Being Completely Unprepared Won't Cut It In this Market

Real Estate Agent with Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. SL3226489

Being Prepared To Buy A Home

Being completely unprepared won't cut it in today's real estate market

I received a call yesterday from a nice lady who wanted to see some homes while she was in town on vacation. This is a fairly common occurrence in a vacation areas such as Central Florida. Folks save for years in hopes of vacationing here and seeing Disney and Universal Studios along with all the other attractions. So its fairly common for folks who want to buy a home in the Disney area to want to do their home viewing while they are here on vacation.

What some folks don't realize is that they need to be prepared and plan ahead accordingly. Right now the real estate inventory in Central Florida is exceedingly low and it is very tough to get an offer accepted. If you are not prepared you are practicing an exercise in futility. When I asked about whether she was preapproved for a mortgage or whether she was paying cash, she hadn't even thought about it. Of course my first thought was that maybe she wasn't really looking to buy a home. However, through further conversation I found that she was indeed serious about purchasing a home and planned to use cash. She just hadn't gotten herself prepared for the situation at all.

Her plan was to just come down to Florida and see some houses, decide what to buy, and then make an offer once she got home from her vacation. Unfortunately that is an unrealistic goal in today's market. Almost every listing is selling in less than 2 weeks if priced anywhere close to reasonable. Some are selling quickly even if they are priced too high. Almost all of the homes we look at will likely be sold by the time she gets back home.

We discussed all of this and it turns out she really doesn’t have the ability to make an offer right now because her money is tied up in various other places. Of course I’ll try to help as best I can, but this situation isn’t going to end up leading to a successful purchase. She is probably 3 weeks from being able to provide proof of funds with her offer (which is required with all offers) and by that time the homes she has looked at won’t be on the market anymore. Then she won’t be able to come down and visit again to view more homes. So lack of preparation might have cost her the ability to purchase a home while the market is ripe.

Some people will elect to go ahead and purchase a home site unseen but many folks want to see what they are buying before they commit. I don’t blame them for that. However, if that’s the case then preparation is key. If you are in this situation there are some things you need to do to prepare.

1. Select an agent and stay in touch with them about your plans so that they can make proper arrangements for your viewings.

2. Have  your proof of funds ready to go so that your agent can present it with your offer. It needs to be on file with your agent prior to viewings. It will also need to be in US currency. Most banks (the ones selling those cheap foreclosures) will not accept proof of funds in other currencies so if your funds aren’t in US currency...take care of that ahead of time. **Caution, this applies to cash buyers. If you need financing you should not move your funds around until you've consulted with your lender.

3. If you are getting a mortgage you need to be pre approved prior to going out and looking at any homes. This is only common sense since who knows how much financing you qualify for until you ask a lender. And if you don’t know how much you qualify for how do we know how much home you can by. The horse needs to be in front of the cart so to speak. Preapproval...then house hunting.

4. Last but not least, make a short list of the homes you are interested in and give them to your agent at least 24 hours prior to your appointment so that he can make the arrangements. Some homes are lived in and will require 24 hours notice before being shown.

That’s it folks. It’s that easy to get prepared for success. Follow that advice and your chances of securing a home in this tough seller’s market will be greatly increased. Good luck and of course if you need some help just let me know. All the best.


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
ActiveRain Community
Florida Polk County Davenport
All Things Florida
Club Chaos
Diary of a Realtor
Cosmic Cow Pie...The Rome Way
Cool Stuff
proof of funds

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Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

This ia a great checklist for buyers like the one you described.  It is amazing how folks really don't know what they need to do to get an offer accepted in the changing market.

Oct 30, 2012 11:56 AM #19
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County
Sounds like some pretty good advice. I can see how many people could be enchanted with Disneyland.
Oct 30, 2012 12:05 PM #20
Bruce McCallum
DFH Real Estate, Victoria, BC 800-668-2272 - Victoria, BC
Homes In Victoria BC

Nathan - what a great post. I hope that many buyers out there read it carefully. It's so important to be prepared. I also wrote a similar post just the other day for buyers in my town, Victoria, BC


Oct 30, 2012 01:18 PM #21
Tammie White
(615) 495-0752 or - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

At certain price points, home here are going under contract the first day. I am working with a couple who lives four hours away. I aked if they had the ability to act quickly if a home came on the market. Since the husband is still working, he said the best he could do would be to come up on a Saturday. I explained that would probably be too late. They have already lost several opportunities because the houses went under contract the first day on the market. They have since decided to build a new home rather than leave it to chance.

