Summer Home Buying Tips

Green Escrow | Real Estate online

Trulia has some excellent tips if you’re looking to buy a home this summer. One caveat: some of these tips may not apply quite as much to the Bay Area, where real estate is … different.

  • Consider older listings: While it may seem that homes on the market go into agreement within minutes of being listed, that is not actually the case. Sometimes a house may be on the market because the buyer changed their mind or couldn’t the proper financing. Might be worth a look.
  • Consider a house that “needs work”: While the number of starter homes is decreasing, fixer-uppers have increased by over 8% in this category.
  • Strong offers often trump highest offers: Here, of course, strong means cash which may be out of reach for most. But it probably will get you that new home.

Home Buying Tips

Green Escrow | Real Estate

in what is clearly still a seller’s market,® offers the following tips for finding – and buying – that new home:

  • Be ready
    Since demand far exceeds demand, potential buyers must be ready to look at a potential home at a moment’s notice.
  • Have financials in order
    A mortgage pre-approval letter is a must as is a “proof of funds” form from the back indicating they have enough money to cover a down-payment. Any delay on the financial side may cause the seller to just move on.
  • Be aggressive
    This isn’t the right market to be looking for “deals” – make an aggressive offer and limit the contingencies. If there is a flaw in the home, carefully consider how much you are willing to compromise in order to get it.

House Hunting Tips: An Insider’s Look, Part 2

Green Escrow | Real Estate online

Part Two of Trulia’s excellent Real Estate 101 series has a new installment on Insider’s House Hunting Tips:

  1. Use pricing psychology
    Experts say never have a ‘5’ or an ‘0’ at the end of a price. Instead go one number over ‘5’ or ‘0’ to be the highest bid by just a bit more.
  2. Be likable
    A seller attached to a home is typically more inclined to accept an offer from a buyer that is like. If possible, discover a “shared interest” (other than the house). Be genuine or it will quickly be obvious what you’re up to. Some agents even have buyers have their picture taken in front of the house they wish to buy.
  3. Don’t be afraid if the owner has passed away
    If the owner was a long-time occupant, it probably means the home was well cared for. One agent advises, “If you see original wallpaper, pink Formica, and vinyl, pounce on it!” If the particulars are not to your liking but in good shape, you can always change it. After all, it’s yours now.

House Hunting Tips: An Insider’s Look, Part 1

Green Escrow | Real Estate online

Trulia’s excellent Real Estate 101 series has a new installment on Insider’s House Hunting Tips which features the following suggestions:

  1. Look beyond the upgraded kitchen
    Check the entire property, don’t assume all problems will be discovered in an inspection. Possible signs of trouble: cracks in walls larger than ⅛ inch, doors and windows that stick when opening, sloping or uneven floors, obvious damage to the exterior. Learn to look beyond the obvious.
  2. Find a house in a hot market
    use the internet to get information on the sellers and send them a personal note, making clear your interest in the property – and why. Don’t be pushy – be respectful. Some agents share their buyers’ needs on social media and with other agents to find property not yet on the market. Use all avenues.
  3. Get the inside scoop
    Get familiar with the neighborhood. Scout out garage sales in the area and casually ask the homeowner questions as you’re shopping. See the property at different times: at night, on weekends etc. Try to keep those surprises at a minimum.