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So you have been preapproved for a loan. Maybe you have even been shopping for a home. When you find that perfect place, the next step will be to make an offer. Here’s some things you should know before you do:
What is an offer?
The offer is the initial request to purchase the home. Once signed and accepted by the seller, it becomes the binding contract to purchase the home. It will include the purchase price, the timeline that you want to close (buy) the home, all known disclosures about the home, any contingencies of purchasing the home that you are aware of on the “front end” and any obstructions that the seller has disclosed that will affect the purchase.
What are contingencies?
Contingencies are the variable part of the contract. Contingencies may include:
What is an EMD and what does the title company do?
An EMD – Earnest Money Deposit is an amount of cash that the buyer deposits to show that they are serious about purchasing the home. This is usually about 1% of the initial sales price offer. Increasing this amount, or adding to it at points of the contract period, might indicate your increasing level of commitment and make your offer more competitive.
The EMD amount is credited to the final costs associated with the purchase of the home at the closing, including closing costs and down payment.
The title company is usually selected, and paid for, by the seller. They act as an intermediary in holding any deposits until the closing. They also perform and insure the title search and transfer of the deed.
The offer should include a stated period of time that will be allowed to physically inspect the home. It is strongly suggested that the main evaluation be performed by a licensed home inspector, or licensed tradesman whose expertise is related to the aspect in question (i.e. foundations, seawalls, pools, roofs, etc.)
The Florida AS IS contract (utilized in about 90% of all Florida real estate transactions) states that “for any reason” the buyer can exit the purchase contract within the inspection time period without the loss of the EMD. It is important to use a Realtor that is experienced in managing this transaction to assure the safety of your deposit.
Inspections could cost between $300-$500 depending on the size and age of the home for a general home inspection. Note that if the contract is terminated, you do not get this money back. But it is also good to understand that any information that you provide to the seller from a licensed inspector should need to be disclosed on any future attempts to market the property.
There is usually a specified date that the buyer is willing to allow the seller to decide to accept the contract. Acceptance by the seller after this date doesn’t necessarily negate the possibility of making the contract effective, but the date accepted would have to be agreed upon by the buyer and amended on the contract.
Knowing what to expect in making an offer should provide some guidance in searching for a new home. Knowing the observable aspects of the home inspection should also be valuable when viewing potential homes.
I have had a lot of experience with managing transactions and our team makes it a point of personally taking on this responsibility, instead of farming it out to a 3rd party transaction manager or subordinate. If you have any questions about this process before, during or after making an offer, I would love to help. Please feel free to reach out to me directly!
Seminole Heights Living