Now more than ever it is imperative that you’re truly READY to buy your new home! The Real Estate market in North Texas is crazy-hot right now… with houses often selling within a day or even hours after they are listed! So, how can YOU avoid missing out on your dream home? Here are a few tips that will help:
Get Pre-approved. Talking to your mortgage broker before you start looking is your best bet. This way, you know what you can afford, AND you can have your financials all in order before you make any offers! In fact, most Agents won’t even accept an offer unless you include a pre-approval letter from your lender. Also, be sure to factor in maintenance and repair costs when setting your budget.
Find a REALTOR®. Navigating the “ins and outs” of a real estate transaction is tough! You’ll want to hire a professional who has your best interest at heart. Plus, as a REALTOR®, we have access to MLS (Multiple Listing Service) which includes accurate property information vs. what some of the internet property sites put out there!
Make a “wish list”. Know ahead of time which neighborhoods you prefer. Does the school district matter the most to you? Or are amenities such as dining, entertainment and shopping the most important aspect? Figure out what your “must haves” in a house are… and what you can live without. You’ll be hard pressed to find a house that is 100% perfect, BUT there are many that are probably 90-95%!
Think about resale. According to the National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the average first-time buyer will only stay in a home for approximately 10 years. I happen to think it’s even less than that based on my own personal home buying and selling experience. It’s a good idea to consider certain aspects in a house that may not be appealing to the next folks! So, before you choose a house that has some quirky feature like an indoor sauna or outdated atrium in the entry way, know that you’ll probably have to remove/make some changes when you go to sell the house in order to open it up to the largest pool of buyers at that time.
Be prepared to make your BEST offer. The norm nowadays in the $200,000-300,000 price range is a multiple offer situation! Don’t miss out just because you want to “see what the Seller will come back with” on your low-ball offer. Be realistic, and discuss with your REALTOR® what the fair market value is on the home. If the list price seems at or even below market value, you may want to offer a bit OVER asking price… or you can get creative by offering to pay for some of your Seller’s closing costs! This way you don’t risk the home not appraising for financing. Some Buyers will even include a letter to the Sellers telling them why their house is perfect for them! This doesn’t always work, but in some cases, it does.
Submitting an offer on a home without ever setting foot inside is not new… and now with the COVID-19 Pandemic, it has become more common place for buyers who simply don't want to take any risks. But is this a smart thing to do?