Corona has slowed the real estate market down, but things can still move quickly when it comes to making an offer on a home. That’s why it’s critical that you and your agent review all the property details before you sign that contract.
The key to making a confident and successful home purchase lies in being prepared and knowledgeable. Here are five tips for being successful in the residential real estate game:
1. Read the disclosure package—really read it. A disclosure package is a mix of seller information specific to the property, as well as various reports (permit history, neighborhood/regional hazard info, preliminary title report, inspection reports, etc). When I obtain disclosures for my clients, I review them in detail and point out the highlights in advance of forwarding the material. But don’t rely on your agent to point things out. Every buyers’ background is different, and for every person who doesn’t care if the garage was broken into three years ago or that there’s asbestos in the heating duct, there’s someone who may freak out about that sort of detail.
2. Be completely preapproved for a loan. Loan complications easily end up being the reason a contract falls apart. From the time you go into contract, you have three days to submit your loan application. That means all your required documentation needs to be on file so there are no delays. To be on the safe side, get preapproved by your lender’s underwriting team before you go in contract. It’s likely you’ll need a preapproval letter to schedule a showing these days, so put your best foot forward early on.
3. Run the property profile past your lender. It’s important for you or your agent to discuss the property with the lender and make sure there are no potential issues to which the lender will object. Of course, you can’t anticipate everything, but if a lender has a policy that prevents it from lending on a house with an unwarranted unit or a brick foundation, for example, it’s helpful to know that prior to going into contract.
4. Visit the property more than once. The earlier you see a property in its marketing cycle, the more time you’ll have to make a return visit and consider all your options. Because during that secondary visit, you could realize that there’s actually no heating system in that unwarranted master bedroom downstairs, for example. Or that the kitchen isn’t as functional as you originally thought, suddenly making you feel like you’ll have to spend $50,000 to set it right.
5. Be comfortable with the price you’re paying. Overbidding in multiple-offer situations has been the norm for a while now. However, a majority of these situations arises because the list price is set lower than comp range to attract interest. Make sure you review comparative sales with your agent and feel that you’re paying a price that’s within range. When you finally do move into your new home, you can relax knowing that you were cool with the price you paid.