What do I need to know when I make an offer to buy?
In the offer you state how much you're willing to pay, suggest a closing date; propose conditions; and agree on the offer's expiry date. Your offer includes a deposit.
After the seller accepts your offer and agrees to your conditions, the offer binds both the seller and you the buyer. If you walk away from the deal, you may lose your deposit. You may also be sued for damages.
The conditions you attach to the offer may vary. The seller may come back with counter-conditions. You and your Realtor will have to negotiate conditions based on your comfort level with those issues. There are a number of common conditions.
- You won't buy unless you get a suitable mortgage. Include the amount you hope to secure and at what acceptable interest rate.
- You won't buy unless you sell your current home. The seller of the home you hope to buy may continue to look for other buyers, but you retain the right of first refusal.
- You won't buy unless the seller provides a current survey, or "real property report." It shows the location of the house on the property and proves that no encroachments exist.
- You won't buy unless the seller proves title to the property. Your lawyer will conduct a title search to learn if there are any liens, easements, rights-of-way, or height restrictions.
- You won't buy unless the septic system has a health inspection certificate.
- You won't buy unless the house is inspected for construction and safety.
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