1. Line up your financing. This one applies year-round! While interest rates will probably keep creeping up, it’s still relatively cheap to borrow. Getting pre-approved is great, getting pre-underwritten is even better! A great Realtor will have a list of lenders, tested and proven to close financing.
2. Be clear with yourself on what matters most. Make a list of your must-haves, your wants, and your it-would-be-nices so you’re ready to decide right away. You may fall in love with a home based on the feel or the style, but double check your list before writing an offer! You don’t want to wait until you are in contract to realize the home isn’t going to meet your needs.
3. Don’t quibble on price. As the inventory for starter and trade-up homes continues to shrink, the competition for what’s available on the market is fierce. When it comes down to sending in your offer, most seller’s aren’t even responding with a counter-offer. You may only get one shot. You’ll want to calculate what the difference of $10,000 increase in purchase price will make in your payments. Often times we’ve seen it make the difference of about $4-$10 per month over the life of a loan.
4. Get your own real estate representation. Particularly when timing is everything, a house-hunter needs the right agent. Not many agents specialize in off market (non-MLS), & pre-market property sales. Karen Richardson Group’s buyers’ have the unique opportunity to shop a whole other market that is unavailable to most!
5. Craft a strong offer. “Best offer” doesn’t always mean highest price. Physical, Appraisal, & Loan contingencies are the 3 most common contingencies, and you’ll want to keep them short. There are other terms that can also make or break a deal based on the seller’s unique situation. These are the details a great agent will investigate and learn so that your offer will have the inside edge.