Finding a home that you think might just be “the one” can be an exciting feeling, but it can also be overwhelming until that closing date finally arrives. It takes a lot of steps to get to that moment, from finding a real estate agent to viewing a multitude of open houses and securing mortgage pre-approval. When you finally feel that it’s time to place an offer and mentally start planning out how to decorate your new home, it can feel almost exhilarating.
But before you jump to sealing the deal and celebrating, there can be certain factors that might end up setting off alarm bells, even after you’ve placed an offer to purchase. And it’s important to recognize those gut feelings and listen to them, even at this phase of the process.
If you notice any of these three red flags after making an offer, your best bet is to listen to your intuition, reconsider your offer, and maybe even walk away.
The Home Inspection Highlights Some Problems
Most offers to purchase are conditional on a home inspection, and for good reason. You need to know that beyond that surface layer of the home, there aren’t any potentially dangerous or costly problems lying beneath the surface. Older homes are especially most important for being inspected. If the inspection highlights any particular issues regarding asbestos, damage to the roof, problems with the foundation, cast iron plumbing, leaky ceilings, or knob and tube wiring, you might want to take some time to reconsider your purchase. Even new build homes can have troubling issues revealed in the home inspection.
If the home inspection reveals any issues, you have a few options. You can ask the seller to make the necessary fixes at their expenses, and your offer will remain in place. You can renegotiate your offer to account for the repair expenses you will incur upon closing. Or, you can walk away.
You Have to Get Involved in a Bidding War
Bidding wars have become more common these days, especially in a hot Ottawa real estate market. But just because bidding wars are common doesn’t mean you need to get involved. Bidding wars can become stressful situations that can cause you to place in offers way above your initial budget. Even if you’ve been searching for a while, that tinge of desperation can cause you to hike up your offer much more than you can realistically afford. Sometimes, being patient instead of going way over-budget is worth it. This is especially the case if you are bidding against a real estate investor or other entity that has other objectives for the property that justify a much higher price tag.
Poor Status Certificate
If you’re on the hunt for a condo, it’s important to keep in mind that it differs from a home purchase in the sense that purchasing a unit also means you’re essentially buying into the maintenance and governance of the entire building. This is usually based through your condo fees. But it’s important to review the condo’s status certificate before officially settling. This will show you the financial status of the condo corporation and what kind of state it is in.
Making an offer and finding that place you feel might actually be a place you can call home is always a whirlwind of excitement and anxiety. But it’s important to know that if you do experience any of these red flags, you do have the option to listen to them and back out of your offer of purchase. And sometimes, the reality of being disappointed rather than regretting your decision down the road can often be well worth it.