Get Pre-Approved, Not Pre-Qualified:
Being pre-approved, not just pre-qualified can put you in the strongest negotiating position possible. Obtain a full approval from a lender, conditioned only upon a contract and satisfactory appraisal. This differs from a pre-qualification in that the information submitted to the lender is verified and underwritten. We’ve seen pre-approval make the difference many times when multiple offers are submitted on a property, even if that pre-approved buyer was offering less money for the home. A seller will feel much more comfortable knowing that financing will not be an issue and that their property can be taken off the market with confidence. Pre-approval can be obtained in a matter of hours (in some cases a few days) and is a powerful weapon all buyers should have at the negotiating table.
Wait for the sale before you buy:
If you have a property to sell, make sure it is sold before selecting a purchase. Contingency contracts rarely work in this market and leave a huge margin for error. At least get a contract on your current property, so you can make the contingency on the close, not the sale. Chances are, If you do make a contingency offer, you’ll likely end up paying more for the property than without one and feel pressured to accept a lower price for your current home. This can end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars. You are much better off selling your current property first.
Don’t waste your time calling Real Estate advertisements:
A large portion of real estate ads are produced solely to make the phone ring and produce a fresh lead. Most calls generated by these types of ads are from unrepresented prospects. A realtors dream! Also, remember the agent who wrote the ad represents the seller, not you. A buyer’s agent will take a neutral standpoint with an eye toward how well it meets your needs, pointing out any drawbacks you should know about. Homes that are sold without a sign ever going up or an ad ever placed are great examples of the power of a buyer’s agent.