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Thursday, May 24, 2018

7 Tips to Help You Win in a Multiple Offer Situation

It goes without saying that the real estate market is competitive - sometimes it seems like properties are sold almost as soon as they are listed! This is due in large part to low inventories of homes across the country. One of the ways these low inventories can affect the home buying process is that it leads to many buyers finding themselves in a multiple offer scenario.

When you are competing against other buyers for a home that you love, how can you make sure that you’re presenting the strongest offer possible? Here are a few suggestions to help you win in a multiple offer situation:

1. Work with a real estate professional. Working with an agent is your best course of action! Your agent will be aware of current market conditions, take into consideration other factors that may affect the sale, and most importantly, they will help you place the strongest offer possible.

2. Offer more money. Money talks - especially in real estate. Talk with your agent about adding an escalation clause to your offer. This clause raises your offer a certain amount when you’re in a multiple offer situation. You can also consider increasing the amount of money you are placing in the escrow account to show you’re serious. A word of caution, though: you want to keep your offer inside your comfort zone. Don’t get caught up in a bidding war where you end up spending more money than you can afford, or worse, offering too much money and having to come up with the difference from the appraisal.

3. Limit Contingencies. The fewer the contingencies, the easier it will be for the deal to close. Make sure your offer is as ‘clean’ as possible and list contingencies that you deem absolutely necessary. While it can be almost impossible to have a contingency-free offer if you are financing a portion of your home with a mortgage, you can still limit the number.

4. Know what the sellers need. While money is important, there may be outside circumstances that are also important to the seller. Are they moving because they accepted a new job in a different state? They may want a quick closing so they can move on. Your agent can reach out to the seller’s agent to find out if there is a preferred timeline and you can include this in your offer.

5. Shorten due diligence period. Did your agent find out your seller wants to move quickly? Shortening your due diligence period, which is when you would do you appraisal, home inspection, and survey, may make your offer more appealing.

6. Take a backup position. If you really love the house, and your offer still isn’t accepted, consider taking a backup position. A backup position allows you to be first in line if for some reason the accepted offer falls through.

7. Stay positive. It can be incredibly frustrating to lose out on a home due to a multiple offer situation, but be sure to keep spirits up! Your agent is there to help guide you through the competitive market and present the strongest offer possible.

There are plenty of homes coming on the market every day! With a little bit of time and patience, and with the invaluable help of your real estate professional, your diligence will pay off and you will find the right home for you.

Monday, May 21, 2018

5/19 Radio Show: Michael Kelleher & Maureen Prinzbach

Guest host, Linda Mallia, welcomes Michael Kelleher & Maureen Prinzbach to the show.

Michael Kelleher is an attorney with HoganWillig, PLLC.

Mauren Prinzbach is one of our leading real estate agents working out of our Lancaster office.

Together, Linda leads the discussion on pre approvals and pre commitments within the mortgage process.

To find out more, listen to this week's show. 




Wednesday, May 16, 2018

6 Things to Consider When Budgeting For Your First Home

From excitement at finding the perfect home to the stress of making an offer, there are a lot of emotions involved in buying a home – especially when it’s your first home! It’s important to remain objective and practical when it comes to certain aspects of the home buying process, however, especially when it comes to financial decisions and budgeting. Here are a few things you should consider when you’re budgeting for your first home:

1. Gather your documents ahead of time. Almost every agent can agree that getting preapproved before searching for your house is crucial. Preapprovals allow you to see how much you qualify for, and can give you an idea of what homes are in your price range so you can start looking. To be pre-approved for your mortgage, you'll need to gather all of the necessary documents: your W-2 form, 2 years of tax records, paystubs, current loan and credit card statements, and the names and addresses of your landlords from the past two years.

2. Find out how much you can afford. Many first time home buyers forget to factor in the total monthly cost of their future home, which can be a major mistake. Don’t forget that there is more to your monthly payments than just the mortgage - taxes, insurance, maintenance costs, and higher utility bills can almost double your monthly housing costs.

3. Figure out your down payment. While you may want to place the full 20% down to avoid paying PMI, emptying your savings to do so can put you in a bad place financially. You should always keep a balance in your savings account for surprise fixes that can be a part of homeownership. Mortgage companies now offer great programs if you can’t afford the 20% down payment. Check out HUNT Mortgage’s website for more information: HUNTmortgage.com.

4. Budget for closing costs. While considering your home buying budget, make sure you also consider closing costs. Closing costs are typically 2-5% of the total price of the home

5. Be prepared to move quickly. The highly competitive market means you'll have less time to dwell on whether you'd like to place an offer on a home. You will need to be decisive if you find a home you are interested and move quickly to place in an offer. Have a list of things you absolutely need and things you could live without to help weed out homes that aren't for you.

6. Are you willing to go over asking price? With the state of the market, you’ll likely end up in a scenario with multiple offers. Make sure you put forth your strongest offer and set a limit of how much (if any) you’re willing to go over the asking price. Don’t pay more than you can afford. Your agent can help you compile your best offer and will do negotiations for you.

These are only a few of the tips to make sure you are financially prepared for the major investment that is your first home. Your agent can help connect you with a mortgage representative who can give you even further insight into the affordability of a home in your budget. Plan and budget carefully and you can have your dream home!

Monday, May 14, 2018

5/12 Radio Show: Michelle Winer

Guest Host, Susan Ballard, welcomes Michelle Winer to the show.

Michelle Winer is one of our leading real estate professionals working out of our Williamsville Clarence office.

Together, Susan leads the discussion on the current shortage of inventory.

To find out more, listen to this week's show. 



Friday, May 11, 2018

5 Things You May Not Know About Buying a House

The home buying process can be intimidating to any first-time homebuyer. With the popularity of house hunting TV shows, it can seem like the home buying process is a breeze...but you can't always believe what you see. Here are 5 things you probably didn't know about buying a house:

1. The home buying process takes time. TV shows make a home search appear to take a week or two, but the actual home buying experience can take much longer. The typical homebuyer in 2017 spent 10 weeks searching for their home and looked at a median of 10 homes*.

2. Get pre-approved for your mortgage. Many buyeres find themselves in a multiple offer situation, so it’s important to get your pre-approval from your mortgage lender. This says to the seller you are serious about your offer. Want to make your offer stand out even more? Check out HUNT Mortgage’s Pre-Purchase Commitment.

3. You don’t have to put 20% down. If a 20% down payment doesn't work for your budget, mortgage companies offer a variety of mortgage products that don’t require it. The best way to understand what mortgage program is best for you is to explore your options and reach out to a mortgage consultant.

4. Think about your long-term plans. Are you planning to have a family? Will your aging parents need to move in with you? Consider what your future plans are when looking at a house. Don’t just buy for your current lifestyle, or you may outgrow your home.

5. Look beyond staging. A well-staged home can sell faster. However, since staging should highlight the best features of a home, it can also mask the shortcomings. Ignore the professional set-up and take a look at the “bones” of a home.

The home buying process can be a daunting one, so when you're ready to buy your first home, be sure to reach out to a real estate sales professional. Your agent will be happy to guide you through the home buying process, answer your questions, and help you get into your ideal home.

*Source: National Association of Realtors 

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