Q: My husband and I are moving from Boston to Colorado this summer, and we’ve been researching homes via the Internet.
We are planning to go to Colorado in 3 weeks with the goal of making an offer on a home, but there is one home that we are most interested in at this point.
Does making an offer with a contingency that it must meet our expectations when we arrive in person adequately protect us in case it isn’t all it seems online? What would be the best way to word such a contingency?
I know there is more than one “right” house for us, but if this is one of them, I’d hate to lose it simply because we aren’t going for another 2 weeks.
A: I think it’s very difficult to make an offer with the “If I like it” contingency attached. The sellers might not treat the offer very seriously, and might not even respond.
As you know, I subscribe to the theory that there is more than one right house for every family. Although it’s tempting to play Let’s Make A Deal by telephone, it’s a lot smarter to wait another two weeks until you’ve actually seen the property. So many times, houses and neighborhoods are completely different in person than on the web.
You might ask your Colorado agent to go and take a look at the property and perhaps send you digital photos or a digital video tour of the house. She can express your interest to the family and can stay in touch with the agent to monitor activity until you get there.
If you just can’t help yourself, then at least make your offer contingent on the house appraising out in value.