By Melissa Dorman, March 3, 2021
By Melissa Dorman, March 3, 2021
No matter which type of property you aim to buy, or how whether this is your first purchase or not, the process includes many steps and can at times be overwhelming. This is especially true in a hot seller’s market where you will be experiencing multiple offer situations, short deadlines, and a need for quick decisions.
While it is a competitive market for buyers, it is not impossible! With a little planning and preparation, you too can be successful. Consider some of the following tips early on as they will help you to be prepared and ultimately help reduce the stress that can come with buying a home.
Without clear and defined goals, it is easy to spend a lot of time, but have little to show for your efforts. This is why it is so important to define your goals early on and to maximize your output by focusing your time and energy on properties that fit your criteria. Some questions you should ask yourself are; Is this an investment property or a long-term home for yourself? Will I be occupying the home or will I rent it out? How many beds and baths do I need? Is a basement or garage important? Do I really need a driveway or is street parking ok? How much work and I looking to put into this home? Do I need a single-family home or does a townhouse meet my needs? Don’t worry, your buyer’s agent is a great resource and will be able to help guide you as needed!
This step goes a long way in helping you be prepared! It is important that you choose a lender early on and obtain a pre-approval letter as it is essential in submitting a strong offer. Be sure to talk with your agent for feedback and information on lenders so that you are choosing one that will help you get an accepted offer. Some questions to keep in mind when choosing a lender are; Do you like working with this person? Are they easy to get ahold of and do they quickly answer your questions? Do they have a good local reputation? Are they reliable? Are they able to close on a home within 30 days? When choosing a lender, you want to keep the seller’s perspective in mind. The sellers want to know that you have funding, you are working with a reliable lender, and that you will be able to move quickly to a successful close with limited friction or interruption along the way.
Once you have decided on a lender it is time to look at your budget. How much can you really afford? Does the monthly mortgage payment make sense for your situation? Do you need a lower monthly payment or are you more concerned with a better rate? Your lender will be the biggest asset when analyzing your financial goals, though your agent can also help. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance or clarification early on. The sooner you know your budget the sooner you can focus your attention on a target price range.
In some cases, this is a buyer’s first step. A buyer’s agent can be such a great resource for buyers, especially in today’s market. You will want to find an agent that is knowledgeable about today’s market conditions and preferably one who is fully invested in their buyer’s success. A great agent will always have your best interests in mind and will represent you to the best of their abilities. They will guide you through the homebuying process, watch out for obvious or not-so-obvious problems with the home, and will ensure you know as much as possible about the property throughout the process. They are your go-to sidekick for all things real estate!
As you look at homes and begin to think about writing offers, you first need to crunch numbers. Be sure to look at this objectively and try not to let emotion get in the way. If you find a house and it seems out of budget, talk to your lender to see what options you have. If the numbers work and you feel ready to process then it is on to the main event … writing the offer!
This is it folks, the main event. The only way to buy a home is to write an offer. In today’s seller’s market, an overall strong offer is essential. But what exactly is a strong offer? Well, the answer is not that simple. Your agent will look at many factors when considering an offer strategy since there will likely be multiple offers. They will run comparable sales to look into estimate an appraised value, they will communicate with the listing agent for the latest showing and in-hand offer information, and they will consider the list price, location, and similar properties for sale. In the end, your agent will come back to you with a suggested strategy that combines both a strong purchase price and terms. The strategy and overall offer are unique to every home and to every market.
By taking the time to consider the above and to seek out a great local agent and lender you will be setting yourself up for success from day one! As a buyer, the most important thing is that you are prepared and that you have a great team behind you that will help you achieve your ultimate goal of homeownership!