Homebuying Tips for LOUDOUN COUNTY, Virginia - PART 3
Continued from Homebuying Tips for LOUDOUN COUNTY, Virginia - PART 2
5. Home Selection & Viewing. Now it's time for one of the most exciting parts to the entire process...looking for your home! By now your agent should have set up a search based on the results of your consultation, a "net" that should ideally be cast a little wider (price, geography, lot size, etc.), where you as the buyer help whittle it down over time...until you've found "the one". The process of searching for your next home is evolutionary, and by that I mean you begin with an idea of what you think you want, and over a span of time the reality of what the market bears, combined with affordability evoles into what you will ultimately have.
Personally I allow 30 minutes to move from one home to the next, to include "tour time" for each home. If you're local, a reasonable amount of time to spend with your agent for that day is anywhere between 3-4 hours...any more and the effectiveness of the visit is lessened with diminished energy. For out-of-town visits I allow more time per visit as it's at a premium for my client. If you have your little ones with you, make sure to bring plenty of snacks, liquids...and diapers...for them it's a far longer day than it is for mom and dad.
If you're doing your homework upfront (browing listings online, visiting Open Houses, driving out to communities to determine safety, comfort, convenience, etc.), a reasonable amount of visits with your agent is approximately three...although this varies by personal situation.
6. Making an offer. Congratulations on reaching another milestone! It's time to drop a hint to sellers that you may be interested in making their home yours. By the time you're ready to engage in the process of negotation...you may be bordering on a mixture of fatigue and an overwhelming amount of nervious energy.
An offer in real estate is generally comprised of three components:
- The state-specific signed offer itself, that declares price, terms and conditions
- The pre-approval letter you received from your lender
- An electronic (.jpeg) copy of your Earnet Money Deposit (EMD)
The specifics of a negotiation will vary from one transaction to the next...and that largely depends on supply and demand. If a property is priced right and shows well...rest assured it will be attractive to other buyers who are looking for their home at the exact same time you are. A competitive, or multiple offer situation, is where you will need to place a value (I suggest 1-10) on, relative to all other homes you'd already seen. The weighting will help your agent recommend how aggressively to go on the initial offer, and should there be multiple parties offering simultaneously, help you determine your comfort level on net price and contingencies.
The simpler offer situation of the two of course is negotiating directly with the seller. The seller could be a private party, investment group, bank...or combination of two as in a short sale...where the negotiation is done directly with the seller; however is contingent on bank approval. Your agent will help you determine where the right point of entry is for your unique situation...a combination of where the property value falls in line with comparables (or "comps"), the sellers' circumstances, how much you desire the home...among other factors. Keep in mind that the process of negotiation is logical and practical as well as emotional and flexible.
Which will bring us to our next installment of sale types: Traditional, Short Sale and REO/Foreclosure.
Have a question in the meantime...don't be shy...ask me!