Anytime I title a blog "__ in Texas" I feel like I should begin with, "Howdy." But it's not Toy Story, it's a real estate blog. So speaking of real estate in Texas this summer, here are some home buyer tips and trends, especially when making a purchase offer, that are relevant to the hot DFW Keller Texas real estate marketplace!
As with the first half of 2013, buyers will still have to compete for the best properties in DFW this quarter. Good, solid, move-in ready homes that show nicely are getting close to list price or higher within days, generally speaking. Specifically, I have not had one property in 2013 last more than about a week without an offer and more offers arrived during option period and even into pending. It was a hot mess the first half of the year! Well... it still is.
STRONG BUYER OFFERS
Buyers should consider not only price, but other terms as they compete to get their offer chosen by the seller.
Buyers should consider putting down more earnest money than usual. Is that Greek? Usually buyers put down about $1,000 to 1% of sales price as earnest money. So on a $100,000 home, $1,000 is common. $200,000 about $1,000-2,000 is common. In this market, a buyer should consider putting more earnest money down. My first Realtor® (before I was one) said, "Put your money where your mouth is, honey." And I did. And I got the house. If you don't want to or can't afford to, don't offer. But if you want the house and you can afford to, consider putting down as much as you can. By the way, always speak to your favorite pros before doing any real estate purchase contract - Realtor®, mortgage lender, banker, CPA, attorney.
Buyers should consider paying their own closing cost. Again, if you only have enough saved up for down payment, yet in order to buy a home you must have closing cost assistance from the seller, then that is fine. But many of the buyers asking for seller paid buyer closing costs are coming in 2nd. Time and time again. How many houses can you fall in love with? So if you can pay your own closing cost, and you want to secure a particular home you love, then you should consider paying your own closing cost this year.
Buyers should consider removing any contingencies they possibly can. Wanted to make the sale of the home (the buy side) contingent on the sale of the home (the one you're selling) but fear you could lose the one you love? You could in 2013, for sure. Consider removing contingencies, where you can afford to, in order to get to the front of the line. This means consider (not recommended in all cases, just saying consider it) removing contingencies related to the sale of another home, financing, everything the buyer can back out for. Consider giving the seller some confidence in you by removing those options to back out in 2013.
And speaking of options to back out, consider making the option period shorter. You know, that time you have to do the inspection and negotiate repair items? It is often times 10 days. I don't know who died and cast stone with "10 days" but it seems to be a commonly used risk assessment period whether the seller is a happy homeowner or a bank foreclosure. Consider shortening that to make your offer stronger than the next buyer's offer. I can get a lot done in 5 days. You?!
This is only a short list of reminders to buyers what it might take to secure a deal this year. Feel free to call anytime to chit chat about real estate!