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Fabulous! You’ve found the perfect home and want to put in an offer. Before we can put an offer in on a home, there are a few things we need you to email to us:

Full legal name:   Please email us the full legal name of anyone who will be on the contract as well as their phone number and email address.  The legal name has to match what is on your driver’s license as you’ll need to show your driver’s license or passport at closing and this name needs to match what is on the contract.

Initial offer price:  What initial price do you want to offer for the home?  Let’s have a discussion about the sale to list price in the neighborhood if we haven’t already as that will tell you a lot about whether you should expect to pay below asking price, asking price, or above asking price based on today’s market. I will also email you comps to review and give you my opinion as to what the home is worth.

Your walk away price:   Don’t expect to pay your initial offer price as it’s extremely rare for a seller to accept your initial offer without some negotiating back and forth.  That’s why it’s called an initial offer.  In addition to deciding what offer you want to put in to start, you need to decide now how much you’re willing to pay for this property and what your walk away price is before thing get heated and emotional.

Closing date:  Typically in Indiana, closing takes place around 30-45 days from contract acceptance. Closings can only take place Mon – Fri; they cannot take place on weekends or bank holidays when the banks are closed.

Sometimes you can ask for a longer closing date (60 – 90 days) depending on the seller’s needs, but don’t expect it to be granted.  Therefore, if you want to move around July 1, plan on putting in offers May 15-30. While some local lenders we use can do closings faster (usually 21 days is the fastest a closing can be done with a mortgage), most lenders can’t close that fast and need 30 – 45 days.  If you want to close faster than 30 days please let me know as we’ll need to direct you to particular lenders in town who are capable of closing quickly.

If you’re not getting a loan and are paying 100% cash you can close as quickly as 14 days.

Before putting in an offer, please email me what exact date you want to close on the home (remember it has to be a Mon – Fri). We don’t recommend closing on a Monday as Monday closings increase your chances of wire fraud issues.  Usually we cannot specify a specific time for the closing yet as that depends on when the title company and all parties are available. We will set that closing at least a week ahead of closing and sooner if possible.  Closings can take place anytime from 9am – 4pm and usually take 1 hour. If you cannot attend closing, we need to know that 2-3 weeks in advance so we can ask the lender to approve a Power of Attorney so a family member can sign the documents on your behalf.

Earnest money:  How much earnest money are you comfortable putting down on this property? Typically, contracts in Indiana ask for 1% of the purchase price as earnest money.

This earnest money is given as a check to the listing broker and depostied immediately.  It will be held in escrow until closing and applied to your downpayment and closing costs.

Down payment:  For the contract, we need to know how much you’re going to put down for your down payment vs how much you are getting a mortgage for.

Closing cost credits:  Do you want to ask the sellers to pay any of your closing costs? Generally the sellers pay their closing costs and the buyers pay their own closings costs, however, we can ask the sellers to pay some of your closing costs on top of theirs, if needed.

Home warranty:  Do you want to ask the seller to provide a home warranty on the property? If the property doesn’t have multiple offers, we always recommend asking the seller to provide you with a one year home warranty.  Depending on the type of property you’re buying, this usually costs the sellers between $500 – $800.   Click here for more info on home warranties.

Contingencies:  Any other contingencies we need to be aware of? Do you need to sell your current home before we can buy this home?

Once we’ve talked through the above and we have your answers, we’ll write the contract and have you sign it via a program called Dotloop. Click here for a quick tutorial.  We’ll then submit it to the seller’s agent.  While negotiations sometimes go quickly, be prepared that it often takes 2-4 days to negotiate the purchase price and terms of the contract.  Every seller is different and some people can make decisions quickly whereas others need time to think things through. Patience is the name of the game once an offer has been submitted since we don’t want to look too eager as it weakens our negotiating position!