Putting an offer on a home can be one of the most exciting parts of the home-buying process; at the same time, there's also a great deal of uncertainty that comes along with making offers on houses for sale. Will your offer be accepted or rejected? Perhaps you'll receive a counter offer. There are a few things you should know before you make an offer on a house.
You'll Want to Include Contingencies
Unless you're willing to pay cash for a home and don't care to find out more about its condition, you're definitely going to need some contingencies included in your offer. These are terms that need to be carried out or conditions that need to be met in order for the offer to be valid. Some of the more common contingencies of an offer include obtaining financing, having the home appraise for at least asking price, and having a home inspection done. These contingencies are put in place to protect you as a buyer.
You'll Probably Need Earnest Money
In most cases, an earnest money deposit will be required by the sellers of the home; the purpose of this deposit is essentially to show the sellers that you're serious about your offer by putting your money where your mouth is, so to speak. Earnest money deposits can vary based on the sale price of the home but are usually a couple thousand dollars. You don't have to pay this until your offer is accepted--and even then, it's applied to your down payment and completely refundable if your deal falls through.
You Typically Can't Change Your Mind
Keep in mind that once you sign your offer document and it is sent over to the sellers, you cannot change your mind or revoke your offer. However, if your offer is accepted and contingencies aren't met--or if a home inspection reveals a large number of problems with the home, you will generally still be able to walk away from the deal without a problem. If you change your mind after an offer has been accepted, it's generally best to consult with a real estate lawyer to see what your options are.
These are just a few of the most important things to keep in mind when preparing to make an offer on a home. With this information in mind, you can make an informed decision regarding your upcoming new home purchase!