When you finally find the home of your dreams, it is very important that you look it over "from top to bottom" to make sure you do not fall in love too quickly. Sellers sometimes cover major flaws with paint or wallpaper, so that people who do not check thoroughly will not notice the damage. These flaws frequently cost a great amount to repair once you have bought the home, so you should do your best to check the home very carefully prior to making an offer to purchase.
Thoroughly check the physical condition of the home, looking for any repairs that need to be made, as well as whether the house is new, several years old, or fairly old. It is also important to feel confident that there are enough bedrooms and extra space to meet your needs. Make sure that you really like the design of the home as well.
Also, before making an offer on a home, you should get to know the neighborhood. Visit the area during different times of the day and night. Meet your potential neighbors and ask them about your neighborhood. Reconsider the amount you are willing to offer to purchase the home, so that you are really sure that it is worth the price.
Before you make an offer, you need to determine how much the home is really worth. Your real estate agent can help you by providing information about other homes in the neighborhood that have recently sold. This way, you can compare the selling prices of the different homes to feel confident that you are offering a fair and sufficient amount. There are also a number of other services available on the Internet that can provide estimated values and recent sales within the general area.
When you are ready to make an offer, your real estate agent will prepare a Purchase Contract, which is the document that will be presented to the seller. The Purchase Contract documents your offer with the price and any conditions you have for the purchase.
Along with your offer, you will need to provide earnest money (or a Good faith deposit). This is a cash deposit (several hundred dollars to several thousand depending on the value of the home on the market) towards the down payment that shows your commitment to buying the home. Ask you real estate agent how much money is needed for a deposit, and use your pre-qualification certificate to back up your offer to seller.
Verify your contract includes a clause that stipulates that the purchase depends on a satisfactory professional inspection. Ask your real estate agent to recommend a professional inspector with many years experience. After your offer is accepted, the inspector should give you a written evaluation of the home and make any repair recommendations that are necessary. If you have any doubts about the inspection, ask for a second one.