Mark Galante's Blog
The decision to buy a home can bring all sorts of emotions. From stress to joy to fear, you need to be prepared for any situation to arise. From saving up enough money for a down payment to securing financing to hoping for a smooth closing, buying a home is a complex event. Just about the worst thing that can happen in the process is finding the home of your dreams and then having your offer rejected. If you do lose out on the house to another bidder, below, you’ll find a few reasons why.
The Home Is Above Your Means
If you go after a home that’s above a price that you can afford, it’s likely that your offer will be declined. Look at all of your numbers and find a reasonable price point with your real estate agent. Be sure that your agent won’t show you homes that are far above your budget. Don’t risk falling in love with a house that you can’t afford. If you start big, you may be disappointed at the type of home you actually can fit in with your budget.
A Better Offer Came In
In high competition markets or for a home that’s receiving a lot of attention, sellers may get multiple offers. All that attention is why it’s always best to keep your offer as close to the asking price as possible. Don’t assume that other buyers will bid low. Remember that sellers want to get the most return on their home, which means they are going to take the highest offer in most cases.
You also don’t want to get too carried away in asking for contingencies. If you ask too much of a seller’s, they won’t bother giving your offer serious consideration when other buyers have asked them to put less time and money into the home. Don’t ask for unnecessary repairs or over the top back costs.
You’re Not Approved For A Mortgage
The seller wants you to have a home loan pre-approved so that the process of selling their home will be that much smoother. Some seller may only consider bids by buyers who have been pre-approved for a loan. You should definitely be pre-approved before you even set out on your home search.
To get your offer accepted on a home you love, you need to do your homework. As a buyer, you want to keep the needs of the seller in mind. Although you want the best deal for yourself, you're more likely to get a property that you want if you compromise a bit.
The biggest area of your life that you need to understand before you buy a house is your own finances. Before you know what kind of house you can buy, you’ll need to understand your own buying power. While things like square footage, how many bedrooms you need, and finding the right neighborhood are important, you can’t go very far without some type of financing. While understanding how much you can spend on a property is one of the more serious parts of buying a home, it’s something that you’ll want to do. Knowing what you can spend on a home is a step to helping you land a home you love. If you understand your own numbers, you’ll know the chances that you have of an offer being accepted on a place you love.
The Elements Of Your Buying Power
Your Credit Score
This little three digit number has a lot of meaning behind it. This is the most basic piece of information that lenders use to determine your loan worthiness. The factors that influence your credit score include:
- Payment history
- How much you owe
- Length of your credit history
- Mix of credit accounts
- How much new credit you have opened
A low credit score is somewhere under 620. Having a score this low doesn't necessarily mean that you’ll be denied for a loan, but the type and amount of the loan you’re offered can be impacted. You’ll also face higher interest rates because of a low credit score. This means your mortgage could be considerably more expensive than if you had a higher credit score.
The 20 percent down as a rule of thumb actually offers many benefits to your buying power. This means that you’ll need 20% down of the purchase price of the home in cash. If you put this amount of money (or even more) down on a home, it eliminates the need for you to have to buy PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance). You’ll even be able to negotiate a lower interest rate. A large down payment may be especially helpful in competitive markets where there is a lot of buyer competition.
How Your Financial Picture Appears
Your assets and your debt-to-income ratio are also important factors in your financial picture that you present to the lender. Basically, all of these numbers let both the lender and the seller see how committed you are to buying a home. It is one of the biggest financial undertakings of your entire life. If you can’t show financial responsibility, then it may be a bit difficult for lenders to see that you’ll actually pay your loan back in a timely manner.
The better all of your financial numbers are, the more buying power that you’ll have. If your numbers are good, you’ll be able to afford more house. While it may not be the most exciting thing to look over all of your financial numbers, it’s a vital step in the process of your journey to home ownership.
It can be a stressful endeavor to purchase a home. As one of the most significant investments in life, it is important to understand the steps and fees you may encounter beyond the sale price. When you are searching for a property, keep the expense of closing in mind.
What Are Closing Costs?
Closing costs are the various expenses and fees that are separate from the purchase price of your house. They apply to the end of the process. Charges include taxes, inspection, title insurance, and title search, as well as some upfront expenses such as homeowner’s insurance.
Closing costs generally range from two to five percent of the purchase price. The final fee is dependent on your location. Most of the expenses are for state and local government, lenders, and legal processing. You can save on some of these by working with a mortgage broker who is experienced and knowledgable about local laws.
What Should You Expect?
Appraisal: This fee goes towards making sure that the price of the home matches the actual worth of the property.
Escrow payment: When it comes to timely preparation of the documents, you can trust a good escrow company to take care of the paperwork on your behalf. Prompt preparation of your papers can make a significant difference as it can enable you to close on time.
