In a scorching hot market that Madison Wisconsin home sales is, landing the property you want means having your ducks in a row so you can pull the trigger immediately....Not being ready means losing your perfect home.
Fortunately, the process is pretty straight-forward and completely doable. Here’s what we are telling clients they need to do right now to be “offer ready.”
1. First, when you want to be moved in and settled in your new home? Identify that date on a calendar. Now count back 8 weeks. This date is when you need to have an accepted offer on the books. So if you want to be settled in your new home on July 1st, you’ll need an accepted offer May 1st. Note, closing can sometimes take as little as 45 days, but 60 days leaves you a little wiggle room if there are delays. Nobody wants to have to move into an extended stay hotel and put all their stuff in storage, only to have to move it again in a few weeks!??
2. Now we need to set aside time to find your new home. I recommend a period of 6-12 weeks. The more unique features and location that you’re looking for, I generally recommend setting aside more time to search. So if you’re more flexible about your requirements, starting your search March 15th would be fine. If you’re more particular about what you’re looking for, start looking February 1st. Note: February 1st was YESTERDAY!!!??
3. Look at your personal finances and decide how large of a payment you can really afford. Be realistic; leave room for savings, emergency funds, car repairs, and unexpected home repairs. Do not overextend yourself. You can always save the extra money for renovations!! ...or a vacation. ??
4. Get pre-approval from your lender. I highly discourage showing homes to clients who don’t have pre-approval in hand. Why?
• You don’t want to visit a home, and fall in love with it, and then not be able to purchase it because your financing isn’t lined up. Not only does it stink to be let down, but looking at homes when you aren’t ready to buy isn’t an effective use of time because the market will be different when you’re ready to pull the trigger.
• It’s a seller’s market, and sellers are looking for strong offers. A strong offer includes evidence that you’ve established a relationship with a lender and can obtain financing for the purchase. “Well, of course I can get a loan” isn’t sufficient assurance. The other buyers you’re competing against are including their financing pre-approvals with their offers, so when yours is missing, your offer appears weaker. ??
5. Meet with your real estate agent before you start searching. Home sellers are represented by agents who negotiate for the seller’s advantage; you need to be equally represented by someone who fights for your best interests. When we meet, we’ll discuss the home buying process, what you most want in a home, our search strategies, getting an accepted offer, and what to expect every step of the way. Bring your questions to this meeting! Your agent is your consultant and should be an enthusiastic guide.??
6. Be ready to roll on loan commitment. Your work is only beginning when you get an accepted offer; now you’ll need to supply more documentation and go through several more steps to obtain a commitment from the lender that says they are indeed lending you the money. There’s usually a deadline in the offer by which you must have loan commitment. Selecting a lender and starting the application prior to a home really helps reduce the stress when you do get an offer accepted on your home.
All of these points speak to acting swiftly in a very fluid and rapid-moving market where you’re in fierce competition with many other buyers for relatively few properties. These are the cards I tell my buyers to have in hand so they don’t lose the home they love.
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Find your new home using our free home search. We’ll email you daily with new listings and when properties have an accepted offer. Our site is updated in real time so you’ll know the current status of every home you peruse.
Written by Karin Harwitz, of the Real Estate Guy team, Madison Wi.
Real Estate Guy has been selling Real Estate, particularly homes, in the Madsison Wi area for 24 years. The team offers personalized service to find that home of your dream and works with you to secure the home in any market. Years of experience is important.