- Be on call. If you're only looking now and then when it's convenient, you're compromising your chances. The most successful Buyers give house-hunting priority in their daily schedules. Sign up for a real-time listing monitor with automatic notifications, and check its updates as soon as you can. If a lead seems interesting at first glance, look again: read everything in the listing data available online and, if you’re not familiar with the block, look it over with street view software.
- When you have a contender, call your agent for the vital information not available on public-access websites, like a deadline for offers. Be quick about this: many listings are shown only for a short time, with offers expected within a week of appearance. There may also be details available about the house’s condition. The sooner you have all the facts, the more wisely you can manage your time to compose a winning offer.
- Have your ducks lined up. Unless an offer is for all cash, it must be accompanied by a mortgage pre-approval letter. The letter, specific to the house of interest, confirms your application has been completed and fully underwritten, with your new loan approved subject only to a ratified contract and the property’s qualifying as security. Not every lender will play this way; your agent can give you a list of some who will. Without pre-approval, you can be a diligent researcher... .but not a serious buyer.
- The top dollar may not win out. Sellers like certainty and prefer the fewest number of hurdles to closing as possible. Buyers’ contingencies in an offer look like hurdles to Sellers, who may accept a lower price than the top offer if it comes with less chance of your changing your mind. Your agent can help you analyze how much risk you are willing and able to take on, in presenting an offer with the fewest contingencies.
- Cast a wide net. Search for homes outside the locations you want most if faced with limited or high-priced choices. As a Buyer, you need to carefully consider what you're willing to compromise on.
- Take the long view. Some properties don’t sell right away, even in a Seller's market, because of issues that turn other Buyers away. If you can imagine how things might work for you, even if fixing might take a while, you could land a prize.
If you’re looking to buy or sell an East Bay home, I can help. My local knowledge and market experience are vital in helping you buy or sell an East Bay home.
If you’re moving to another area, I can refer you to a trustworthy Coldwell Banker agent wherever you want or need to go in the US or the world. Coldwell Banker is an international real estate company.
So call me. I’m easy to get a hold of. As so many of us do, I carry my office with me wherever I go, so phone or text 510-418-1306 and you’ll probably reach me. I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make sure you’re glad you called.
If you want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market check out my My Web Site to discover homes on the market–neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!
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Coldwell Banker in Berkeley