In the spirit of contribution, collaboration and community, I am pleased to bring you this, the first of many partnership interviews with experts I love and trust to improve the value of your home.
5 HouseHunting Tips To Snag Your South Jersey Dream Home This Summer
Home buying and selling in South Jersey is in full swing, and it’s a seller’s market. A lack of inventory and first-time home buyer participation makes the competition fierce for today’s home buyer. Don’t miss out on your dream home! Enter this year’s seller’s market fully prepared to boost your chances of finding your South Jersey dream home. Arm yourself for fierce competition with these 5 house-hunting tips to snag your South Jersey dream home this summer.
1. Pound the pavement for your South Jersey dream home
Starting the home-buying process online is an excellent first move, but don’t dillydally behind your computer screen. What you see isn’t always what you’ll get when searching for listings online. The internet tells you only what the seller wants you to hear.
Instead, use your favorite real estate site to alert you of new inventory quickly. Set yourself up to receive instant notifications and updates on homes in the neighborhoods you desire to live in. You need to be able to see new homes the day they list. When you are the first to see a home, you are prepared to make a decision and act quickly. First offers are almost always successful offers.
2. Do your “home” work for your South Jersey dream home
Do lots of “home” work to make your home search more successful. The more research you do on real estate market values and trends in South Jersey, the more prepared you’ll be to make the right decision as soon as it presents itself.
This is, of course, where calling your South Jersey real estate agent comes into play during the home search. Sam Lepore is one of your very best sources for insider information in the South Jersey real estate market. If there are any new homes running at a premium to older homes, or the demand for townhomes and condos are outpacing single family homes in South Jersey, local prices could be impacted. Sam will know about these microtrends and get you in the know. Sites like Curbed.com can be a great resource, too. Find out about real estate market trends in your desired area and new inventory that may be listing soon on Curbed.com.
3. Grab a home loan now for your South Jersey dream home
Again, don’t dillydally here in the home-buying process either. Mortgage rates are starting to creep up. As interest rates increase, so does the amount of a monthly mortgage payment. A little increase in interest rates can make a big difference. Jump on low interest rates while they last.
4. Get your ducks in a row before bidding on your South Jersey dream home
Before you find your South Jersey dream home, build a home-buying team. Complete your mortgage application and be 100% pre-approved for your loan amount, too. (If your lender offers it, go beyond the pro-approval process and get fully approved prior to purchasing).
In addition to your South Jersey real estate agent, Sam Lepore, establish a well-known local lender, inspector and attorney. If you are ready at the helm with your ducks in a row, you’ll be prepared to act fast and be a serious frontrunner in the bidding war.
Be even more prepared with this positive final touch to better seal the deal before you place your bid. Draft a personal letter to the sellers of your South Jersey dream home. Pretend you have already found your home. Explain to the sellers how much you love their home and why you want to buy it. When you do find the home of your dreams, insert the home’s address, its sellers’ names and the home’s details. It could be the deciding factor when other buyers are competing for that home. Sellers favor a letter written to them about their home.
5. Prepare to win the bid for your South Jersey dream home with a few “carrots”
So, what’s a buyer to do if they get stuck neck-and-neck with another buyer? How can you win the bid for your South Jersey dream home against another buyer who is as prepared as you are? Include a few “carrots” in the deal!
Include an escalation clause. Along with your offer, include an amount that you are willing to pay above a competing bid automatically. For instance, if you add an escalation clause of $4,000 to your bid of $210,000, your bid would automatically bump up to $216,000 if a second offer came in at $212,000. A sizable escalation factor when the competition is extremely fierce, could pique the interest of the seller just enough to win you the bid.
Be willing to forego contingency clauses. Contingencies are terms of a contract that must be met to close the deal on a home. If they are not met, the buyer or seller is free to walk away from closing the deal. The most common contingencies are home inspection, appraisal and financing.
Before removing any contingencies from a contract, seek the advice of your home-buying team. There are certain levels of risk with each contingency that not all buyers are willing to accept.
If it is discovered your dream home has termites, or an appraiser finds out you’re paying a lot more than market value for your dream home, for examples, you’ll definitely want your earnest money protected! And if you’ve done your “home” work, you’ll be able to feel much better about removing contingencies.
Here are a few more examples:
If you prepared yourself well before placing a bid on your dream home by getting fully approved for a mortgage, you could choose to remove the financing contingency.
If you have a pre-inspection conducted on the home before making an offer, you could choose to leave the home inspection contingency out of the contract.
If you know when the seller would like to close, you could choose to use that date as the closing date in your contract. You could even offer to close as soon as possible and offer the sellers the ability to make rent payments to you until they can move out of the home.
These “carrots” or perks can make the winning difference for you as the buyer, more so than you might think. Sellers have been known to go with a lower bid because the offer had no contingencies. Seems sellers prefer risk-free offers more than a few dollars more from the sale.
When it’s all said and done, winning the bidding war on your dream home is what matters ultimately. Prepare yourself well beforehand, and you’ll snag your South Jersey dream home this summer with confidence.
Don’t miss out on your dream home! Enter this year’s seller’s market fully prepared to find and snag your South Jersey dream home. Give Sam Lepore a call at (856) 297-6827. He is a well-connected South Jersey real estate agent who knows the local real estate market.
Sam Lepore is a Realtor with Keller Williams in Moorestown, NJ. Call him today at 856.297.6827 ....