There are many things to consider when you are making an offer on a house. While it may be important to think in advance about movers, painters, budgets, your mortgage, furniture, school districts, utilities, contractors and housewarming parties, when it comes to making an offer there are some key things that can make a difference! Below are some important topics related specifically to the mortgage when you’re getting ready to write up an offer on a home.
Pre-Approval letter. Make sure that you are pre-approved by an experienced mortgage lender who will represent you well when the listing agent calls on behalf of the seller to vet your offer as well as analyzing your choice of lender. If the lender is one that they have heard of or at least somebody who is well reviewed, who has in-house underwriting, uses local appraisers, and seems like they will get the job done on time; that will be a huge help in the negotiations of getting your offer accepted. Pre-approval is not pre-qualification. That’s a preliminary first step you should go through earlier in the process that gives you general information about the type of loan you might qualify for.
Asking for Seller Credits. Keep in mind that a seller isn’t usually going to credit a buyer a certain amount for the closing costs out of the goodness of their heart, the amount is most often going to be built into a higher sales price. Hence, you end up financing the closing costs for the life of the loan and will end up paying more for them over time as a result. But if you are short of the needed cash to close your loan, and a seller credit is going to help make the purchase happen, then it can be a good tool to use. But in many competitive marketplaces a seller will not consider a seller credit for your closing costs in any circumstances, and in fact may not consider your offer at all if you ask for a seller credit.
Appraisal Contingency. Your realtor will talk to you about the appraisal contingency clause in the contract. If the appraisal comes in below the contract price, you may have to renegotiate.
Financing Contingency. Your realtor will also ask you about the financing contingency clause in the contract. I have had people ask me about the ability to waive the financing contingency, which can open up whole new cans of worms.
Closing Date. Make sure not to over-commit as far as how quickly you promise a seller that you will go to closing. Remember that this is a contract, which is binding. If you don’t make the closing date there may be serious repercussions. Delays can happen.
Read tips on the whole mortgage process, and remember to factor in the holidays!
Before you make an offer, schedule a call with me so that we can make sure you’re well prepared.