Tuesday, December 1, 2015 / by Marion Franke
Living the Dream – 6 Tactics for Home Buyers
The numbers of home buyers continue to outpace the availability of homes to purchase. The low inventory has created a marketplace where future homeowners carefully plan a strategy for success or face frustration. Here is a few strategy tips:
Know the Market
Do your homework try to know what determines the value of a particular community and why other areas are less expensive. Look for trends. What makes a type or location of homes more popular? What style or design fits your personality?
Be Approved for a Mortgage Loan
Almost all sellers will reject your offer if you don’t have a firm pre-approval letter from a lender they trust. Beware of a prequalification which is not much more than what you can do with online tools. Make sure they have pulled your credit and calculated your ratios based on your current bills and gross income.
Interview Multiple Agents
This advice may not apply if someone you trust has given you a referral and told you exactly why they recommend the agent. Do NOT work with an agent to be nice to a friend or relative. Representation in the purchase of a home is serious business. Approach your choice as the important financial decision it deserves.
Ask if the agent will set you up with automated notification of properties. While you can do it yourself, an experienced agent knows how to use the tools well and can also see the search results. It simply makes communication easier.
Ask the agent how they handle multiple offers. If you don’t get a level-headed, logical approach to making your offer stand out, the agent could be wasting your time and maybe even costing you money in the long run.
Be Ready with Your Checkbook
Armed with all the research about homes fitting your criteria, take your checkbook to every home showing. If it is the “right” home, you want to get the offer written quickly. Part of the offer is an earnest money check. Consider making the earnest money a little higher than standard. When you get to closing, the entire amount of this deposit is credited to you. While it should make no difference to the seller, it gives them a psychological clue you are a serious buyer.
Prepare for Due Diligence
While you are searching for the perfect home, it is never too early to research residential service contracts (home warranties) or interview potential home inspectors. Making those decisions ahead of time will help smooth out the wrinkles after the contract has been accepted.
It’s very exciting to find the home you want to make your own. With today’s social media, you may be tempted to tell the world. Don’t. This is a private experience to share only with very close friends and family. Even when you close on the new home, be careful what you share on the world wide web.