Today’s market is one of the most competitive ones in history, especially if you are on the buyer’s side. Given these market conditions, it is critical that you have a real estate agent working for you 24/7. It is also equally important for your real estate agent to be established in the neighborhoods that you are looking in. In some of the more competitive neighborhoods to buy in, you will have a great advantage over other buyers when your agent has a good network with other agents and is able to provide you with access to hip pocket listings.
Some tips for avoiding surprises and ensuring a smoother transaction during the home buying process are below:
- What have other homes sold for recently in the neighborhood? This factor is important if financing is involved. Your lender’s appraiser will use these comps to come up with the value of the targeted home. If the house does not appraise, you will not be able to get your loan.
- How much does the seller owe? If your seller owes more than the asking price, you are either purchasing a short-sale or the seller will have to bring cash at closing.
- How many offers has the seller received? This information will help you determine how competitive your offer must be in order to secure the house. In a highly competitive market, some homes receive multiple offers in only days of being on the market, thus resulting in the need to submit a much more competitive offer.
- How long has the house been on the market? Knowing why a house has been on the market for a certain period of time is helpful when determining how much bargaining power you may have when submitting an offer.
- Major issues of a house involving the structure, roof, HVAC, electrical, code, etc. should be considered before establishing an offer price
- How old is the roof? Newer roofs last between 15 to 50 years depending on this material and the weather conditions.
- Foundation types: In Texas, foundation issues can be a big problem due to soil shifting, and these issues need to be vetted before purchasing a house. The most common types of foundations in Dallas are pier and beam and slab on grade. Ask the listing agent for foundation work documentation. This information can sometimes be found in the Seller’s Disclosure.
- Does the home have insulation in the exterior walls and attic? Houses without proper insulation tend to have difficulty maintaining conditioned air and result in higher electric bills.
- Ask what improvements have been made to the house.
Location, Location, Location… and School District
- School districts and location are one of the main driving factors to determine a property’s price.
- Homes in desirable areas are likely to retain its value more than similar homes in locations less desirable.
- Other factors that can affect the value of the home are wide streets, traffic, parking, school zones, busy intersection and corner lots.
I hope these are helpful tips for your next home purchase! Have any questions? Please do not hesitate to contact me.