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10 Tips to Buying a Home in Today’s Market

Posted by Claudia Carroll on Monday, August 24th, 2015 at 9:52am.

Though not the housing boom many other parts of the country are experiencing or as reported in the national media, the Tyler market has picked up in 2015 over 2014 but is not experiencing tons of multi-offer situations.  It is currently very advantageous to be a buyer in the Tyler market today.  Inventory is lower but the number of qualified buyers is lower too, sales rates have picked up a bit and interest rates are still at near historical lows.  The pool of qualified buyers is smaller making for less competition to purchase a home – the days of multiple offers and bidding wars are rarer though do exist for homes in great condition in the under $175,000 price range.  Needless to say, it is making it a bit harder for buyers to find the right home and negotiate the right deal. Here are 10 quick tips if you are looking to buy a home:

Get pre-qualified for a loan – Mortgage programs and rates have been changing rapidly. Find a reputable lender who can help you find the right loan programs that fit with your budget, income and housing needs. Interview lenders and understand how they are paid. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. If you don’t know a lender, ask your real estate agent to refer you to one that they trust. 

Hire a real estate agent – An experienced real estate agent can be an invaluable resource when shopping for a home. They know the local market and can gain access to many listings that you cannot see on your own. Interview prospective agents, understand how they are paid and ask about the services that they will provide. 

Do your research – A home search is far easier if you know where you want to live. Do your research on schools, neighborhoods and commutes. Also examine real estate trends for the neighborhoods you are interested in.

Know what you can afford – Put together your family budget, planning for the new mortgage payment. Don’t forget to add in the ongoing maintenance costs of owning a home.

Make an offer – You can’t buy a home if you don’t make an offer, and in real estate that means placing a written offer. In today’s market, you may have to consider making a full asking price offer – especially if you are asking for closing cost assistance. Don’t be shy about making a lower offer but know that the sellers don’t always notify buyers of a multi-offer situation and you might never stand a chance. Many sellers will be willing to negotiate, especially if their home has been on the market for a while. However, you should also be reasonable. Understand the seller’s mindset and pay attention to what recent homes nearby have sold for.

Act quickly if you find your dream house – If you find that perfect house, take action and make an offer. The market is slower, but well-priced homes in good locations will still sell quickly. It only takes one other buyer to lose the home you have been dreaming about.

Pay attention to resale – Buying a home is an exciting and emotional process. Don’t ignore problems with the home that will make it difficult to sell later. If you are looking at homes with an ugly view, noisy location, messy neighbors or a strange floor plan, remember that it may be challenging for you to sell in the future.

Leverage your agent – Agents negotiate home purchases every day. They can help you understand the psychology of the seller to help you craft a more compelling offer. They can also help you uncover details about the property history and underlying seller motivations.

Inspect the property – Take advantage of the inspection or Option period. Hire professional inspectors and check out all the major systems to avoid unwanted surprises in the future.

Look at the big picture – Remember the major reasons why you are buying a new home, and don’t let small problems and cosmetic details get in the way. Generally those issues are easily fixed.

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