Buying a home can be a bit challenging, with many things to understand and so many things that need to be done. It becomes even more difficult when a same-sex couple is going to buy a home together, because insurance, titling, and other protections and legal necessities are all involved. What some couples do is to confuse the process, particularly when it comes to making a purchase offer.
A purchase offer, though most consumers don’t regard it this way, is a legally binding document. It sets into action a number of events once accepted and that’s the very reason sellers typically require buyers to commit with an earnest money deposit. This deposit is an active motivator to cause the buyer to go through with the transaction. Sellers, however, aren’t necessarily off-the-hook.
The Home Purchase Offer Process
When you and your partner are ready to buy a home together, you should begin the process of addressing your credit. Regardless of what it might be, your score, as well as your partner’s score, is quite likely to be a bit inaccurate, as more than 40 million consumer credit files contain errors, according to a news report by 60 Minutes. Dispute any inaccuracies and begin to save for your down payment, your earnest money deposit, as well as money for inspections, your move, and other miscellaneous items.
“The tax advantage for same-sex couples in holding property as a tenancy in common is that when one partner dies, only that partner’s portion of the property goes into the deceased partner’s estate and becomes subject to the estate tax.” —HRC.com
The home purchase offer process, not surprisingly, isn’t completely depicted accurately on television. When you have house hunted enough to find enough homes to pair down to a few choices, you’ll not only have to decide which property suits your partner and you best, but also which is the smartest money choice. You can do this by looking at a few things for in a purchase offer.
How to make a Same Sex Home Purchase Offer
Once you have a few favorites and need to decide which to make an offer on, you should consult your buyer’s agent about it. Here are some things you should do when you and your partner are ready to make a purchase offer on a home:
- Know about the home’s history. The seller is required by law to disclose any problems with the property but might not know about past problems before they purchased the home. Ask your buyer’s agent about getting more information about the home’s history so you and your partner aren’t unpleasantly surprised in the future.
- Determine a purchase price. Your buyer’s agent will know if the asking price is reasonable, too high, or set to sell the home quickly. If it’s the last of the three, you ought to learn why that’s so. It could be because of a relocation or another reason.
- Set the terms. This will be a bit different for you and your partner than it is for heterosexual couples. The reason being is you might have financing in-place with one of you, while the other is coming in with cash, or other reasons. The terms are essentially how the money to buy the property will be obtained.
- Request the seller provide clear title. This is always an important part of a home purchase. The title company which does the closing will conduct a title search, and, you ought to include language which requires the seller to provide clear title.
- Set a target closing date. The closing date is generally thirty days from the acceptance of the offer, but can be longer or shorter.
Finally, you and your partner should include contingencies that clearly state what “outs” are available to you. Also include an option for a final walk through, which is you and your partner’s last opportunity to tour the property prior to closing.