Tuesday, March 13, 2018

How to Deal With Multiple Offers as a Buyer

How can you compete in multiple offer situations? Here are a few of our top tips.

Selling in the greater Houston area? Get a market analysis report
Purchasing in the greater Houston area? Get full MLS access

Today we’re going to talk about being a buyer in a multiple offer situation. Unless you really play your cards right, this place could easily slip through your fingers. That’s why it’s critical to put the best offer forward from the start. Here are a few tips for how to win:

1. More money. It’s that simple. Money talks. The sale price isn’t the only place where you can make a strong financial stance. Consider increasing your escrow deposit or option fee. Committing more money up front will show sellers that you’re serious. If you’re hesitant at offering full price, how would you feel if you lost out on this home by $1?

2. Write a letter. Beyond the basic agreement of sales paperwork, include a letter explaining why you’re so passionate about buying the home. It can definitely help you stand out from the crowd. Telling the seller about you, your family, and why you love the home might help build empathy with the seller. Letters are especially effective when a seller has an emotional connection to the property.

Consider increasing your escrow deposit or option fee.

3. Keeping financing clean. Where financing is concerned, buying with cash is always attractive to sellers when you can afford it. You don’t have to deal with a lender, appraiser, or anything else. However, cash isn’t an option for everyone. If a mortgage is a must, make sure you can provide a pre-approval so that sellers know you’re vetted by a lender.

4. Buying a home as-is. Agreeing to buy a home “as-is” releases the sellers from the responsibility of making any repairs. That’s why it's a very attractive option for them. Keep in mind that buying a home as-is doesn’t mean you have to forgo inspections entirely, but you’ll only be able to use them for informational purposes.

5. Have your agent make a call. Their job is to make sure your interests are communicated to the seller throughout the negotiation process. When you’re competing against multiple offers, knowing what the seller wants to see can be a big advantage. 

That’s all I have for today. If you have any questions for me about multiple offers or anything else, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Monday, February 26, 2018

6 Tips for Buying a New Construction Home

How is buying a new construction home different than buying a resale home? I’ll go over six important points today.

Selling in the greater Houston area? Get a market analysis report
Purchasing in the greater Houston area? Get full MLS access

There are a few things that every homebuyer needs to know about new construction. I’ll go over six of them today.

1. New homes may not be listed in your local MLS. Unlike regular sellers who list their homes with local real estate agents, home builders often have their own sales employees working for them on the side. They do this to have more control and cut costs.

2. New homes are often sold before they’re built. The builder will generally get financing lined up, map out the construction and sales process, and try to sell you as many homes as possible before they even start building the one you decide on.

3. The first buyers may get the best discounts. Early in the sales process, there may be room to negotiate the sales price down. With that reward comes a potential risk; by being an early buyer, you are committed to the project.

4. Builders don’t have a personal connection with the home. It’s just a numbers game for them. They are not focused on what’s good for you. They are focused on the spreadsheet rather than sentiment. They want to make sure that you can qualify for the loan, and they set prices based on inventory.

You may be able to get some free upgrades instead of reducing the price.

5. Discounts may be available in the form of upgrades. If you're nearing the end of the sale cycle and the main homes have already been sold, the builder may be willing to negotiate on upgrades. If they reduce the price of your home and the sale closes, then the sale price becomes public record. If they offer you an upgrade package, such as swapping carpet for hardwood floors, there’s no way to track that in the public record.

6. Builders do like working with Realtors. Believe it or not, it’s in their best interest for a professional Realtor to be working with you. Remember, the salesperson represents the builder. They are looking out for the builder, whereas I will look out for you.

If you don’t already have a Realtor to help you when looking at new construction homes, or if you have any other questions, make sure to give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

Monday, February 12, 2018

4 Unexpected Things That Increase Your Houston Home’s Value

There are four unexpected things that can increase your home value that I want to share with you today.

Selling in the greater Houston area? Get a market analysis report
Purchasing in the greater Houston area? Get full MLS access

There are four surprising things that may increase how much your home is worth.

1. How close your home is to Starbucks. Who doesn’t love coffee? A 2015 Zillow report found that between 1997 and 2014, homes within a quarter mile of Starbucks increased in value by 96%. That really shows you that America has a coffee addiction!

2. Blue kitchens and blue bathrooms. According to Zillow’s 2017 Paint Color Analysis, which examined more than 32,000 photos from sold homes around the country, homes with blue kitchens sold for $1,809 more compared to similar homes with white kitchens. Pale blue or soft periwinkle blue bathrooms sold for $5,440 more than similar homes without blue bathrooms.

Homes with “barn door” mentioned in the description sold 57 days faster than other homes.

3. Trendy features. Zillow measured listings that mentioned certain favorite features, such as “barn doors” or “farmhouse sink.” According to Zillow’s 2016 analysis of more than 2 million homes, homes with “barn door” mentioned in the listing description sold for 13.4% more than expected and 57 days faster than comparable homes without that keyword.

4. How close are you to the city? Urban homes are now worth 35% more than homes in suburban areas. Since 2012, the median home value in urban areas increased 54%, while the median home value in suburban areas went up 38%.

If you have any other questions about home value or would like to know what your home is worth in today’s market, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!