NEGOTIATE BEST OFFER
It's our job to fully understand today's real estate market, we are acutely aware of neighborhood happenings and which ones hold value. We establish an appropriate price to offer and present it to the seller's agent and negotiate on your behalf.
The offer to purchase contract is there to protect you. It will typically be coupled with a "good faith" check to show that you are serious known as earnest money. We suggest the initial earnest money be in the amount of $1000. In recent years, many of our clients have made offers (and won) in multiple offer situations by going over asking price, increasing the initial down payment, writing a personal note to the seller, etc.
Your offer should have a time limit for the sellers to accept, reject it, or make a counteroffer. If a counter-offer is made, you’ll have some time to respond. Often, several offers go back and forth until an offer is accepted, or one party decides to end negotiations.
The Procedure/next steps
- Now, there are several things that we need to understand in order to complete the official contract that will be submitted to the seller’s agent (constituting the offer). They are as follows:
- Full legal name and contact numbers and email address of people that will be on the contract
- Offer price
- Your walk away price
- Closing date: Typically in Chicago, closing takes place 30-45 days from contract acceptance. Sometimes you can ask for a longer closing date depending on the seller’s needs, but I wouldn’t expect it. Therefore, if you want to move around July 1, plan on putting in offers mid-May. If you’re paying 100% cash you can often close faster than 30 days, but 30 days is usually the required minimum if you’re using a mortgage to buy the property.
- Earnest money: How much earnest money are you comfortable putting down on this property? Typically, contracts in Chicago ask for 10% of the purchase price as earnest money, although I usually write 5% in my contracts. This earnest money is due in two payments. Generally the first payment is due 1-2 business days after you and the sellers have signed the contract. The second earnest money check is due 2 business days after the inspection and attorney review is completed, generally about 1 – 2 weeks after everyone has signed the contract. The earnest money is part of your down payment. Therefore, if you’re planning to put $40,000 down for a down payment and you’re paying $15,000 in earnest money then at closing you would owe an additional $25,000 for the remainder of the down payment.
- Down payment
- Closing cost credits: Do you want to ask for any credits for closing costs which would go towards the amount of closing cost fees you have to pay for on top of your down payment?
- Home warranty: Do you want to ask the seller to provide a home warranty on the property?
- Contingencies: Any other contingencies I need to be aware of? Do you need to sell your current home before we can buy this home?