Buying a home for the first time can be complex and daunting, especially in a competitive housing market. A new book, “My First Home: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving the Ultimate American Dream,” aims to help first-time buyers navigate the process.
Below are five tips from author Shashank Shekhar, a blogger, media source and radio and television personality:
- Move Quickly
In this kind of market, if you see a home you like, you’d better be prepared to jump on it. Don’t hem and haw—make the offer.
- Understand the Seller’s Needs
The best deal is not always the most money. The seller might be in escrow on their new home. They need their current residence—the one you’re wanting to buy—to close before they can move, so you need to move from contract to closing quickly. Sometimes, it could be the opposite: The seller wants to stay in the home longer than the typical 30-45 days for closing. In that case, offering rent back to the seller might be a clincher. It’s your real estate agent’s job to find out the real motivations and needs of the seller and craft your offer accordingly. Sometimes it’s obvious; other times, it’s not.
- Get Your Loan Officer to Call the Listing Agent
When you make an offer, the loan officer should explain to the listing agent that you are well qualified and that the transaction will close on time. Sellers and listing agents feel more comfortable working with loan officers who are proactive in their communication. They also feel more assured that the loan won’t fall through.
- Be Aggressive on the Terms and/or Price
In most cases, you need to be ready to be aggressive with terms like quick closing, no appraisal/loan/inspection contingencies, etc. Be sure to discuss these with your loan officer and real estate agent. You need to be qualified to take such risks with your earnest money deposit—or else, don’t do it!
- Hire a Real Estate Agent
Work with a real estate agent that understands the market. Agents who truly understand market dynamics and are well connected can get their clients’ offers accepted even when it’s not the highest. Work with people actively closing real estate transactions—your nephew’s girlfriend is only a good option if she’s legitimately qualified.
Source: Shashank Shekhar, Arcus Lending