You’ve finally decided to buy your next home. The problem is, while you were making up your mind, other buyers jumped into the market too. Now you are facing competition for the best properties. To be successful in today’s real estate market, you’re going to need help.
The following seven tested tips will increase your market savvy and sharpen your competitive position. You’ll then be ready to act quickly the minute you see the perfect home.
- Get Pre-Approved — Getting preapproved for a mortgage loan is your best first step. You will go through what amounts to a mini-application process (paperwork, credit check, etc.) prior to shopping for a home. Pre-approval is more effective than pre-qualification, which only gives you a rough idea of the amount a lender might lend you - not factoring in some of the details that could affect the loan amount. Even better, pre-approval makes you a very desirable “cash” buyer, a real advantage over other buyers with uncertain financing.
- Do Your Homework — Make yourself a “value expert” by investigating local properties to get an idea of price points, listing-to-sales-price ratios, hottest areas and best places for a bargain. Knowing what your money will buy will help you locate comparable properties in specific neighborhoods and what impact specific features have on price.
- Give Your Offer The Personal Touch — You’ll gain an advantage by presenting your offer in person, plus you may pick-up critical intelligence on any competing offers by being on the scene.
- Prove You Mean Business — There are few better ways to show you are serious about buying a property than by including a substantial good-faith deposit along with your offer. A competitive deposit could be as much as 5% of your bid price to be sure it gets the seller’s attention.
- Don’t Lose Your Head Over Price — Just because the market is active doesn’t mean you should be willing to pay any amount to get your dream home. You may have to compromise on one point to gain another, such as offering something more on price or a settlement date that fits the seller’s timetable in return for the seller helping on closing costs or by conveying personal property. But don’t go crazy. Remember, you may have to sell this home one day.
- Keep Your Purchase Offer Simple — Make sure your contract is headache-free, not messy or overly cluttered with unnecessary contingencies, especially repairs. Keep contingencies to a minimum while still protecting your interests. Be helpful and flexible. A buyer who will accommodate a seller’s needs is a smart buyer.
- Don’t Go It Alone — What you need most in today’s market is experienced professional guidance. Take the time to locate a buyer’s realtor who will represent your interests and confer with an experienced real estate attorney.
If you have any questions or need additional help, please do not hesitate to call me at 727-397-5571.