The market has rebounded in a big way all across the country, which is good for sellers but maybe not so much for buyers. To really succeed and secure the home of your dreams you may need to take an alternate route to get a step ahead of other buyers. Read on to find out more about getting the jump on the competition.
Have a nice down payment in hand
Sellers know that having an adequate down payment likely means a smoother lending process and that fact might give your offer a big boost to the top of the stack if you show that you are serious about a purchase.
Forget the pre-qualification, get pre-approved
If you aren't clear on the difference between these two then you might get left out of the home of your choosing. A pre-qualification only tells you how much home you can afford based on your income, but a pre-approval means that the lender has done a complete credit evaluation and as a result has provided you with a letter of approval. Sellers and the real estate agents that advise them know the difference and deference may be given to those with the latter.
Be willing to pay full price, at least in on paper
There is a difference in net price and full price and it pays to understand both. The price you end up financing is the selling price, but closing costs can run into the thousands of dollars and this money must be paid by one party or the other. Take into consideration the net price and if the seller covers those closing costs you should be willing to come in at the asking price as long as it's a fair number.
Think again about contingencies
Contingencies based on issues like selling your current home and making minor repairs might push your offer to the bottom of the heap. Try to avoid making it difficult for the seller and leave off all but the most urgent of contingencies.
Be prepared to do some work on the home
So many buyers have high expectations for a home, particularly first-time buyers, that they fail to recognize what might be both a bargain and a diamond in the rough. If you are willing to do some renovations you can not only pay less but have more of the market share of available homes at your disposal to choose from. While renovating a home may not be for everyone, you could end up with a home that more than meets your expectations if you are willing and able to have some work done after the purchase.