Greg Abbott – The Spring Market is beginning and savvy buyers are signed-up on home search sites looking at new inventory. They are also selecting a Realtor to show them homes as they hit the market. The professional you choose is a key component to a positive outcome in getting your offer accepted. It is also integral to the level of represention you’ll receive in the negotiating process for both price and inspection items. Underestimating the value of ‘experience’ can cost you time, money & success when it comes to purchasing your home.
5 key things buyers should do to prepare for purchasing a home…..
1. Loan Pre-Approval is Important before making your offer.
Getting pre-approved means a you sat down with a lender and gave them all of your financial information.They will verify the information and then issue a pre-approval letter. This letter is practically standard-of-practice in all offers we see. The letter describes your purchasing power and gives the seller and their Real Estate Agent confidence that you can truly afford the home.
When acting as listing agents, we don’t advise our sellers to accept an offer without a Pre-Approval letter. We are looking for a qualified buyer and don’t want to risk the deal falling through.
2. Be prepared to put down earnest money
Generally, we suggest 2-3% earnest money. Your earnest money shows the seller that you are serious. The higher the earnest money the greater attention you’ll receive from the seller. A good Realtor will write the offer with contingencies that will protect your money should something go wrong. Your offer should be contingent on financing (unless you are paying all cash) and inspection. This allows your EM to be refunded if your financing falls through or if there is an uncorrectable problem with the property. Good to know: 20% down financing will decrease your monthly payments because the lender will not require private mortgage insurance each month. (could save several hundred dollars per month)
3. Use a Real-Estate Agent
There is a plethora of information available on the internet to educate buyers. But when it comes down to it, you’ll likely write your offer through a licensed Realtor. Take the time to choose your agent well. This process is not about unlocking doors. Work with one who has a track record of success. This is not the time to work with your mother’s friend’s next door neighbor who is a Realtor,…. unless she is knowledgeable and qualified. Check your potential Realtor’s website. What have they sold? What do former client’s say about their service?
For most purchasers, buying a home is the single biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Why not work with an expert to insure representation, negotiating skill, contract expertise, and transaction management skill?
Buyers increase their likelihood of success by selecting their Realtor in the same way they would select a lawyer or financial advisor. A Realtor can help identify potential problems, understands value and current market trends, advise and provide insight, knows how to avoid turbulence throughout the transaction, and is connected to vendors, inspectors and professionals who can help you.
The internet is a prime source of inventory and ‘process’ information. It is not, however, a substitute for knowledge or experience. Nearly 90% of home buyers rely on a professional to help them buy or sell.
4. Always Tour The Home
Shopping online is an easy and recommended step in filtering through possible home choices. There are fantastic new search apps for mobile phones and happily, we are living in a era where a video home tour is part of many agent’s marketing plan.
These tools are really helpful in the shopping experience. However, make sure you see the property in person. Call your agent/broker and ask for a tour of your favorite homes. They will gain property access for you, can share their experience in what to look for inside and outside the home. Most importantly, you will get a feeling about the home that cannot be duplicated by looking online.
5. Put Your Best Foot Forward
As we approach the selling season sellers are in a good position to find a buyer, if their home is properly priced and prepared for the market. A lot of buyers are shopping. When you find that perfect home, take every step to make sure your offer is presented well. Your Agent will be the one presenting the offer.
You should have your preapproval letter ready and ask your lender to place a courtesy call to the listing agent to endorse you. A letter to the seller with a little bit of background about yourself and why you ‘love’ the home is also helpful. These are all things your Realtor should suggest. It is interesting to note that many sellers are concerned about the new buyer. What is their concern? They want to know the buyers have the capability of closing the deal and will love their home as much as they do.
Greg Abbott is a broker for Windermere Real Estate in Bellevue, WA, located on Greater Seattle’s Eastside. Greg’s aim is make the Realtor connection easy and a ’right-fit’ for all clients. He is committed to knowledgeable, outstanding service.
Windermere Real Estate | Bellevue, Wa
Greg Abbott | Broker | 425.466.8786 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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