Title/attorney fee: The title and attorney fees are put in place to ensure the transfer of the home's deed occurs without issue. To ensure that it all goes smoothly, work with a highly reputable title company.
Lender fees: The lender fees may include a wide range of items like transfer fees or administrative fees. A broker commission may be part of the cost.
Other fees could include loan interest and loan insurance. Your realtor can help you to save money during your closing and prepare you for the process, work closely with them to determine the fees that may be negotiable.
As a first-time homebuyer, it is important to understand what it takes to discover your dream residence as quickly as possible. By doing so, you can streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
What does it take for a first-time homebuyer to seamlessly navigate the housing market? Here are three tips that every first-time homebuyer needs to know.
1. Make a Homebuying Checklist
The definition of the "perfect" house differs from homebuyer to homebuyer. As such, a first-time homebuyer should allocate the necessary time and resources to determine what he or she wants to find in the ideal home. That way, a first-time homebuyer will have no trouble finding a house that matches or surpasses his or her expectations.
With a homebuying checklist, a first-time homebuyer can move one step closer to making his or her property ownership dreams come true. This checklist can help a homebuyer differentiate between home "must-haves" and "wants" so he or she can narrow a home search accordingly.
Furthermore, a first-time homebuyer can update a property buying checklist as he or she begins to check out houses. And if a homebuyer evaluates available residences, this property buyer can update his or her checklist as needed.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
A first-time homebuyer likely wants to purchase a house as quickly as possible. Fortunately, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can help a homebuyer move through the property buying process without delay.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, a first-time homebuyer should try to meet with several banks and credit unions. Each meeting will allow a homebuyer to learn about assorted mortgage options and select a mortgage that corresponds to his or her finances.
Moreover, a first-time homebuyer should be unafraid to ask plenty of questions when he or she meets with potential lenders. This will allow a homebuyer to make an informed decision about a mortgage.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to buying a house for the first time, a homebuyer should seek out expert support. Lucky for you, many real estate agents are available nationwide, and these housing market professionals can make it simple for you to purchase your ideal house.
A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with buying a house for the first time. He or she will teach a first-time homebuyer about these challenges and ensure this property buyer is prepared to take a diligent approach to purchasing a home.
Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, offer honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations and negotiate with home sellers on a homebuyer's behalf. This housing market professional will even keep a homebuyer up to date about new houses, ensuring homebuyers can pounce on opportunities to acquire great houses as soon as they become available.
For a first-time homebuyer, there is no need to leave anything to chance. But with the aforementioned tips, a first-time homebuyer can accelerate the homebuying process and improve his or her chances of purchasing a stellar house at an affordable price.
If you’re hunting for a new home and have come across one that fits all of your requirements and more, it can seem like the only thing you can do is make an offer and wait.
However, your first choice could also be another buyer’s dream home. And, if a higher bid isn’t feasible, you have to find other ways to win over the seller. One way this can be achieved is through writing a letter to the owner of the home.
If you’re bidding on your dream home, writing a letter the the owner can be anxiety inducing. Choosing what to reveal and finding the right words can be scary, even for the most seasoned writer.
So, in this article we’re going to walk you through writing a letter to a seller to give you the best possible chance of winning the bid for a new home.
Tell them why you love their home
If you’ve fallen in love with certain aspects of the home, there’s a good chance the sellers did too. Be personal in your explanations. Rather than just say you love the location, mention that it is a perfect distance to walk to the playground with your children or pets. This will help buyers better understand you and your story.
If you have family who lives nearby, or if the home has features that can greatly improve the life of you, your family, or your pets, be sure to mention this in the letter as well.
Don’t press or plead, just be polite
It can seem desperate and off-putting to receive a letter pleading with you to sell your home to someone. So, when you’re writing your letter and you come to the end, simply thank the buyer for their time and for reading, compliment them once more, and wish them luck in their new home.
Revise and review
It can be tempting to send your letter immediately after writing it, especially if writing is you don’t like writing in general. However, it’s always a good idea to revise. I suggest writing your letter one night, then reading it again the next evening to give yourself time and distance from it--this way you’ll be reading it with fresh eyes and will be able to find any wording that sounds strange or confusing.
It’s also a good idea to run your writing through a free proofreader like Grammarly. And, finally, there is no substitute for having an editor. Ask one of your friends or family members to read the letter and give you feedback.
Stand out from the crowd
There are a few things you can include in your letter to set you apart from other potential buyers. Including a family photo will help the sellers put a face to the names you mention in the letter.
It can also be helpful to print and mail the letter, rather than sending it electronically. Since we so rarely receive a physical copy of a letter these days (unless it’s from a bill collector), it can be nice to receive something positive in the mail for a change.