Steps to Buying a Home
When buyers are looking for their dream home, here’s how to navigate through the buying process.
Making an Offer and Negotiating the Close. Bid smartly. Ask your real estate agent for prices of comparable homes in the area that have recently sold, and use those figures to determine your initial offer. Start a tad lower than those figures.
Make clear demands. Be up-front about extras, such as curtains and light fixtures, that you want included with the house.
Use the closing date as a negotiating point. If you don’t have to move by a certain date be flexible on when you move into your new home. You might be able to get other concessions from the sellers.
Ask the seller to buy a home warranty. A good one will cost about $400 and can cover the cost of any major repairs for a year after closing.
In today’s competitive market, it takes more than cash to close a deal. Here are expert tips to beating out all-cash buyers.
It’s not a buyer’s market these days; there are still plenty with cash, and financing has brought in a whole new set of hungry home hunters. According to CoreLogic, cash sales make up one third of total homes sales. Competition in key popular locations is even greater. “Cash purchases account for nearly half or more of all transactions in cities such as New York, Miami and Los Angeles”, says appraiser Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel.
Keep Your Money Where It Is
It’s not wise to make any huge purchases or move your money around three to six months before buying a new home. You don’t want to take any big chances with your credit profile. Lenders need to see that you’re reliable and they want a complete paper trail so that they can get you the best loan possible. If you open new credit cards, amass too much debt or buy a lot of big-ticket items, you’re going to have a hard time getting a loan.
When buying a home, time is of the essence. Cash buyers show strength because they present no financial contingency. But a solid mortgage pre-approval with a short inspection and the assurance of a quick closing can have equal billing. “Cash is important but it means nothing if the buyer doesn’t act fast,” says Miami broker Chad Carroll of Douglas Elliman. “Bottom line is, a seller wants to know how quickly they can get their money,” says Susan Smith of Hilton and Hyland in Beverly Hills. According to William Pierce of Coldwell Banker, a quick closing is around 14 days.