You have to make so many considerations when buying a home that you may forget about the most important one: how much you will pay for it. The fun part of buying a house is getting to walk through the different options and see what is available. It is also exciting to figure out what you want in a home and where you would like to live. You also must figure out your finances, so you probably have a good idea of what you can afford to pay for a home in Illinois. However, what you can afford and what you should bid on a house are two different things.

Your bid needs to come from looking over the different aspects that help determine the value of a home. U.S. News and World Report explains that means looking at the market value, the list price, type of market and any maintenance needed to come up with a price that represents what you think is a fair deal.

Backing up a little to look over those considerations, you can start with the market value. This is how much similar homes in the same area currently sell for. This is not always the most accessible information to come by, especially if you are considering a unique home or a historic home. In general, though, you should look at homes roughly the same size and age as the house you want to buy. This can give you a good starting point.

Then you want to compare that to the list price. If the list price is lower, then you may want to come in at the list price. However, the type of market will help with this determination. If it is a buyer’s market where there are a lot of homes for sale and not many buyers, then you could get away with bidding under the list price. Also, you have to think about any work that the home needs. If it requires considerable maintenance, then that will lower your bid as well.

Overall, when making a bid, you need to make sure you consider how much this house means to you. If you would be upset to lose it, then you want to ensure your bid is strong. This information is for education and is not legal advice.