In the current market, it can be a daunting task for the first time home buyer to get ahead of the “all cash” buyer. If you have been in that stressful situation of finding a home you want, making an offer, only to find there are several other offers on the same property, and Mr. All Cash get’s it. I can feel your pain.
There are some things that you can do to make sure that you have a fighting chance to get your offer accepted and get it closed.
Save for Your Down Payment
It’s better to wait a bit and have some money in hand, than to get to the offer stage and have an iffy loan for the seller to consider. Most lenders are going to want anywhere from 5% – %20 down. Hey, I know 20% is a lot of money. If you don’t have at least 20% down your mortgage company may want you to pay PMI insurance, which will increase your monthly payment up to a couple of hundred dollars a month. There are some lenders out there that do have some programs that give you a little break on your down payment, but go into that program with your eyes wide open. There will be some consequences for not having a larger down payment.
Make Sure You Are Pre-Approved
Know the difference between being Pre-Qualified and Pre-Approved. Read my article here, if you need a refresher. Again, in this current “Seller’s Market” having a Pre-Qualified letter from a lender may get your offer pushed off the table. Your Realtor, should have told you that. Getting pre-approved is much better. Even though it is not a dead lock (your lender may have stipulations on that loan approval, like appraisals and inspections) it still carries more weight than a pre-approval.
Get the Right Realtor
Realtor’s have some extra tools that their disposal that you may not have access to. There is a whole section of the MLS listing that the consumer can not see. Good information that you may need in going into making an offer. Information like, History of the transactions, Cumulative Days on the Market, and a concise Comparative Market Analysis. I know you can use the latest and greatest online Real Estate Searches, but those search companies use an algorithm that may or may not be accurate in analyzing properties listed and sold in your target area. Plus a realtor should know the area. School, Shopping and Business information from a real human being. Some realtors, like me, can set you up on an automatic alert that can send you a new listing as soon as it hits MLS. All online Real Estate Search Companies get their info from MLS, with the right realtor, you can get our information first. To me, that’s a win win.
First timers can get overwhelmed and frustrated by the process, but it doesn’t have to be. I would love to have that opportunity to earn your business.