So you are ready for 2016 and ready to make that home or condo purchase! Yippie! We are ready to help you! But hold your horses just a minute there partner!!!! We need to give you 5 Tips For Being A Better Buyer!
5 Tips For Being A Better Buyer
Why….YES! There ARE some things YOU can do to be a better home buyer! Let’s look at the 5 “B’s” of Being a Better Buyer.
- Be Pre-Approved This is much different than being pre-qualified. When you have been pre-approved, your Home Buying Team Lender will have looked at your income and supporting documents like income tax returns, W-2’s, bank statements and such. He/she will have a good idea if there are any “red flags” that need to be addressed. They can often do what is called “desktop underwriting” whereby this information is reviewed and you are given a pre-approval letter. In a market with tight inventory like we currently have (2016) in Atlanta, you will need that pre-approval letter to be attached with your Purchase and Sale Agreement. A Seller is not going to take their home off the market while you find out if you can get a loan.
- Be Patient, But Be Prepared — Now, if you have time to look for your new home, you need to be patient. As I just mentioned, with the limited inventory we have available, the home or condo you want may not yet be on the market when you start your home search. That said, be prepared to move quickly to look at, and make an offer on anything that comes on the market that meets your wants and needs. You won’t be the only one looking, and the possibility of being in a multiple offer situation is very realistic. Hence, why we want that pre-approval we just mentioned above. This is the time to have “tight communication” between you and your agent (hopefully that is ME!) While I will be looking daily for new homes on the market, you might see something somewhere that I did not. Maybe it had 1 more bedroom than I was searching for, and so you found it. Or it has no basement (you wanted one) but the rest of the house is fabulous!!! Know the best way to communicate your find to your agent ( text, email, call, all of the above!) so you can get to see the new listing as quickly as possible.
- Be sensible — With tight inventory, if a condo or home is listed at $350,000, there is a pretty good chance the Seller is NOT going to take $295,000!! Now, your agent will look at comparable sales in the building or neighborhood, as well as any upgrades or special features the condo or home may have, and there is always a possibility the home is overpriced. But if the listing agent did their job, it should be priced right. Believe it or not, there is nothing wrong with paying the list price for a home. Again, as long as it is priced right. Sure, you want the deal. The deal may be the list price. If there is not a lot of activity on the home you are looking at, you might have more negotiation room. But if you end up in a multiple offer situation, all bets are off!
- Be Ready — to make several offers before you get the home you want. You could have a Seller that HAS overpriced their home and won’t budge. So your offer does not get accepted. Or, there is the multiple-offer situation and we get outbid by another Buyer. (Maybe they were paying cash, no closing costs, shorter closing time, etc.) But you also want to be ready to move quickly. That perfect home or condo could pop up in one day, and you are Under Contract that night! It happens every day in Atlanta real estate!
- Be Positive you have the right real estate agent to help you. If you are looking at condos for example, and you felt the agent that your neighbor used in the burbs was the right one for you to work with, be sure. If they can’t answer your questions about HOA’s or condo docs, or common elements, or parking….you may not have the right person working for you. On the flip side, if you are looking for a space to have a horse (yes, you CAN do that in Atlanta!) then make sure your agent knows that the 5 acres you are looking at is ZONED to have horses, and HOW MANY you can have!!