Yes, it's helpful to revisit this topic every few months and share tips/tricks. It's competitive right now! So ... consider this:
The DFW market is a tough market for buyers, but maybe this is the market you’re working in right now. It’s low inventory and high demand; it’s a Seller’s Market. But, I’ve been through this and I can help guide you. I’ve been through a seller’s market, a buyer’s market and now our seller’s market again. Real Estate markets are always shifting and it will shift again…
Until then, here are 4 tips to give you the edge.
1) You can get fully approved. See, most people are pre-approved maybe they’ve briefly talked to a lender and have been approved over the phone. Being fully approved gives you leverage. In a seller’s market you’re looking for ways to get selected by a seller, and you can ease a seller’s stress by coming into the process fully approved. And, it could be the reason they choose you.
2) You can write a letter to seller. Let’s give them all the reasons that they should pick you. This is the time to lay it all out there. Many sellers are very emotionally attached to their home, a place that potentially holds the great memories that were created there. And they may want to make sure the new buyer will appreciate their home and love it as much as they do. A personal letter helps do this!
3) You can make your first offer BIG. In this market, if you find something that you are interested in, go high. In a seller’s market, low bids can feel like an insult. If a low bid comes in, amidst many other bids, you’ll too easily get overlooked and maybe not offered another change. But let me guide this part of the work for you: I will run the numbers on any house you want and if the sales price is in the range of recent homes sold, go ahead and go big. Most houses today are priced on the high side because of the market. Be prepared to pay over list price. I know, I know––all of us are looking for a “DEAL” and I’m not suggesting that you overpay. It’s simply that the odds are that we will go into multiple offers in a market like ours. I would go in with a big offer to start and maybe stop multiple offers.
4) A fourth thing you can do to potentially get ahead in the buying process is to pay for the Title Policy, the Survey and, if needed, the Home Warranty.
These processes are negotiated, but usually paid by the seller. Sometimes it makes sense to pay for these in an effort to secure the home for you.
The Title Policy is basically an insurance policy that makes sure the "Title" is clear––no liens on the deed. The Title Company will do a Title search to check on the property; if there is a lien/liens the seller must clear these before the Title or deed is transferred to the new owners. If the Title Company finds there are no liens, and the title is transferred, the Title Company insures that if a lien pops up later (one that happened before the transfer), the Title Company pays the lien off.
The buyer’s Lender will also require that a survey is approved. Most sellers have a survey from when they bought the home, and in that case a new one is not needed. Sometimes the seller has misplaced the survey or it is too old to be used and the lender requires a new one. They cost roughly $450.
Finally, the Home Service Warranty is an insurance policy on things that the regular Home Owners Insurance doesn’t cover. It insures the Hot water heater/s, Air Conditioning and Heat, and some plumbing. Usually sellers would be paying for this, but I am seeing that, in our market, sometimes buyers are assuming theses costs.
Yes, buying a home is already complicated, but these are some tips and tricks for a market like ours. Call me about any of these ideas and let’s get creative about your process. We’ll get a leg up and we’ll get you into a home that fits just right!
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