Monthly Archives: August 2016

What does a Sellers Market mean for you as a Buyer?

What does a seller’s market mean for you as a buyer?

2016 has turned home buying into somewhat of a challenge for the average buyer.  Here are a few ideas to start making your life a little simpler and give you some ideas of how to actually win that home!

1. Of course the absolute most important is having your financing in order!  That means you’ve  already seen A lender,  you already have your pre-qualified letter in hand and  if they could have ran you through underwriting and have you pre-approved  you have already done that also.  You know exactly how much money you can spend and you are very happy with what the payment will be.  In the middle of quick negotiations you need to be sure that your good with the payment.  This is not the time to be worrying about that.

  2.  These things you will need to know off the top of your head.  How much down payment do I have.  And do I have the cash for my closing costs or do I need the seller to pay those. If you need sellers assistance with closing costs that’s fine.  Your not going to be as competitive though so you may have to try for a few homes before you actually win one.  Every concession you need – the more patience your going to need to go with it.

Once you’ve got your financing in order some of the other things you really want to take into consideration is.

What am I looking for?  what type of home do I need?   What size do I need?   What can I live with, and  what can I live without.

Click here for your Home Buying Checklist

You’re not going to have a lot of time to make a decision as you come across these homes.   Sometimes you’re going to have to make a split-second decision and you’re going to be in a competitive bidding war so you want to make sure that you’re aware and happy with the things that you can live with and that you can’t live with.  Put a value to them also if you can.  Really rate them so your prepared and confident with a fast choice.   Make sure if your a couple that your on the same page over these.  Get them discussed ahead of time.

Homes are selling fast

You won’t have a lot of time to make a decision in a sellers market!

Be prepared to look at homes on short notice.  My experience this year for my listings is having multiple offers in hand usually within 12 hours or less of listing the home.  So be  prepared to drop everything and run look at a house.  If your married and you have really discussed that list you may be comfortable with just one of you looking at the house.  Consider it if one of you is not super flexible in your schedule.

 

One of the other things you’re going to want to take into consideration is how handy am I.   What can I repair?  What can I fix?   Who do I have that can help me fix this because sometimes taking on some repairs yourself can be a good bargaining chip when it comes down to negotiating with the  sellers.  Sellers are the happiest doing nothing.   And in a sellers market they get away with doing less than they should because its so competitive.  Don’t worry its all cyclical.  It will come back around and buyers will be able to make them jump thru hoops again.  Doesn’t help you today but a little salve for the wound.

 

Patience is the name of the game.  No getting  attached to any home that you’re walking through until it’s actually yours.  Until you have an accepted offer in your hand no attachment.  You may have to make an offer on several  homes before you win one.   I know that sounds a little tough because you wouldn’t make an offer if you couldn’t see yourself living there.  I get that!  Your setting yourself up for a huge disappointment though if you start dreaming about it to soon.

One thing I can tell you as a constellation prize.  I have yet to see someone lose out on a home and not eventually end up in a home that they love more.  I know that sounds hard to believe when your dream home gets sold out from under you but in all the years I have sold homes it has always worked out to being a far better situation in the long run.  I could get religious on you here but I won’t.  Just trust and have faith!

One thing about a sellers market is everything takes more time than your anticipating.  That can be a real problem if your in a rental.   Your best bet is to flip your lease into a month to month.  I know some landlords don’t like doing that.  If that is a big no with your land lord option B is having someone you can crash with for a while.  Parent, family, friend.

Otherwise you may want to start shopping 5 or 6 months prior to your lease coming due.  That may leave you in a position where you have 2 payments for a month or so if you get lucky and find dream home right off the bat.  That is a gamble.  But if you figure 60 days to finance dream home after you find it.  Remember you won’t have a house payment on the new home for almost 45 days after it closes.  That really only sticks you with a month of double payments if you were so lucky to win a home early.

After you have you prepared – remember the seller is going to be seeking the most attractive offer they can get.  That includes the most money, the least amount of repair for them, (someone taking a home as is) very attractive if the seller knows they are not going to get beat up in the home inspection,  And any other perk that is attractive to that seller.  Maybe staying in the home longer, quicker close.  A lot just depends on what is important to that seller. 

The more attractive you can make your offer and your presentation the quicker and easier it’s going to come together for you.  Of course the cash buyer is almost always going to win over someone who’s financing but do your homework get your things done that you need to get done  and it will come into place for you.   And most important line up with an agent that understands this market.  And listen to them.   Patience and speed is key for a buyer in a sellers market.

7 Tips for Improving your Credit

7 Tips for Improving Your Credit

Here’s how to clean up your credit so you get the least-expensive home loan possible.

Getting the loan that suits your situation at the best possible price and terms makes home-buying easier and more affordable. Here are seven ways to boost your credit score so you can do just that.

 

 1. Know your credit score

 

Credit scores range from 300 to 850, and the higher, the better. They’re based on whether you’ve paid personal loans, car loans, credit cards, and other debt in full and on time in the past. You’ll need a score of at least 620 to qualify for a home loan and 740 to get the best interest rates and terms.

 

You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the major credit-reporting bureaus, Equifax (http://www.equifax.com), Experian (http://www.experian.com), and TransUnion (http://www.transunion.com). Access all three versions of your credit report at  (http://www.annualcreditreport.com). Review them to ensure the information is accurate.

 2. Correct errors on your credit report

 

If you find mistakes on your credit report, write a letter to the credit-reporting agency explaining why you believe there’s an error. Send documents that support your case, and ask that the error be corrected or removed. Also write to the company, or debt collector, that reported the incorrect information to dispute the information, and ask to be copied on any materials sent to credit-reporting agencies.

 

 3. Pay every bill on time

 

You may be surprised at the damage even a few late payments will have on your credit score. The easiest way to make a big difference in your credit score without altering your spending habits is to diligently pay all your bills on time. You’ll also save money because you’ll keep the money you’ve been spending on late fees. Credit card or mortgage companies probably won’t report minor late payments, those less than 30 days overdue, but you’ll still have to pay late fees.

Pay every bill on time

Pay every bill on time

 4. Use credit carefully

 

Another good way to boost your credit score is to pay your credit card bills in full every month. If you can’t do that, pay as much over your required minimum payment as possible to begin whittling away the debt. Stop using your credit cards to keep your balances from increasing, and transfer balances from high-interest credit cards to lower-interest cards.

 

 5. Take care with the length of your credit

 

Credit rating agencies also consider the length of your credit history. If you’ve had a credit card for a long time and managed it responsibly, that works in your favor. However, opening several new credit cards at once can lower the average age of your accounts, which pushes down your score. Likewise, closing credit card accounts lowers your available credit, so keep credit cards open even if you’re not using them.

 

 6. Don’t use all the credit you’re offered

 

Credit scores are also based on how much credit you use compared with how much you’re offered. Using $1,000 of available credit will give you a lower score than having $1,000 of available credit and using $100 of it. Occasionally opening new lines of credit can boost your available credit, which also affects your score positively.

 7. Be patient

 

It can take time for your credit score to climb once you’ve begun working to improve it. Keep at it because the more distance you put between your spotty payment history and your current good payment record, the less damage you’ll do to your credit score.

I am happy to refer you to several great lenders that can help you start sorting out your situation.   Here is a list of some of my favorite lenders.

 Other web resources

 

How FICO scores are calculated (http://www.myfico.com/CreditEducation/WhatsInYourScore.aspx)

Answers to frequently asked credit report questions (https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/helpfaq)

 

G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who keeps a close eye on her credit scores. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR? Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.