Chicago Property Management Blog

6 Questions You Should Ask Before Making An Offer On A Property

6 Questions You Should Ask Before Making An Offer On A Property

As we have stated more than once, we understand the excitement and amazing journey of buying a first home. As thrilling as it can be, there is a lot of information and things that can go wrong. We highly recommend researching as much as possible to reduce the margin of error. After house scouting, you will eventually find the right home for you and your family. Once you have decided on it, have the pre-approval and are ready to make an offer, pause for a second. 

One of the most nerve-racking aspects of the whole process is actually writing up an offer. No one wants to pay more than the real value of the house, but if you shoot low you might be risking the rejection of the offer, so how should you handle it?

Here are some questions we suggest you ask the listing agent and your realtor. By gathering as much information as you can, you can make a more knowledgeable (and hopefully accepted) offer. 

Why is the seller selling this house?

When you are about to send an offer (or your realtor), then this question was probably asked a couple of times. The main reason why the house is being sold can be important and finding the right answer should be part of the decision making. This answer will give you and your agent a clear idea of the wiggle room the seller will accept and a more concrete timeline. 

How many days has this property been on the market?

If your future home has been on the market for a few months, it usually means it is priced above market. You should also question if it is a slow market and why this might be. Generally, the longer a home is on the market, the more wiggle room you have on your offer price.With the housing market as crazy as it is right now, if it’s on the market more than a week or two, something isn’t right!

What was the original purchase price?

Knowing the original purchase price of your home can really give you a starting point for the offer (even if years have passed since the last sale).  However, sometimes the original purchase price has absolutely nothing to do with the current home's price. Having this type of information will help you when it comes to negotiating the perfect price as you will know what they will be earning, hence what they accept or what they won't accept. 

What is the seller's timeline? 

Many sellers are in a rush to sell and would love to finish the process as quickly as possible (even if the offer is a little bit lower than the asking price). With that being said, they might have a personal situation going on that will make it easier for them to accept an offer. On the other hand, they might not be rushing and have all the time in the world to deal with the process of selling their home. Having a clear knowledge of the seller’s timeline will help you plan your next weeks/months before making an offer. 

Have there been any other offers? Why hasn't the seller accepted them? 

Asking this question can make or break your offer. It is extremely important to get as much information as you can from past offers made on this property and the reason why they were rejected. It is wrong to assume that a rejection of an offer was done only because of price. There are many other reasons why an offer would not be accepted. Think of timing, conditions or just a disagreement of terms.

While it is true that it is nearly impossible to predict if an offer will be strong enough to be accepted or rejected, asking some of these questions will help you and your agent gather as much information as you possibly can. The more the better, so don’t hesitate to do your extensive research.

If you have any questions regarding this topic, please feel free to reach out at 312-313-8553. We have professionals willing to guide you through the whole process.