One question that I am asked frequently after a client and I find the home s/he is looking for is, “Okay, so what do we do next?” The truth is that making an offer on a property in Pennsylvania is really easy! A tech-savvy Realtor can write an offer without having to print or sign a single piece of paper today. With digital ink emerging quickly in the industry, more and more Realtors are utilizing this technology to facilitate the signing of paperwork. To make an offer today, you really just need the key pieces of information that I will cite below.
- Your Driver’s License – not just to prove that you are who you say you are (if we are at the stage of writing an offer, I would hope your Realtor has already verified that!), but because a driver’s license includes your full legal name and address.
- Purchase Price – this is the amount of consideration you want to offer for the property. Discuss with your Realtor how much you would like to offer, what your “top end” is, and what your agent knows about the local market and comparable properties. This will help you and your agent arrive at a respectable initial offer amount.
- Type Of Consideration – will you be financing? Is this a cash purchase? Is this offer contingent on sale of another property? These are the pieces of information your Realtor will need to fill out the paperwork for the offer (the Agreement Of Sale). The type of financing you elect (and qualify for) may affect the overall appeal of your offer to the seller, so make sure to discuss your options with your Realtor and a qualified Mortgage Lender.
- Closing Date – sometimes referred to as “Settlement Date”, this is the date that you anticipate having all your ducks in a row to “close” or “settle” the deal. As a standard practice, I advise my clients who are financing to go out about 6 weeks from the date we write the offer to select a closing date. For cash purchases, you can usually close sooner than 6 weeks, but make sure you have enough time to jump through all the necessary and elected hoops (title search, home inspection, appraisal).
- Pre-Qualification (financing) or Proof Of Funds (cash) – you will get either of these documents from your Mortgage Lender or Bank, basically expressing your ability to buy a property financially. This tells the seller that you are financially capable of buying the property as stated in the offer.
- Extras – this refers to any additional request from the buyer in a Real Estate transaction. Sometimes a buyer will request a “Seller’s Assist” or “Seller’s Concession” to help cover the closing costs. Other times, the buyer specifically wants a couch or some other piece of furniture to be included with the sale. This is something that is really handled on a case-by-case basis. As usual, I suggest you discuss your expectations and requests with your Realtor so that the appropriate paperwork can be filled out to include these “extras” if necessary.
With these pieces of information provided to a Realtor, you can skip right over the long and tedious process of sitting cooped up in an office after a long day of showings to read over and initial/sign everything. Technology today allows Realtors to fill out the paperwork for you while you are enjoying a nice restaurant or a quiet drive home, with the idea that you will be emailed the documents along with some guidelines and you can initial/sign them digitally and conveniently from your home computer or tablet.