Buyer’s Guide to Buying a Home
Recently, we posted a blog called Seller’s Guide to Selling a Home. We thought it was only fair to cover the local real estate market from the buyer’s point of view as well.
The summer real estate market in our area is often the most active time of year. Buyers, you don’t have a lot of time to get the family moved and situated before summer is over. As a result, every day matters.
Honestly, it’s a seller’s market right now and that means buyers must act quickly. This is not the time to wait until you have a weekend free to go look at homes. If you do, you will be lucky to find the home you want at the price you want to move in by fall, if not the end of the year. Nearly two-thirds of all homes sold in the first quarter—some 59 percent—were only on the market an average of 20 days and sold at nearly full listing price, 99 percent.
Today’s buyer must act quickly and start with a reasonable sales price offer. If you start out too low—say 10 percent or more below asking price—and you could insult the seller to the point of refusing to negotiate. Sellers are not required to negotiate. They can simply refuse an offer, leaving you to scramble to find that next home which will meet all of your family’s needs.
Our additional advice to buyers is to have a good idea of what you want and be able to communicate this with your Realtor. This includes location, home style, yard size, community amenities, school district, storage space, etc., down to the minimum number of bathrooms your family will require. If there’s something you absolutely hate—such as a ranch home or a home with a stucco exterior—let your Realtor know so she can exclude these from your list of possible properties.
With homes going under contract so briskly, you will also need to have a bit of flexibility. For example, if you desire to have a fenced yard, don’t immediately eliminate non-fenced properties. Fencing a portion of your new yard later will be a small price to pay if the rest of the property is your dream home.
Our final two bits of advice relate to your mortgage and your Realtor. Speak to a mortgage professional before you begin house-hunting. Getting pre-approved could give you more leverage over a competing buyer and it will give you an exact idea of your maximum home purchase price. Not sure where to start with the mortgage process? Contact us at Ursula & Associates and we will be happy to recommend a trusted mortgage professionals.
Your Realtor…not only will it be essential to have one in this brisk market—especially one who will have your interests at heart and negotiate on your behalf—but it’s also extremely important you work with a full-time professional in the county in which you are searching. Using an agent who is a friend of a friend and lives five counties away is not your best option. At Ursula & Associates, we know almost instantly when a property hits the market in our market area (and sometimes even before it gets listed). Chances are extremely good that we have been in the home before or that we have possibly even sold the home before. That’s the advantage of working with a local real estate professional! Buyer representation is free to the buyer!
So what are you waiting for?
Ursula & Associates is a residential real estate team specializing in Cherokee and East Cobb County and are the number 1 home sellers in zip code 30189.
We represent buyers in all areas. Call us direct for a free consultation 678-569-4044.
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