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Breck Associates home Buyers Guide >   Making an Offer

Making an Offer: Tips for Painless Purchase

Wheeler Trail in Colorado

The large number of properties on the market and very-attractive interest rates make now an excellent time for first-time buyers to purchase a property, as well as for existing homeowners to upgrade to a new home.


Prospective buyers should obtain documentation of mortgage approval from a lender for the amount they will spend on a home, or in the case of a condo, buyers should also make sure their lender is able to lend on the type of complex they are interested. Using a lender who is local to Summit County and familiar with lending in Summit County is critical in this time of unsure mortgage lending practices.

Finding a realtor who knows the local market and is a skilled negotiator is also essential. A knowledgeable realtor will be able to find answers to questions that could influence the purchase price.

When negotiating, prospective buyers should avoid “low-balling” their first offer; but they should have a good idea of how much room they have to negotiate. They should never reveal how much they are willing to pay and should be prepared for counter-offers by the sellers.

The average list-to-sell ratio in Summit County has been 97 percent from 2003 as reported through the end of 2008 through Summit County MLS data. That number, while valuable, can be misleading because it doesn’t take into consideration any price reductions that the property may have had during the duration of its time on market. Historically on average a Summit County property sells for 97 percent of the listing price once it’s priced correctly.

Ask your Realtor if the property you are looking at has had any price reductions and how many days it has been on the market. It’s also fair for your Realtor to ask the listing broker if the property has had any other offers.

Make your offer as “clean” as possible and keep in mind that having too many conditions will make your offer less attractive to the sellers. Finally, prospective buyers should never sign a contract for purchase and sale until they have reviewed the document very carefully.

Contact your Broker/Partner to learn more about how to best negotiate the home buying process.