Labor Day Real Estate Market Update
Happy Labor Day! I hope that you are enjoying a fun-filled long weekend with family and friends!
Buying Time! With the “summer selling season” officially over, NOW is the time for buyers to score a great deal on leftover inventory. Sellers who have had their house on the market for 45 days or longer are typically VERY MOTIVATED to get their house sold by the time Labor Day rolls around.
Time to Sell? Are you ready to put your house on the market now? If you want to sell your house today FOR TOP DOLLAR it is imperative that your house is priced correctly from the VERY FIRST DAY that it is on the market. Click Here to get the current market value for your house.
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Buying A Home Checklist
Find an Agent
Some real estate agents work for sellers or buyers, some agents try to work for both at the same time, and there are agents that just work for buyers. The latter companies are called Exclusive Buyer Agent Companies (EBA). (Find a good real estate agent that you trust to represent YOUR interests whether you are a buyer or a seller. –TB)
Obtain a Mortgage Preapproval
If you will be getting a mortgage, a preapproval will allow you to shop for a new house with confidence! A good real estate agent will be able to help you find a reliable mortgage lender. Choose a lender based on their proven ability to get the job done correctly first, then consider the costs. (Obtaining a pre-approval letter before you start your search for a new house is extremely important in this market. Your real estate agent can provide you with referrals to mortgage lenders who will help you get a mortgage. It is NEVER a good idea to work with a lender who is affiliated with a real estate agent or to work with a combination real estate agent / mortgage broker. –TB)
Start Looking at Houses
You can usually visit eight or ten homes in a well-planned day with a well-prepared real estate agent. Open houses typically are not the best use of time because they are only a small indication of the inventory of available homes.
Narrow Down Your Choices
Start cutting down your list to a target group of two or three homes. Then make a second visit to do a “detailed” viewing. This way, you will always be aware of your best alternative if your top pick doesn’t work out.
Research Purchase Contracts
Don’t wait till the day you need to sign a contract to look at one. Your agent should be reviewing the documents, the processes, and the local customs for negotiations and contingencies with you while you are still searching for a home. You’ll be much more confident when the time comes to “sign on the bottom line.” (I am always happy to go over the offer and purchase documents with you. I can also send you blank copies of the standard forms if you would like to take a look – just ask me! –TB)
Once you decide on a specific home, make an offer immediately. Your negotiating position gets dramatically worse if another buyer starts negotiating on the same home before you have a contract signed. (This is imperative in our current market environment where demand is high and the inventory is limited. – TB)
If you haven’t already seen comparable sales data by now, this is the time you need to be reviewing it to know how much you should be paying for the home. If the market values are stagnant or dropping, you also need to consider market inventory and absorption rate. (Comparable sales, market demand and inventory should always be considered when deciding on an appropriate offer price. –TB)
Shop for the BEST Mortgage
Now that you have a contract, you can shop for the best mortgage deal. Remember, focus first on the lenders that you know will get the job done, then make cost comparisons to find the best deal. Use our mortgage calculator to help figure out your monthly payments. (This brings up a good point. The lender who provided you with your pre-approval letter when you started shopping for your new house is not necessarily the mortgage lender who you will get your loan from. After your offer is accepted and your escrow is opened, you will have a couple of days to shop for the BEST rate and terms. I can help you evaluate your mortgage loan options. –TB)
Get the House Inspected
Make sure to have your place checked out for lead, termites, radon, and/or other concerns. See our Home Inspection Checklist for more details.
I am always available to discuss your new house purchase and to help you assemble your real estate team!