Today's home buyers must navigate a crazy market. In the Westfield area (including Scotch Plains, Mountainside, Cranford, and the surrounding area), the marketplace strongly favors the seller. Low inventory and rising interest rates made many buyers re-evaluate their home buying budgets. If you want to finalize a sale before interest rates go up again, you may want to consider implementing these home buying tips right away.
Home Buying Tips to Finalize a Sale Now
Hire a Great REALTOR®
How do you know your REALTOR® is great? Find one with plenty of experience in the local market you want to make your home.
There is No Such Thing as a Stupid Question
Also, there is no such thing as asking too many questions. Whether your REALTOR® or your lender, anytime a question pops in your head about the home buying process, talk to them. An informed home buyer is a successful home buyer. Plus, this helps set you up to put in an offer right away when you find the perfect Westfield area home. And in a seller's market, you have no time to spare.
Pre-Approval is Key
When you submit your offer letter, you need to include a pre-approval letter with it. Otherwise, sellers may not even bother looking at your offer. Pre-qualification is not enough anymore. Better yet, get your loan to the pre-underwriting stage, if possible. That is when your loan has gone through all of the steps except the final approval. At that point, all you need is an address, a sale price, and an appraisal that meets the lender's requirements to finalize the financial portion of your home sale. The pre-approval process takes time. So, the sooner you start it, the better. I suggest doing this before you even start looking at homes.
Narrow Your Focus
First, determine which features your home absolutely must have. Then, ask your REALTOR® if these realistically fit within your budget and communities of interest. If you cannot find a home that fits these criteria, you might want to re-evaluate it. But the more you focus only on properties that fit within your "must" list, the less distracted you become on other homes.
Make a Strong First Impression
Finally, make sure you submit a strong first offer. A low-ball offer not only insults a seller, but it might stop them from even countering it. If you find yourself in a bidding war, setting your "best and final" offer on the table eliminates the back and forth of negotiating. Sometimes, this means the highest price. Sometimes it means a larger down payment and earnest money deposit. Other times, the seller may have a specific time frame they need to close in. Your REALTOR® can use their expertise and influence to dig up the information you need to craft your best offer possible to make a deal happen now.
Originally posted on my Westfield area real estate blog here: https://mrwestfield.com/2022/07/15/home-buying-tips.