As the real estate market continues to improve and inventory shrinks here and there, there have been sprinkling of camp-outs over the last couple of years. So how do you make sure you get the new home you want? Line up, and you only have to worry about the people in front of you, unlike the increasingly hostile environment of existing home purchases in popular areas – especially when all-cash buyers are shutting out those who have the nerve to need a 30-year mortgage.
Here are some tips to get the home you want in a competitive market:
Be informed. The first line of defense is to know what’s going on so you can act fast to get the home you want. Any specific neighborhoods, communities, or builders you’re interested in? You can start researching and following them on social media, and go set up Google alerts so in case something comes up, you’ll be notified as soon as possible.
Register your name on the interest list. If you want to be among the first to know, make sure the community/builder knows about you. Communities and builders reach out to those on their interest lists with news about model homes, property releases, new phases, and other updates. You should be aware that many new-home communities have a policy regarding real estate agent representation; you typically have to tour the community with your Realtor® on the first visit in order for them to receive a commission when you purchase.
Work with a Realtor®. They are the ones who’s got the inside track on new releases and in many cases will be able to alert you to important news before the public has been made aware. According to realtormag.org, Realtors® are not just agents. They are professional members of the National Association of Realtors® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. And you can expect these when working with a Realtor®:
- Ethical treatment. The first obligation is to you, the client.
- An expert guide. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal and avoid delays or costly mistakes. Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved, so you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.
- Objective information and opinions. Realtors® can provide local information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They also have objective information about each property. Realtors® can use that data to help you determine if the property has what you need. By understanding both your needs and search area, they can also point out neighborhoods you don’t know much about but that might suit your needs better than you’d thought.
- Expanded search power. Sometimes properties are available but not actively advertised. A Realtor® can help you find opportunities not listed on home search sites and can help you avoid out-of-date listings that might be showing up as available online but are no longer on the market.
- Negotiation knowledge. There are many factors up for discussion in a deal. A Realtor® will look at every angle from your perspective.
- Up-to-date experience. Most people buy only a few homes in their lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. Even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. Realtors® handle hundreds of transactions over the course of their career.
- Your rock during emotional moments. A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. And for most people, property represents the biggest purchase that they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay on track and focused on the issues most important to you.
Make a friend. You might want to make some friends with the sales agents in the community. They’re great resources for neighborhood details others might not be aware of.
Get pre-approved. Being prepared with a loan pre-approval is a big plus. If you’re not, you could lose it to someone else who is.
Check for financing options through the builder. Using a builder’s in-house mortgage option won’t move you up an interest list, but it can provide other benefits. Depending on the builder, there may be incentives like closing cost help or upgrades for financing your home with their mortgage partner. In many respects, financing a new home is much like getting a mortgage – but there’s an important difference. When buying resale, you shop around for rates and terms from banks, mortgage companies, brokers and online resource Your builder may offer attractive financing packages, either directly through its own mortgage subsidiary or via an affiliate. As you shop for your dream home, key questions to ask yourself very early in your search include:
Are my credit reports accurate, up-to-date and correct?
What information will I need to gather to apply to finance my new home?
What can I afford in the way of a mortgage?
What are my loan options?
Where do I learn more about, and ultimately shop for, a mortgage?
Talk to your Realtor® about options and upgrades. Like the one said earlier, Realtors® have expert and just the right negotiation knowledge to help you with. This is important when securing your financing. If there’s a model home, it will be significantly upgraded and full of options that raise the price well beyond the base price. With those ideas of the options and upgrades you want, and the cost involved, will help you ensure to be approved with the correct amount. It would be so much painful and a hassle if you find out the fact that you can’t qualify for the home you want because the upgrade you want has pushed the sales price out of reach.
Familiarize yourself with the community and the properties. It is essential to work with a professional that knows the ins and outs of the region and can introduce to many properties on the market to find the one best suited to your needs. Some offer extensive experience and local expertise to ensure your home buying experience is easy and stress-free. Knowing the community well and having notes outlining which sites meet your needs will help you make an informed choice when it’s your turn.
Sources: realtytimes.com, realtormag.org, newhomesource.com, greatwayhomes.com, sellingsoutoftheriver.com
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