Make an Offer, A Strong Offer

So this girl right here went to see a condo this week.




This girl right here, my daughter Joanna. Joanna’s not sure if she wants to buy a condo, but she’s started to think about it. She feels certain she’d like to have a place of her own one day. Maybe that day is now.

The condo she saw? She liked it. She really liked it. It’s still on her mind days after seeing it.

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This girl, my daughter is now also my client. 

If she wants to buy this condo she’s going to have to make an offer. And if she’s going to make an offer she’ll want to make a strong one, one that will be accepted.

Ducks have to be in a row.

She has some work to do, and so do I.

Strong offers require the collaboration and diligence of both agent and buyer. Both buyer and agent have some things to do.

Buyer’s to do list:

Have a current pre-approval letter

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is really the first step in the home buying process. If your purchase is going to require a mortgage it will need to be approved by a lender.

Consider and decide if this is “the one”

Does this property fit your needs and goals? Have you seen enough properties to know that this is the one? Is it doable?
Agent’s to do list:

Run the comps

Running the comps helps make an offer that makes sense.

Request condo docs and Homeowners Association Rules and Regulations

Is the association financially sound? Who pays for the windows when they need to be replaced? Is there a special assessment on the horizon?

Are the rules, rules the buyer can live with.

Conversation with the listing agent

A call to the listing agent gives the selling side a heads up on interest in the property. It also allows the opportunity to find out what kind of closing date a seller is looking for, and what terms are most important to them.

If there’s a desire to proceed once the to do’s have been done, it’s time for an offer.

A Strong offer.

What is a strong offer?

A strong offer is desirable.

A strong offer gives consideration to what the seller is looking for. A closing date that works well for the seller, a quick close or one that’s flexible. An offer to purchase includes several “terms” price, closing date, financing, closing cost requests, home sale or closing contingencies, etc. A strong offer is one in which one or more of the terms are desirable to the seller.

A strong offer is complete.

A strong offer is delivered as a package, a complete package. A strong offer includes a contract neatly and completely filled out. It includes the pre-approval letter and a copy of the earnest money check. It can also include a note of explanation for the offer with supporting comparables. A strong offer isn’t  a verbal offer, it’s not a “we will get you a pre-approval letter tomorrow”…a strong offer is complete.

A strong offer makes sense.

A property is worth what a buyer is willing to pay. A buyer will determine what a property is worth to them, perhaps the price is much lower than the seller is asking, or maybe near or at or over the listing price. A strong offer is one that reflects the buyer wants the property and is willing to pay a fair price as indicated by the closed comparables and current active listings. A strong offer is not pulling a price out of the air, a strong offer makes sense.


The condo this girl, my daughter, my client saw?

The day she spoke to a lender, the day I had gathered the comparable sales and condominium documents and rules and regulations…was the day the condo went under contract.

Someone else had made an offer, a strong offer.

This girl, my daughter, my client…she’s prepared now. She has a pre-approval letter, she knows what’s doable now…knows what she ’s approved for, knows the payment she’d be most comfortable with. She’ll be ready when the next like it alot condo comes along…ready to make her strong offer.

As the spring market gets underway it’s important to have your ducks in a row. Properties on the market one day may be gone the next…the reason? The sellers have received a strong offer.

Be ready to make yours!

The Amy Curtis Group is skilled in crafting strong offers, when you see a move on your horizon, give us a holler, we’re here to help!



Word Wednesday: HVAC

HVAC:  Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning


The house we bought a couple of years ago was built in 1963.


I fell in love with the house the moment I  walked in the front door, it had me at hello.
Before I’d even made my way through the entire house or seen the backyard I’d  already imagined myself living there…knew where I’d put our couch and bookcases.


The furnace and air conditioning weren’t as old as the house, still, they were ancient. But I was already a goner by the time I  saw the green rusty monstrosity that was the air conditioner. I saw the house in the summer, the house was cool enough, the air conditioner WAS working, but darn, it looked like it was on its last leg. Learned it was installed in 1986. It was working, but for how much longer?



No one looking at houses falls in love with a heating ventilation and air conditioning system. The HVAC is one of those after the fact things…irrelevant if you don’t care for the house, or a thing to contend with if you have indeed fallen in love.

The HVAC is one of those things that make the lovestruck buyer squeal in delight if they discover its relatively new…what great news! Love the house and the furnace is new!

