Buying vs Renting
In today's real estate market there is a historical shortage of houses to buy. Many potential Buyers have had to rent for a higher monthly cost than a house payment. It takes a persistent real estate agent to find a house for buyers. Here are some of the methods that should be used:
- Have a Loan Pre-approval Letter ready to provide to your real estate agent.
- Give your agent a list of priorities you desire in a property
- Have your agent check the multiple listing service daily for new listings and email them to you for review
- Have your agent call listing agents about properties you'd like to tour and to learn if there are current offers a seller is considering
- Tour the properties that fit most of your criteria
- Talk with your agent about the best approach to making an offer considering current market conditions
- Make a considered offer and be prepared to improve it if necessary.
Getting pre-approved for a loan to buy real estate is different than it is to buy a car or furniture, so don't count on online credit score services for getting pre-approved to buy a house. Only your mortgage broker or lender can pull credit that will satisfy a mortgage lender's criteria. But it's not complicated. It's as simple as a five minute phone call to your mortgage broker to pull your credit and answer a few questions about your income, cash reserves, and employment history. If there are any unique issues in your situation, they can be addressed so you will eventually be pre-approved for a loan.
When you've settled on a property you'd like to put an offer on, your real estate agent should discuss the following issues with you in determining how much to offer:
- Comparable properties in the same neighborhood that have sold within the past several months
- Type of property: ranch, two-story, multi-story, with basement
- Size and number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Price per square foot
- Age of the house
- Size of the lot
- If there are current offers on a property
- If the seller is willing to pay your closing costs
- If you can close quickly
It's not an easy task, but your agent will help you determine a strategy to make an acceptable offer based on all issues to be considered.