|Writing an Offer - Concerns About the
Although you have toured the property, looked at the walls and
ceiling, turned on the faucets and played with the light
switches, you have not lived in it. The seller has years of
knowledge about his or her home and there may be some things you
want to find out about as quickly as possible. For this reason,
you will require certain disclosures as part of your offer.
Basically, you want the seller to disclose any adverse
conditions that may have a substantial impact on your decision
to purchase the home. This would include any problems with the
house, whether the property is in a flood zone, a noise zone, or
any other kind of hazardous area.
If you have an agent representing you, this is almost automatic,
but many states do not require individuals selling their own
home to provide you with this information. Often they do not
require banks selling foreclosed property to provide these
disclosures, either. Obtaining these types of disclosures should
always be a part of your offer, and time is of the essence.
Condition of the Property
The last thing you want when you assume possession of your new
home is to find it in a total mess. Therefore, you should make
it clear in your offer that certain minimum standards are
required. If you do not, you might find out the seller or
neighbors have begun using the back yard as a trash dump, or
something worse – and you would not be able to do anything about
Some of the requirements you might want to include in your offer
are that the roof does not leak, the appliances work, the
plumbing does not leak, that there are no broken or cracked
windows, the yard has been kept up, and any debris has been
Besides appraisal and the termite inspection, you should also
have a professional go through the house and seek out potential
problems. Of course, you will have inspected the home, but you
are not used to looking at some things that a professional will
find. Even if they are not things the seller is expected to
repair, at least you will have foreknowledge of any potential
The seller will want this inspection performed quickly, so that
you can approve the results and move forward with the purchase.
Once you receive the inspection, you will want to allow yourself
sufficient time to review and approve the report. If you do not
approve the report, you may negotiate with the sellers on which
repairs should be performed and who should pay for those
repairs. Otherwise, you can cancel the purchase without penalty,
provided you have included timetables in your offer.
Allow a maximum of ten to fifteen days to receive the report and
five days to review it.
Final Walk-Through Inspection
Before closing, you will want to revisit the property to ensure
it is in the condition you have required in your offer, and to
inspect that any required repairs have been performed. You
should do this no sooner than five days before you intend to
close. Make sure this right to do a final inspection is included
in your offer to purchase the home.