We talked about price, good faith or earnest money, down payment, and financing terms last time.  All of these issues are important in putting your best offer forward, but in order to make one that will be sound and attractive to the seller your offer to purchase must also address the issues of time of possession, contingencies, and inspections.

  1. Time of possession.  The contract for purchase must spell out a specific time when the home is turned over and available for occupation by the new owners.  Possession is often defined by an event such as “day of closing” or “two days after closing.”  That’s the time when the previous owners will be completely moved out and the home is ready for the new owners to move in.  Some offers may request early possession, meaning the home is turned over for occupancy prior to the closing date.  You will certainly want to consider a time of possession that is most convenient for all parties, however venturing too far from possession on the day of closing may warrant a rental agreement to bridge the gap on the calendar.
  2. Contingencies, such as appraisals, inspections and mortgage funding are common in offers to purchase, and protect the buyer in case of the unexpected.  An appraisal coming in under the expected valuation can affect the mortgage approval process as can inspection issues like a leaky roof, lead paint, or a faulty foundation.  Cover your bases by including appropriate language specifying what contingencies need to be met in order for you as the buyer to proceed to the closing table.
  3. Consult with your Realtor.  Chose a reputable Realtor with the experience to help you with your Crown Point, Valparaiso, or Chesterton home purchase.  They can help you gather information on recent home sales that is useful in determining an offer price.  They will also help you navigate the offer to purchase contract and take the time to consult you on the various contingencies, inspections, and other issues that can help spell out an offer no seller will refuse.