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What is a good deal?

Buyers are always looking to get the best deal on a house and they should. This is a large investment. However in our current market where inventory levels are low and interest rates are hovering at all-time lows while rental prices continue to increase, sellers are not discounting their properties. I talk with a lot of first time home buyers who want to offer 10% or less on a property hoping the seller will take it. This is just not realistic. Sometimes these buyers have to learn the hard way. They make a low offer only to learn a better offer came in and the seller has chosen the other offer. This can be very disheartening especially if you really thought that was your dream home.

Buyers need to look at comparable homes (comps) in the area that have sold in the past 3-6 months. Based upon the size of the house, number of bedrooms and baths, and the amenities –granite counter tops, new flooring, storm shelter, etc determine if the value of the home is fair. They need to look at the location of the property and the neighborhood values overall not just the price per square foot. I always tell my clients nobody is really stealing anything in housing, what we want is a fair deal. Fair deals can and do happen every day by comparing comparable properties and making educated decisions.

Excerpt from a Zillow article I read:

If you are continuously on the hunt for a “deal,” this could be a red flag that you are not ready to buy. If you need to purchase a car, you likely research car prices online before heading to the dealership. You understand that the values range, and attempt to get your car as close to the lower end of the range as possible. If not, you won’t be buying a car.

Will you wait another year to see where prices are? Probably not. Instead, you make a car purchase based on the best deal you can negotiate at that time.

The same goes with home buying. Buyers who spend considerable time learning the market will have experiential knowledge of what they can get for their money and where. They have a realistic view of the market.

An experienced realtor will be able to guide the buyer in determining value. They may have knowledge about the community of upcoming developments that may impact values of certain areas. An example of a new park with community center being built that was discussed at a city planning meeting or a plan to widen a road that will impact the traffic. While realtors often have this type of information, I strongly suggest that the buyer do their due diligence to research and know what is going on in their community. This can make a huge difference when you go to sell.

If you are looking for an experience realtor to help you buy or sell a home, please contact me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website http://www.sandiwalker.com

Real Estate

Let’s price it right to begin with

Sometimes people buy a home with the intention of living there for a long time and then life changes and they need to move. Depending upon when they purchased the house and the market, there may or may not be enough equity to sell the house without bringing money to the table. If they put money down when they purchased the property there is no guarantee that they will get all that money back when they sell. It is a hard conversation to have with a seller, but an important one. A house is simply not worth what the seller needs, rather what the market dictates.
So the question is always what should we do in that case. I have had several sellers want to list the price above market value in order to cover costs. Sometimes these sellers have transfer orders or need to move now so the house is left vacant. In this case I simply ask the seller if they want me to give them an accurate value and list it to sell quickly or would they like me to lie to them about the value, put it on the market at a price I know will not sell, and then reduce it every couple weeks until it gets to the actual market price. Of course, Mr. Seller, by that time you realize that the days on market is going to be long and then buyers are going to think they can negotiate for a price below market.
In addition to not selling quickly, there are holding costs associated with a house that is not selling. The seller still has to pay the mortgage, utilities, maintenance and upkeep. Even if the house is paid for there will be taxes and insurance accruing on the property. Therefore I will usually ask a seller who is in this situation, “Do you want to bring the money one month at a time or all at once?” The seller who is going to pay the holding costs waiting for a buyer is bringing money to the table so to speak–one month at a time. So why not simply price the house correctly at first. The market will always determine if the house is priced correctly by either supplying a buyer or not.
If you are looking for an experienced realtor to give you an honest assessment of your property, please contact me 405-213-2992 or visit my website.

Real Estate

First time home buyers

It is a little nerve racking buying your first home, the uncertainty of it all. Not knowing where to start or who to ask questions can be scary and over whelming.
It seems that most buyers begin by driving around looking a homes or searching on the internet. This is a good way to see what is available to purchase. However, when you get serious about purchasing a home you should do the following.

1. Get preapproved, preferably with a local lender. Credit unions are good, but usually have more stringent lending requirements. If they can’t get you approved check with another lender. If your current credit score is too low, not all is lost—learn how to improve it.
2. Check a couple lenders to see what they offer for interest rates and fees and types of loans. All lenders have different fees. Don’t pay too much.
3. Find a full time realtor who works in the area that you want to buy. Someone you feel comfortable with and is knowledgeable about the area. Work with one Realtor, that person can open any listing regardless of the sign in the front yard. A majority of for sale by owners will also work with a realtor.
4. Be realistic in what you are looking for. This is probably not going to be your dream home. You are looking for something that is NOT a money pit and that will hopefully appreciate in 5 years or so when you decide you want to move up.
5. Make sure you hire a licensed home inspector, so you know what you are buying. It may not be perfect but you don’t want any crazy surprises either.
6. Listen to your lender and realtor—Don’t make any large purchases prior to closing. Don’t quit your job, or move money between accounts. Disclose to your lender all your finances up front. Surprises the week of closing are not fun.
7. Enjoy the journey of the American Dream. And don’t be afraid to ask questions, remember you haven’t done this before so there is no dumb question.
I would love to help you find your first home. Feel free to call me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website at http://www.sandiwalker.net