If you’re considering purchasing a home in the bay area, it’s critical you are ready for the process. I say process because there’s a lot of preparation and a significant investment in time – yours and your realtor’s – to be able to put an offer in on a home. Purchasing a home when there are lots of other people equally interested in buying the same property results in competitive bidding. To stand out there are a lot of different approaches and strategies, but before you even get to determining the strategy to win a particular home (each home will have it’s own strategy based on the sellers’ situation), you need to be prepared.
Here are my 4 Must-Do Tips for buyers so you’re ready to purchase a home:
- Be fully prepared with your finances – you’ll want to be preapproved by a rock star lender whom both you and your realtor can trust to be responsive and one that’s willing to put your “file” into underwriting before you find a property. Not all lenders will do this, and the Internet versions of a preapproval are less than adequate for this market. You’ll also need to be able to show written proof that you have the money for the downpayment plus closing costs.
- Be thoroughly educated about the process – this is very time consuming, but you’ll want to have had discussions with your real estate agent not only about the steps in the home buying process, but also about the purchase contracts, disclosures and the home-specific reports you’ll be expected to review (and sign) when you find a home you like.
- Have time in your schedule – properties sell sometimes within 24 hours, so you’ll need to “jump” when a property comes on the market, and then if you like the property, be prepared to spend hours reviewing reports, contracts and disclosures. It’s one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so taking the time to being fully aware of what you’re buying is crucial.
- Have a skilled realtor – I can’t emphasize enough that it really does matter who you work with! This isn’t like days gone by when you could make a list of the homes you like, go to the open house on the weekend, then let your realtor know which ones you’d like to go back and see … then he or she would schedule one or two private appointments so you can get a real good feel for the property. And after all that, you’d review the “disclosures” and write your offer. In this market, you need to have an agent that can show you a home quickly, oftentimes the same day it comes on the market. In our current seller’s market frenzy, that can also mean writing up an offer that same day or the next. This pace is not something for a part-time agent or one that’s super busy and unresponsive. Find an agent that has the energy and time for this highly reactive process plus one with a successful track record and experience in winning these bidding wars!
If you’d like to know more, please reach out as I truly enjoy helping home buyers find that amazing gem that they’ve dreamed about.
Download my free, no obligation, buyer guide here for an overview of what the home buying process entails.