- Find the right loan program for the type of home you are considering. Typically, the first place a buyer turns for a loan is their local bank. Although the bank provides mortgage loans, they only have the types of loans that they offer and there’s usually limited flexibility for the borrower. Working with a mortgage broker provides access to many different banking products as well as specialty loan programs and provides flexibility in finding the right loan for the buyer. Your agent should have experience with a variety of lenders match the borrow with the type of house they want, with an appropriate lender. This is especially true with self-employed and first time buyers, and unusual properties such as foreclosures and estate sales.
- Work with a responsive, full time agent. Today’s market your agent should be very responsive to your request for seeing Homes. Your agent should be full time in the business meaning that you’re working with someone who makes their income from this and is not just earning extra money on the side . This has the benefit that you’re agent can readily schedule showings. Where you’re not working around another jobs schedule and waiting for responses while they’re a part time agent is at their ‘real job’.
- Look at the financial impact of buying. You are to avoid financial surprises whether you’re buying your dream home a first time home or downsizing your monthly payment is extremely important to manage your budget your finances and your agent should be estimating what that monthly payment and down payment money is going to be before you put an offer in on a home.
- Get a Home Inspection. Inspections are a way to avoid surprises later during your ownership with maintenance, repairs, renovations or planned improvements. In PA these same contingencies can be used to evaluate the future marketability of your home and the use of it for a home business. Even new construction should allow some type of inspection the process during building so that you make sure your home is being constructed in the proper manner. Getting a home warranty can mitigate many issues with systems and appliances, consider obtaining one for your purchase. The inspection contingency is intended to inform the buyer of what they are purchasing and identify surprises.
- Be ready to make a decision quickly. In a seller’s market, homes rarely stay on the market long, so when a house that is in their budget and checks off all of their needs come along, buyers should not hesitate. Buyers should be ready to submit an offer quickly, or they may risk missing out on the home altogether. Whether you are in a buyer or seller’s market depends on market conditions such as days on market and the sale to asking price ratio. Your Agent should be knowledgeable- get this information up front.
- Bid competitively, structure your offer and limit contingencies. The structure of your transaction means that the financing, contingencies and dates in the contract work with the buyer’s needs, schedule (leases, sale of existing home), address major concerns with the property, and protect buyer’s financial interests. All of these items are incorporated up front, in the contract.
It is tempting to submit a low offer as a starting bid, but in a seller’s market, buyers need to put forward their highest offer from the very beginning or they are likely to lose out on the home. It is also important to remember that in multiple bid situations it is not always the highest offer that is most attractive to the seller but the one with the fewest contingencies. Removing restrictions related to the sale of a current home and being flexible with things like the move-in date, personal possessions left behind, accepting known defects, etc. can make a bid stand out to a seller.