Whether you are new to the Evanston or North Shore Real Estate market or you’ve been away from the market for some time; you’ll want to take note of today’s real estate market and what you can do to ensure a smooth process from now until you close! As experienced Evanston Real Estate agents, as well as working in other North Shore Real Estate markets, we want to make sure you’re fully prepared as we walk with you throughout the home buying experience. Below are seven key steps you’ll want to review before you begin!
Step 1: Set Up Your Financing- Getting pre-approved for a loan is imperative in today’s Evanston Real Estate market. Make sure you’ve spoken with a lender on how much you can afford and the type of financing you can get. Having a pre-approval letter will show sellers that you’re serious about buying and it can help move the process along quickly.
Step 2: Get a Home Inspection- Even though the Evanston home you’re interested in may seem in excellent condition, you’ll want to examine the house very carefully. Getting a home inspection will put to rest any questions you may have about the condition of the home and will let you know of any repairs that need to be made that can be included in your final offer. Do not accept the home’s condition from its appearance alone. You could find yourself facing major repairs once you move in.
Step 3: Set a Limit for Yourself- It can be easy to get swept up in a bidding war if the home you have your eye on is being viewed by a few other buyers. It’s important to set a limit for yourself and be willing to walk away once that limit has been met. There are many great homes on the Evanston Real Estate market so buying outside of your means is not necessary to get a great home.
Step 4: Decide on an Offer Price- Your Evanston Real Estate agent can help you determine your offer price as they’ll present you with the comparable homes currently on the market. By viewing these similar homes and with the advice from your real estate agent, you can set a realistic offer. It’s typical to offer 5-10% lower than the home is currently listed on the market, rather than making an extremely low offer that the seller will immediately reject. A lower offer will show that you’re interested and will give them room to counteroffer.
Step 5: Decide on Earnest Money- Earnest money is cash that you can include with your offer to show that you’re serious. The earnest money can vary depending on what you can afford and this amount will be subtracted from the amount you borrow from the lender. Typically the earnest money is about 1% of the purchase price.
Step 6: Consider Your Contingencies- Things such as closing costs, inspection, the appraisal, or any repairs are just a few of the contingencies that can be worked into your offer. Your Evanston Real Estate agent can help you build these into your offer, that will allow you to walk away or renegotiate with the seller if they are not met.
Step 7: Take Attention Away From Price- Most sellers do not want to see an offer that’s below the asking price, but you can make your offer more pleasing by adding in a few things such as an all-cash transaction or a quick close, that will sweeten the deal for the seller. Or, if the Evanston home you’re interested in is bigger than your current home, see if the seller would be willing to throw in a few of the furniture items. This can help save you money and you won’t have to depend solely on the asking price.
As you consider your next steps for buying a home in Evanston or any of the other charming North Shore neighborhoods, we hope these tips will help you get started on the right foot! We are always here to help answer any questions you may have and would enjoy the opportunity to assist you in your home search and purchase!
We look forward to hearing from you!
The Thomas Team
Chicago's #1 Real Estate Brokerage