Writing and Negotiating an Offer

Buying a primary or second home is one of the most important purchases most people will make.  In order to make the right decision the first time, potential buyers need to be prepared. Consider the following before starting negotiations:

  • Do your homework

    Research the housing market in the target area. There are many wonderful resources on the internet that will allow you to become familiar with your area of choice, including: Realtor.com, RealtyTrac, Zillow, and of course the Cedar Creek Realty web site which allows you to easily search our office listings as well as accessing the entire MLS.  Once you have focused in on specific areas, your Cedar Creek Realty agent will have a detailed conversation with you to help really drill down to your specific needs.  Your agent will assist you in looking for answers to questions such as:

1.    What is the seller’s motivation for selling?  How motivated are they?  Are they close to having to do a short sale?  Who set the listing price?

2.    How long has the home been on the market? Have there been price reductions during the listing period?  Does comparable sale information indicate that the home is realistically priced?

3.    How much did the seller pay for the home compared to the current asking price? What is the current assessed value of the house?  Is the seller “upside down” on their mortgage?  Your agent can assist you with the tools to answer these questions.

4.    What is the seller’s time frame for selling and moving? Does the contract need to be written to allow extra time for the seller to move out after close of escrow?

5.     Are there any defects in the home or problems with the surrounding neighborhood? (For example, is the roof so old that it will likely leak during the next storm? Is the house situated in a homeowner’s association with extremely strict guidelines?).

6.     Does the house have a county file and the appropriate building permits?  Since Arnold is not an incorporated city (the only city in Calaveras County is Angels Camp) all permits, inspections and finals are handled at the Calaveras County Government center in San Andreas.  Your real estate professional will be able to check with the county to verify year built, square footage and whether the house has a final and certificate of occupancy.  There are many older cabins in the Arnold area, and some were built before the existence of the building department.  Your agent will guide you through solutions to this situation, should it arise.

These are just a few things to consider in your negotiations.  Your skilled real estate professional at Cedar Creek Realty will guide you through this process and assist you in obtaining the very best value possible in your purchase.