Oct 30, 2012 01:46 PM #22
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Nate, this is a post that every buyer needs to read. I just worked with my first person in a long time who didn't have a pre-approval and when time came to get one, their ratios were off. Great credit but too much debt. They will resolve it in a few months, but it made for a major disappointment to them.


Oct 30, 2012 02:03 PM #23
Pete Xavier with X Group Real Estate Advocates
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

Great post, like what #14 said: "buyer prepare".

I will make darn sure they are.

Oct 30, 2012 03:50 PM #24
Loreena Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Frisco TX Real Estate Co. - Frisco, TX
REALTOR® | Frisco TX Homes for Sale

I definitely LOVE that QUOTE!!!

Oct 30, 2012 09:05 PM #25
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Palm Harbor, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Great list for preparing potential buyers, Nat. You are indeed following in your dad's footsteps!!!

Oct 30, 2012 10:04 PM #26
Ed & Tracy Oliva
West USA Realty - Arizona - Fountain Hills, AZ
The Oliva Team Arizona Agents

Nat:  This is some great Info for all in the business,  Keep up the good work and good luck with your business,  E

Oct 30, 2012 10:09 PM #27
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Nathan, great points for preparing to make a purchase. Great quote!!

Oct 30, 2012 10:32 PM #28
Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector
SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

Sounds to me like you've had a little experience in this, and maybe you were a Boy Scout. Be Prepared. 

Oct 30, 2012 10:51 PM #29
Amanda Christiansen
Century 21 Bradley (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Century 21 Bradley Realtor

Sounds about right to me Nate.  I bet people are surprised when they hear that the Florida real estate market is actually a good one now.  Congrats on the feature.  

Oct 30, 2012 10:52 PM #30
Bryant Tutas
Bryant Tutas-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc - Poinciana, FL
Broker/REALTOR, Tutas Towne Realty, Inc

Good stuff Nate. No money. No house. It's simple.

Oct 30, 2012 10:55 PM #31
Rhonda Duffy
Duffy Realty of Atlanta & Rainmaker Realty - Milton, GA
#1 Retail Listing Agent in the U.S.

Being completely unprepared won't cut it anywhere! Great post- thank you for sharing.

Oct 30, 2012 11:07 PM #32
Andrew Mooers
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Home work, is a loaded term. Both sides of the real estate fence need to be sharp, on the ball and working hard to make the listing/sales process conveyor hum, run smooth.

Oct 30, 2012 11:24 PM #33
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

When planning trips, outings or get togethers, things pop up on your "to do" radar and the prudent get to doing...Yes to this post and thank u

Oct 30, 2012 11:47 PM #34
Bryan Robertson
Catarra Real Estate, Inc - Los Altos, CA
Broker, Author, Speaker

She's probably operating from the mistaken assumption that Florida real estate is still depressed and there's plenty of inventory.  If she's serious, you're the right person to help her out.

Oct 31, 2012 03:12 AM #35
Jon Karlen
Finish Line Realty - Shelbyville & Louisville Ky Real Estate - Shelbyville, KY
Louisville & Shelbyville Kentucky real estate

Excellent guidelines to follow.  Have to get yourself in "fighting" shape before you go out to do battle. :)

Oct 31, 2012 04:56 AM #36
Lanise Warrior-Johnson
Real Estate Brokers Services, Inc. - Compton, CA
Real Estate Specialist

Nicely written blog, very informative information for home buyers.  Congrats on the feature.  

Oct 31, 2012 02:29 PM #37
Gina Tufano
Ask Gina & Company with Pearson Smith Realty - Sterling, VA
Ask Gina & Company, Northern Virginia Real Estate

Great quote and excellent blog. Being prepared in this market is key. And it's not one sided!

Nov 01, 2012 06:52 AM #38
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Nathan Tutas

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