Exceeding Your Expectations!
5 Powerful Buying
"Pre-Qualified!" Get "Pre-Approved": Do you want
to get the best house you can for the least amount of money?
Then make sure you are in the strongest negotiating position
possible. Price is only one bargaining chip in the
negotiations, and not necessarily the most important one.
Often other terms, such as the strength of the buyer or the
length of escrow, are critical to a seller.
In years past, I always recommended that buyers get
"pre-qualified" by a lender. This means that you spend a few
minutes on the phone with a lender who asks you a few
questions. Based on the answers, the lender pronounces you
"pre-qualified" and issues a certificate that you can show
to a seller. Sellers are aware that such certificates are
WORTHLESS, and here's why! None of the information has been
verified! Unknown problems can surface for example: recorded
judgments, child support payments due, glitches on the
credit report (due to any number of reasons both accurately
and inaccurately), down payment funds that have not been in
the clients' bank account long enough, etc.
So the way to make a strong offer today is to get
"pre-approved". This happens AFTER all information has been
checked and verified. You are actually APPROVED for the loan
and the only loose end is the appraisal on the property.
This process takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks
depending on your situation.
It's VERY POWERFUL and a weapon I recommend all of my
clients have in their negotiating arsenal.
Then Buy: If you have a house to sell, sell it
before selecting a house to buy! Let's pretend that we go
out looking for the perfect house for you. We find it and
you love it! Now you have to go make an offer to the seller.
You want the seller to reduce the price and wait until you
sell your house. The seller figures that's a risky deal,
since he might pass up a buyer who DOESN'T have to sell a
house while he's waiting for you. So he/she says OK, he/she
will accept the contingency but it has to be a full price
offer! So you see, you paid more for the house than you
could have because of the contingency. Now you have to sell
your existing house, and in a hurry! Otherwise you lose the
dream house! So to sell quickly you might take an offer
that's lower than if you had more time. The bottom line is
that buying before selling might cost you TENS OF THOUSANDS
of dollars. I always recommend that you sell first, then
buy. If you're concerned that there is not a house on the
market for you, then go on a window-shopping trip. You can
identify possible houses and locations without falling in
love with a specific house. If you feel confident after that
then put your house on the market. Another tactic is to make
the sale "subject to seller finding suitable housing".
Adding this phrase to the listing means that WHEN YOU DO
FIND A BUYER, you will have some time to find the new place.
If you don't find anything to your liking, you don't have to
sell your present home.
Game of Nines: Before house hunting, make a list
of nine things you want in the new place. Then make a list
of the nine things you don't want. I call this "NINE OF THIS
AND NONE OF THAT". You can use this list as a scorecard to
rate each property that you see. The one with the biggest
score wins! This helps avoid confusion and keeps things in
perspective when you're comparing dozens of homes. When
house hunting, keep in mind the difference between "SKIN AND
BONES". The BONES are things that cannot be changed such as
the location, view, size of lot, noise in the area, school
district, and floor plan. The SKIN represents easily changed
surface finishes like carpet, wallpaper, color, and window
coverings. Buy the house with good BONES, because the SKIN
can always be changed to match your tastes. I always
recommend that you imagine each house as if it were vacant.
Consider each house on its underlying merits, not the
seller's decorating skills.
Put your best foot forward when making an offer, you may not
get a 2nd chance:
When Making an
offer, make it as strong as possible. In this SELLER'S
MARKET, you will probably not get a 2nd chance. Many
homes are selling within a few days at or above full price
and the seller's often receive multiple offers to choose
from. The seller will most definitely choose the offer
that will yield the highest net proceeds, offer the most
favorable terms and have the fewest contingencies.
Although offering price is usually the most important
component of the offer to most sellers, I will show you many
other techniques and strategies to strengthen your offer and
make it stand out from the rest.
Ads!: A word of caution - agents create ads solely
to make the phone ring! Many of the homes have some drawback
that's not mentioned in the ad, such as traffic noise, power
lines, or litigation in the community. What's not mentioned
in the ad is usually more important than what is. For this
reason, we want you to be very careful when reading ads.
Remember that the person writing the ad is representing the
seller and not you!
The most important thing you can do is have someone on your
side looking out for your best interests. Your own agent
will critique the property with an eye towards how well it
meets your needs and will point out any drawbacks you should
So whether you decide to work with us or not, pick an agent
you feel comfortable with and enlist the services of that
agent as a buyer's broker. Then you become a client with all
the rights, benefits, and privileges created by this agency
relationship, and you're no longer just a shopper.
Did you know that many homes are sold WITHOUT A SIGN ever
going up or an AD EVER BEING PUT IN THE PAPER? These "great
deals" go to those people who are committed to working with
one agent. When an agent hears of a great buy, who do you
think he/she is going to call? His/her client, who he has a
legal obligation to work hard for, or someone who just
called on the phone and said "keep your eyes open"?
So, to get the best buy on a property, I always recommend
that you hire your own agent and stick with him or her.
to the Top
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