BUYING A HOME?

HOW TO WIN IN A COMPETITIVE MARKET!

As the weather heats up so too does the housing market! More homes sell in spring and summer than any other time of the year. First time buyers and buyers who have not purchased a home for many years need guidance. Here are some tips to get you in gear ahead of the competition and into the perfect home.

Preparation is Key:
•Prepare like a Pro & Know what you can afford: Start the home buying process by establishing a budget. Understand your income versus expenses. For a budget template check out http://www.youneedabudget.com . Incorporate changes that will come with a new home, possibly a new location. Use estimates to cover commuting costs, furnishing, decorating, repairs, etc. If your lifestyle will be changing in a big way – new baby, college expenses, etc. be sure to include them as well.
•Understand the complexity of the mortgage process: Get a basic understanding of what is required to obtain financing for a home purchase. A Trusted Lender with a focus on residential properties can assist you in this process even if you are a year or more ahead of your purchase plans. Often your Realtor® can suggest lenders for you to contact.
Know the Market:
•Learn about the culture of your market area by “window shopping”: Every market is unique! Get familiar with the pricing you desire and be flexible to consider other possibilities and locations as well. Most homebuyers shop online for a year prior to actually looking at homes in person. Check out pricing trends on http://www.Realtor.com’s data page and consult with your Realtor®
•When you’re ready to see homes in person, finding the right Realtor® is important. You need a person dedicated to you, with your best interest in mind. An experienced Buyer’s Agent will educate, facilitate, negotiate and manage the buying process on your behalf. Remember, the listing agent is representing the seller! Referrals from friends and family are a great source. Also check out Realtors’ reviews online at Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, etc.
•Ask your Realtor® about the length of time homes are on the market and pricing/sold trends. They can provide you with the latest listings tailored to your criteria and all important for achieving your goal. To stay on top of new listings and market changes subscribe to daily auto email alerts from your agent. Make sure you have the mobile apps you’ll need to stay informed on the go.

Present Your Offer:
•When it’s time to make an offer, especially in a hot market, make it quickly and make it attractive. Waiting is not to your advantage and can cost you the house. If you like the house, don’t hesitate as most likely someone else will want it too. Go for the gusto with your highest and best offer. Have in hand ahead of offer time a pre-approval or full approval from a qualified local mortgage lender. The shorter the time to closing for most sellers is best. Add an “escalation clause” if multiple offers seem imminent. Often the smallest amount over list can win the sale. And cash…if you have it use it! Cash is king, and that coupled with a fast closing certainly sweetens the offer.
•Discover what’s important to the seller, i.e. time to close, conveyances, repairs versus credits, pricing, etc. and structure the offer accordingly. Your Realtor® can obtain this information for you from the seller’s agent.
•It’s in your best interest to have a home inspection by a certified Home Inspector. Your Realtor® can help you find the right person. Move quickly with the inspection so to have time for repair/replacement estimates if need be prior to the contingency expiring.
•Some buyers include a note to the seller with their offer stating their feelings about the house, why they want to make it their own, etc. Often it does have an impact on the sellers.

Protect Your Future Asset:
•A home warranty for at least the first year is important to help keep your budget in check. If repairs and replacements are in store following closing, carefully select qualified contractors and vendors to do the work and provide materials, appliances and equipment.
•Home Ownership is the best long term investment you can have. Take care of your property, big or small, simple or extravagant and it will reward you in many ways.

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