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HOMEWISE
You’ve found a house you

Real Estate Tips and Advice

Once you Find a House

ask the seller to make those

want to make your home.

repairs or negotiate a lower

Whether it’s been weeks or

price or other trade-off.

months of looking, this is

States allow only a certain

an exciting step. Before you

number of days for the

fall in love with it, make sure

assessor to come in and

you’ve kicked the tires, so to

for the buyer and seller to

speak.

negotiate repairs, so start the

Turn on water faucets, flush

process quickly.

toilets, check fireplaces

Your lender will send an

and stoves, look closely at

appraiser, who looks at the

walls, ceilings and floors

home itself and also at similar

for any signs of structural

nearby homes that have sold

damage. According to the

recently to determine the

Guide to Buying a Home,

home’s value. You likely will

your real estate agent is a

not be able to get a loan for

great resource; he or she has

When you’re ready to make

filled out by your agent, but

money down with the title

walked through hundreds

an offer, talk with your

read each page carefully) and

company. This starts the

of houses and knows what

agent about price. Don’t be

includes information about

escrow period, a set amount

warning signs to look for.

afraid to negotiate, but know

the home itself, including

of time during which certain

Ask questions of your

how much you’re willing

potential drawbacks like

steps must be completed.

price, the buyer and seller

agent, neighbors if possible,

to pay and be careful not

living near an airport or

Your agent can help you find

may have to renegotiate the

a homeowners association

to overextend yourself. Get

previous issues with the

an assessor, who examines

price or the buyer puts more

and anyone else who can

a pre-approval from your

structure.

the house to make sure it’s

money down. You can also

give you an idea of what the

lender. The offer document

When your offer is accepted,

in good condition and what

appeal an appraisal if you

neighborhood is like.

is dozens of pages long (all

you’ll put a small amount of

repairs are needed. You can

believe it to be incorrect.

more than the appraised
value of the home; if it comes
back less than the asking

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