Winter finally seems to have broken and the temps seem to be on the upswing! Homes in the hot areas are already moving quickly in the Indianapolis and surrounding areas. If you’re thinking this spring is a good time to starting looking for a house, you aren’t alone. That’s the problem. Your dream house, which might have been easy enough for you to grab a few years ago, is being eyed by other potential buyers.
IT IS A SELLER’S MARKET! Whether you are a first time buyer or a move-up/down buyer, you must have everything in order prior to viewing homes! Gone are the days of getting your financing in order after you found the home of your dreams, in order to make the home buying process run as smoothly as possible, follow these simple tips and LISTEN TO YOUR REALTOR!:
1. Get your financing lined up. You may not worry about being turned down by the mortgage lender, but the seller doesn’t know that. The seller may also be in a hurry to hand you the keys. YOU HAVE TO BE PRE-APPROVED FOR YOUR MORTGAGE! There are 2 numbers when you are dealing with your financing – first is the number your lender approves you for and second is the number you are comfortable spending! The lender may say you can spend $300,000, but what does that mean to your monthly budget? Working with a lender will help you decide what the right number is – contact Pat Hammer at Waterstone Mortgage and get started today!
2. Try to find out why the seller is selling. Buying and selling homes are emotional decisions, an emotional seller versus a nonemotional seller will react to different things. If you have sellers who raised their kids in the house and lived there for most of their lives, they may appreciate a buyer who will do the same. Sending a personal letter with your offer may move you to the front of the pack!
3. Be flexible. If you’re competing against other buyers, be as accommodating as possible. Be flexible on closing dates and occupancy, the goal is for you to get the home of your dreams, and see number 1…a mortgage contingency allows buyers to back out of the deal if they can’t get financing for the house. Sellers don’t like mortgage contingencies – they don’t want to wave off potential buyers only to learn that their buyer can’t actually purchase the house.
4. Sweeten the deal. In a hot market, it is not uncommon to offer over list price, how much more is up to you, but even another $500 might get the seller’s attention. You could also consider waiving the appraisal. That means if the bank determines the house isn’t worth the purchase price you and the seller agreed to, and it won’t lend you all of the money to cover it, you’ll have to make up the difference – provided you have the funds, of course.
5. Be fast. This is a big decision and you likely don’t want to rush, but if you know you can afford the house and you love it and the neighborhood, then, yes, you probably should rush. In an age of instantaneous communication, minutes count and can make the difference between an accepted or rejected offer. Make certain your agent uses the most current technology such as electronic signatures, in order to ensure immediate responses.
6. Be bold. If you really want the house, don’t get too cute and make a lowball offer, thinking there will be a lot of negotiation. You should suggest something close to the price the homeowner is expecting, or risk your offer being ignored. And this isn’t the time to be petty – or cheap, don’t haggle over $500 on a $200,000 deal.
7. Provide good customer service. Wait, isn’t that the seller’s job? You would hope so, but in a competitive market, it comes down to thinking of the homeowner as your customer. You’ll get his business (well, the house) if you’re personable, easy to work with and able to offer a good deal. Of course, you want to make sure you don’t offer the seller such an amazing deal that you hate yourself the day after closing. You want the welcome mat – what you don’t want is to be a doormat.