5 Powerful Buying Strategies
|1. Don’t Get “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, we 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 we recommend all of our clients have in their negotiating arsenal.
2. Sell First, Then Buy
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. We 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 a contract 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.
3. Play the Game of Nines
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.
4. Don’t Be Pushed Into Any House
Review the Multiple Listing printout with your agent to make sure that you are getting a COMPLETE list. But don’t over shop the market. Over the last ten years, homes have been selling quickly, usually a few days after listing. In this kind of market, you may be advised to make an offer ON THE SPOT if you like the house. If it feels right, it probably is.
Don’t forget to check into the SCHOOL DISTRICTS of the area you’re considering. Information is available on every school; such as class sizes, % of students that go on to college, SAT scores, etc.
You can get this information from your agent or directly from the school.
5. Stop Calling Ads!
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 know about.
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’s going to call? His 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, we always recommend that you hire your own agent and stick with him.
For more information or to receive a FREE buyers education consultation contact Chen at 7854387874
How to Spot the Top Problems Home Sellers Try to Hide
Whether you’re a seasoned house hunter or a first-time buyer, the process of purchasing a home has plenty of pitfalls. And while you may assume that sellers are being upfront, it’s not uncommon for them to gloss over some of their home’s shortcomings.
All homeowners sign a disclosure document about their property so buyers know what they’re getting into; however, it can be very tempting for some to tell white lies or conveniently forget facts. In fact, a very large number of real estate lawsuits stem from owners misrepresenting their property.
So, just to be on the safe side, here are some common cover-ups and how you can crack them.
Water stains aren’t just ugly; they’re also signs of leaks, and a breeding ground for mold. And they’re fairly easy for homeowners to hide with strategic decoration or staging.
Many sellers try to conceal water intrusion in the basement, for example, with a pile of cardboard boxes or suitcases,” he says. You could always ask the homeowner to move the furniture a few inches and shine a pocket flashlight around. If the home has obvious red flags (an odd odor or visible wall cracks), it’s not unreasonable to request removing a large picture frame to take a peek at what’s behind it.
Another popular tactic for concealing water damage: a coat of fresh paint. Always ask the homeowner when they last painted. If it was a year ago, they’re probably not trying to hide water stains.
A contaminated backyard
If you’re looking at an older home—specifically, if it was built before 1975—odds are it used to run on oil. Back then, homeowners typically had large oil tanks installed in the basement or underground in the backyard to conserve space and maintain the home’s aesthetic.
The problem is that oil can contaminate soil, and because it’s incredibly costly to remove, some people try to hide evidence of the tank.
So while walking through a home’s backyard, look for a small fill pipe sticking up from the ground (sometimes covered by patches of grass), a dead giveaway that an oil tank is on the premises. Or double-check by asking the seller if the home was heated with oil in the past.
A shaky foundation
If the paint job in a home looks a little uneven around the door frames or windows, take a closer to look to see if it’s concealing any jagged cracks in the wall, advises Flynn. Those zigzags can signify foundation problems, a costly and potentially dangerous situation for potential buyers.
A weak foundation can prevent cabinets and doors from closing, cause supporting beams to snap from stress, or even result in a poor home appraisal, which can affect your loan and the home’s resale value.
Another clue that the house has a weak foundation: “if you feel as though you’re suddenly walking up or down—even slightly—as you move through the home,” says Flynn.
Barking dogs, rocker teens, and blaring horns are all factors that can turn off potential buyers. That’s why some owners try to downplay these situations with well-timed open houses and neighborly negotiations.
Homeowners have an obligation to disclose what are called ‘neighborhood nuisances,’ but if they don’t, buyers have to rely on their word. I know people who have asked their neighbors to keep noisy dogs inside during showings or only open their homes during strategic times of the day.
Even well-intentioned owners may not be candid if they’ve become accustomed to their environment. One workaround, is for buyers to take a stroll around the neighborhood at different times of the day to get a more authentic feel for the area. And don’t hesitate to make small talk with the locals, who can offer a more objective view of their surroundings.
Weird temperature changes
Anyone who’s lived in a home with a freezing bathroom or unusually warm bedroom knows that a temperature imbalance can result in avoiding a room altogether. That’s why tapping into your senses is key when viewing your potential new home.
If you walk into a room and there’s a subtle shift in the atmosphere—maybe the air feels dry or damp—ask the owner what the room feels like throughout the seasons. The culprit is usually poor insulation, sometimes as a result of the owner adding a second room or floor to the home. Oftentimes, an owner isn’t trying to outright conceal extension work.
For More information contact Chen liang at 7854387874
(originial source: Realtor.com)