If it’s old or ancient as was the case with the house that had already become the object of my affection…it’s a how do I deal with it??

What’s a buyer to do??

Decide if it’s a deal breaker.

Maybe you don’t love the house quite that much, maybe one of the others you’ve seen are lovable and have newer systems.

Ask that the seller replace it.

In my experience this doesn’t happen. But hey…you can ask.

Recognize a new HVAC system is in your sooner rather than later future and consider your offer price accordingly.

Sellers most often say, “it’s older but working fine, we’ve never had a problem with it.” But sellers, realistic sellers, know an old furnace and air conditioner are going to be an issue for most buyers and will take it into account in negotiating.

Cross your fingers and hope it keeps working.

If you go this route you’ll want to be sure to consider accumulating some savings for the day it goes kaput, because it will.

Request a home warranty from the seller or purchase one yourself.

A one year home warranty buys you time to save, and buys peace of mind too. If the furnace or a/c goes out during the coverage period, the warranty will cover much of the cost of replacement.


My house had me at hello. I was a goner. The HVAC wasn’t a deal breaker…and the sellers gave me the answer I most often hear, “it’s old but working fine.” They weren’t replacing it…heck, they didn’t even give it consideration in our negotiations, they didn’t care about their ancient furnace and air conditioner, and I guess I didn’t either. I wanted the house. In the end, they did agree to the home warranty. It was enough to have me squealing with delight…love the house, the HVAC is ancient, but there’s a warranty!!


Postscript: The warranty coverage period outlasted the ancient a/c…the house now has a new air conditioner…and the warranty covered most of it…squeal!



The Amy Curtis Group specializes in helping folks buy homes that have them squealing with delight…give us a holler!


Can Jake Buy a Place?

Meet Jake.



Jake is a 25-year-old college graduate, he has a decent job. Jake has some student loans he’s paying off. Jake lives with his mom and dad but he’d like to move out, get a place of his own. Jake might get an apartment but he wonders if he could buy a place.
Should Jake rent an apartment? Can Jake buy a place?

I’m not sure.

But I  know Jake should give me a call.

Yes, I’m a real estate agent and yes I earn a living, get paid, make money when I close deals. I am paid when the apartment is rented or a home is sold. But Jake doesn’t have to be definitely renting or buying anything to give me a call…because I’m also a help Jake figure it out resource.
I can help Jake figure out what he can do, what makes the most sense.
I could introduce Jake to Pam.
Meet Pam.


Who’s Pam?


Pam is a VP of mortgage lending with Guaranteed Rate. Pam’s smart about “buying a place stuff.”  She’s super nice and works with a lot of people like Jake.


Pam would help Jake figure out if he can buy a place.


The ability to get a mortgage basically depends on three things:  Credit score, Income, and Debt.

Sounds simple enough, but those three factors combine in a variety of scenarios. Toss in the different mortgage products available,  add some college debt and available grant programs for first-time homebuyers and the whole thing can get kinda complicated.

Jake doesn’t know all that stuff. I don’t know all that stuff. But Pam does. And Pam can help Jake figure it out.
Nearly forty million people move each year. Six and a half million are about the same age as Jake. With so many people moving each year you’d think moving was a really simple thing. But moving makes the top ten on every list of life’s most stressful events. For most, moving is a big deal.


I suppose Jake could google his way out of his parents’ house. There’s not a thing he couldn’t find about renting an apartment, getting a mortgage or finding a place somewhere online. But when it comes to a big deal like moving human help is helpful. Human help takes some of the stress away. Human help has experience, knows the questions to ask, sees the big picture. Human help has your back, human help means you’re not alone with the big deal of moving.


Maybe Jake can buy a place. And maybe he can’t. Maybe Jake should rent an apartment. Or maybe Jake should stay where he is for another year and save a little more money, or pay off some of the student loans. What I know is, Jake doesn’t have to figure it out alone.

Maybe you have nothing in common with Jake but a desire to maybe get a place of your own.

My advice: Call a real estate agent…start there. A good agent will help you sort through it. Nearly every agent I know would be happy to help Jake. Every agent I know has a Pam.


Nearly every agent I know is like me, Amy.


Meet Amy.


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Who’s Amy?

Amy is a help you figure it out real estate resource.

Give her a call.