How to buy smart in the Twin Cities

With confidence in the housing market being on the rise, and real estate buying and selling in our area being the most active in years. All trends going up, including the anticipation of higher prices. Competition among buyers has increased among this flurry of activity.

We’re passing along some tips to make you a better, stronger, buyer and make things easy and timely to get the home you desire at a time when the buyers’ market seems to be coming to a close.

Get pre-approved to stand out and above competing offers. Get a sound clean pre-approval letter from a recognizable and strong lender. Sellers like to see a quality pre-approval, (one with a letterhead from someone that they recognize). As a benefit to you, a solid pre-approval will let you know which houses are realistically in your price range. Plus, put you in a position to make an offer quickly when you find your perfect place. Pre-approval is better than just a pre-qualification. More than showing you’re just qualified, a pre-approval comes from a lender after taking into account your annual income, current debt, and credit history. It shows Sellers you’re serious, and ready to buy.

In a competitive market, as a buyer you can strengthen you offer by minimizing the number of contingencies the offer contains. You should remain firm on Inspection. Never forego an inspection. With an Inspection you can for-go it as a contingency in the offer and still protect yourself. Ideally, have the home inspected before you even submit an offer. This allows for you to make a clean offer without an inspection contingency, plus taking into account in your offer the cost of any necessary repairs the inspection may have revealed.

Be open to unconventional search methods. Some ideas to pursue: pocket listings, pre-market homes, and even expired listings from previous years. In a competitive market, it helps to look when no one else is looking. Capitalize on the timing of holidays and big events by sneaking in a home tour or submitting an offer when other buyers are busy or distracted. This is another place where pre-approval comes to your advantage.

Don’t get emotionally attached to any home and be prepared to move on to the next one. It is ok to get your hopes up and emotionally invested if your offer is accepted. Put your best forward confidently, and make a competitive offer. Don’t be intimidated or rushed into raising your bid. Don’t pay any more than you determined in advance. This is also where pre-approval is an advantage for you because it keeps you grounded and not let your emotions get the best of you.

Hire an experienced Realtor, they have expertise and professionalism and remain detached from the real estate itself while being attached to the idea of match making you to your ideal home. They know how to negotiate. Sure you could try to tackle it yourself, using the internet. On the one hand the Internet is a great equalizer, on the other the level to entry and publishing is low so it can be misleading and contradicting.

Yes, that’s where you’re reading this. But consider this quick example of how people make the difference: online estimates of a home’s value often don’t take into account its condition, history, or special features. Meanwhile an experienced Realtor will know the story behind the neighborhood, know why homes close by sold at the price points they did, and are experienced and most likely know the employees and staffs of key players in the deal.

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