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Getting the Advantage Over Other Homebuyers
Its January, the real estate market is supposed be slow, BUT it’s not! Well-priced properties are selling and selling fast.
If you’re in the market for a house this spring, my recommendation is to move up your timeframe and purchase now, before more buyers enter the market and increase the competition for available homes.
Here are a few other steps you should take to give yourself an advantage over other homebuyers.
1. Not all real estate agents are created equal.
Some sell 3 houses a year, some 30. Some are part-timers, holding down other jobs. Interview several agents until you find the one that you like, trust and who is experienced, committed and available to help you find the home right for you. If you are planning to buy in 2013, start looking for an agent now. You do not want to get the wrong agent because you walked in to an open house and got excited.
2. Not all real estate companies are created equal.
There is a great difference between a Mercedes and a Kia. Real estate companies differ in many ways, offering different services that benefit buyers and sellers. Unlike cars, real estate companies generally charge similar fees. The company your agent works with makes a difference!
3. Get pre-approved for your mortgage.
If you do not have a banker, this is the first step your agent will help you with, recommending several lenders you can deal with. They will help you calculate your available down payment (taking into account closing costs), your maximum loan amount and what monthly payments you would be comfortable with. This gives you three great advantages. One, you will know what price range to look in. Two, it shows sellers you are serious and ready to buy when you make your offer. Three, if in competition against other buyers, sellers will tend to accept the “firm” offer over those that need time to find financing.
4. Be Ready!
Good properties sell quickly. Your agent will be looking for homes suitable for you constantly throughout the day and every day! When the right house comes up, you must be ready to see it and be ready to put in an offer right away if it’s the right house. This is why you need a full time agent committed to you!
5. Shop for a home not decorating.
Do not be put off by paint or wallpaper or broadloom or even old bathroom fixtures. The truly important factors, schools, shopping, location, lot size and basic floor- plan are things that you won’t be able to change. Don’t let a poor paint job deter you from buying the right home for you and your family
6. Trust your agent.
If you trust your agent, listen to their recommendations about how much to offer on a home, what extras to ask for and how quickly to act. If you do not trust your agent… get another agent!
Good luck with your house hunting!
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