Making an Offer: Tips for Painless Purchase |

Making an Offer: Tips for Painless Purchase

Question: Allison, what is the best way to make an offer on a property?

Answer: The overwhelming number of properties on the market and still-attractive interest rates make now an excellent time for first-time buyers to purchase a home, as well as for existing homeowners to trade up.

Prospective buyers should obtain written mortgage approval from lenders for the amount they will spend on a home, as well as to hire a real estate attorney and a buyers representative who know the local market and are skilled in negotiating. The buyers representative will find answers to questions that could influence the purchase price.

When negotiating, prospective buyers avoid lowballing 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.

They should keep in mind that having too many conditions will make them less attractive to the sellers. Prospective buyers should focus on trying to get their dream house at a fair price.

Finally, prospective buyers should never sign a contract for purchase and sale until their real estate attorney has reviewed the document.

Question: I am going to remodel an older home in Silverthorne. What types of remodeling projects give the greatest increase in property values?

Answer: Many homeowners upgrade their residences with property value increases in mind. The key for these consumers is to determine which improvements will produce the most value for the money.

According to Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value report, kitchen remodels are the most profitable upgrade, offering homeowners an 88 percent return on project costs. Some homeowners actually stand to lose money on a sale if they fail to modernize their kitchens and bathrooms, says Vince Butler of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association Remodelers’ Council.

On the hand, homeowners only recoup an average of 55 percent on the costs of a home office, making it the least profitable improvement. Remodeling investment returns are tied to the properties’ values, as well as local market conditions.

Question: Allison, what is the difference between appraised value and assessed value?

Answer: A home’s appraised, assessed, and market values can sometimes vary drastically, because different criteria are used to judge each value.

Sellers and salespeople consider factors such as the number of bathrooms and bedrooms; curb appeal; the local school system’s quality; and the home’s proximity to public transportation to set a sales price. But some buyers are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars above market price, if they fall in love with a property, says American Society of Appraisers Executive Vice President Edwin Baker.

An appraiser will determine a house’s value based on the prices of similar homes that have recently sold in the area, as well as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, yard size, additions, and the property’s overall condition.

The assessed value–used to calculate the amount of property tax the homeowner must pay–is typically less than appraised and market values. To determine the home’s worth, assessors will either compare recently sold homes, factoring in influences that may have boosted or reduced the sales price; tabulate the cost of replacing the home with a similar one; or calculate how much income the property would generate if it was rented.

For answers to your real estate questions, call Allison at 970-468-6800. Email – Allison is a long time local in Summit County. Summit Real Estate – The Simson/Nenninger Team is located at the Dillon Ridge Marketplace. Allison’s long-time residency and years of real estate experience can help you make the most of any buying or selling situation. She’s a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), the highest designation awarded to a Realtor in the residential sales field. Her philosophy is simple, whether buying or selling, she understands that the most important real estate transaction is yours. Want to know the value of your Summit County property? Visit

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