Q. We’re in escrow and closing on our home in 20 days. We’re really excited about the purchase of our home. Can we move some of our belongings into the house before we close?
A. This is a very good question and one that I am asked, frequently. The process of the buyer moving items into the house, prior to ownership, is decided on a case by case basis, by the seller. Typically, a seller prefers the buyer wait until they own the home before moving any personal belongings into the house. If items are stolen or damaged, the seller is responsible. In cases where the seller agrees to allow some items be placed in the house prior to closing, the realtor will have the buyer sign a “release and hold harmless agreement”, releasing the seller from all liability and responsibility. In addition, the buyer must be accompanied by the realtor onto the property, prior to closing, because the seller could be held liable.
Q. What is the best strategy when a bank makes a counter offer and you don’t want to go too much higher? I offered 95% of the asking price on a home 2 days ago, and want to know what to do next if a counter offer should come back.
A. Always hire a Realtor. You need representation, especially with all the foreclosures and Short Sales out there, right now. There is a good deal of negotiating that goes on behind the scenes, to have your offer accepted. With a bank, they have no emotional connection with the property. It’s all about the numbers for them. If you really like the house and there are other offers on the table, in addition to yours, you may want to accept the banks counter offer. However, if you are the only offer for the home, I would write your next offer price, and write FIRM. This way, the bank knows that you have reached your limit. If the bank walks away from your offer, then you can find another property.
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