Learn The Art of Making a Winning Offer on Columbus Houses

You’ve looked at several Columbus houses and have found the home you’re interested in buying. The next step in the process is to make an offer on the property. There’s a real art to making a good offer, since offers not only indicate the price you’re willing to pay for the property, but also outline any terms or conditions you require for the purchase as well as target a prospective closing date.

In order to make a good offer, you need to gather some information: prices on similar Columbus OH homes for sale (known as ‘comparables’), a copy of the property disclosure form from the seller, a market analysis (how many homes listed, how many sold). Log on to the local county’s Auditor’s Office website and check to see if the property’s taxes are current. Columbus condos charge association fees; how much are they per month? Is there a home owners association with dues to be paid? What are the deed restrictions? Remember: it is your responsibility to perform any due diligence. Ask your Columbus real estate agent what you need to know! He or she is here to help! 

Your offer will be based on a number of factors, including comparables for the neighborhood, condition and type of the home. The starting point, though, is the seller’s asking price.

Try to understand the seller’s motivation, which will range from ‘an urgent need for cash’ to ‘in no hurry whatsoever.’ Obviously the more motivated a seller is, the lower your offer can be.

Think about asking for seller concessions in your offer. This may include the seller paying some of your closing costs and/or making certain repairs prior to closing.

Consider other tradeoffs as you determine your offer, including accepting the property “as-is,” rather than contingent upon inspection. It may also be possible for the seller to carry the financing in the form of a land contract or lease option rather than you obtaining bank financing.

Your Realtor will be an excellent resource for helping you structure an offer that’s in your best interest and also has a good chance of being accepted or at least countered. Remember, your main goal is to purchase the house, so you want to make sure your offer keeps the seller interested.

Typically, you will also need to put down a deposit (called ‘earnest’ money) with your offer. This deposit shows the seller that you are sincere about your offer. It will be credited back to you at the closing of the deal.

The seller has three options once you’ve placed your offer: to accept it, to reject it, or to make a counter offer. Your Realtor will advise you as to the best way to respond. If your offer is accepted, it’s time for a celebration and cautious optimism, for now a whole new process begins that includes inspections, obtaining financing, home repairs if required and preparing for the property’s closing, which is the moment that the home finally becomes yours.

Susanne is a master negotiator. Call her right now at 614-975-9650 to get the ball rolling!