on the market or that have just been listed. Here are more specifics about creating this ‘shopping list’ and how Dawn will use it to locate properties on your behalf.
Once you’ve identified homes via the MLS searches that you’d like to see in person, let Dawn know so she can schedule private showings. Weekdays are best for showings as homeowners will usually be at work and potential buyer traffic in the home is considerably less. We also encourage you to attend weekend open houses and let us know if any of those properties interest you. Learn more about private showings.
For each home in which you are interested, it is extremely important to thoroughly read the seller disclosures and all inspection reports. These documents will give you specifics about any potential repairs or known issues with the home. By reviewing these documents in advance, you can often narrow down your list of properties. Read more about the importance of reading seller disclosures and inspection reports.
If you are considering purchasing a condominium or townhome, you should also take the time to read the Home Owner’s Association documents provided. These papers list the rules and restrictions in the community as well as its fiscal health. Having an understanding of this information in advance can help you decide if the community is financially viable and meets your needs BEFORE you make an offer. For more details on what things to look for in the HOA package, click here.
After touring numerous homes, attending open house events and reviewing a multitude of inspection reports and disclosure packets, you’ve found the ideal home and are ready to make an offer! Depending upon the home, there could be a set offer date or the seller’s agent may be accepting offers as they come in. Either way, it is imperative that we move quickly and that Dawn has the pertinent information needed to create the offer on your behalf. Read more about the specifics needed when writing an offer.
Another item to consider in advance is whether you would like a home warranty. Not the same as homeowner’s insurance, which is a must-have, home warranties cover repairs on appliances and home systems like plumbing and electrical. Now is also a good time to decide whether you would like to ask the seller to pay for the warranty so it can be included in the submitted offer. More information about a home warranty is available here.
Immediately after an offer is submitted, we recommend scheduling a home inspection. Depending on what type of market we are experiencing, your offer may be contingent (usually only in a Buyers Market) or it may be non-contingent (in a Sellers Market). Most inspectors’ schedules fill up quickly so it’s better to have an appointment and cancel, versus scrambling to find an available inspector to meet our potential property contingency deadline. If your offer isn’t accepted or we can’t agree on terms, we can cancel the inspection. If your offer is non-contingent, you still have the ability to inspect the property. It’s just your 3% Earnest Money Deposit would be at risk if you back out of the contract after acceptance. Here is more information on the importance of buyers conducting their own home inspections.
Great news! Your offer has been accepted! Now, let’s discuss what will occur during the contract phase of the buying process.