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6 Steps to Ensure a Successful Real Estate Transaction in Any Market
Passively waiting for the right time to buy can cost you thousands of dollars and the home of your dreams. Attempting to time the market is one sure-fire way to miss the boat on your perfect house and/or the right investment opportunity that comes along the way.
What are savvy real estate buyers doing now to uncover real estate opportunities? Simply put, they are active. While they may not necessarily be buying, they are actively researching listings, viewing homes, staying up-to-date on market indicators and undertaking other proactive efforts to increase their chances of making the best purchase decision-whether that be today, tomorrow or later this year.
Robert Jensen, a real estate professional from Las Vegas, NV, suggests the following steps to ensure a successful real estate transaction in any sort of market:
1. Ensure Your Goals Are Realistic. Be sure you are clear on what you want to buy, and why. Is it an investment property, a dream home or somewhere in between? As your criteria for that perfect home increases, you may have to pay a little more to have your standards met. Be prepared to weigh possible cost savings versus quality of life benefits. If an investment property, ensure you have cash flow in mind with an acceptable return on investment planned before you buy.
2. Know the Properties. No matter the market conditions, continue to search for the right property and view listings in person. Even if you are not ready to buy today, this will help you learn the market and the property available in your price range. When the right opportunity comes along and the timing works, you'll be best prepared to make an educated rather than emotional decision.
3. Know Your Financing Options. Many buyers want to find the "perfect" home before having their credit pulled, which can backfire when an offer is on the table and time is of the essence. It's wise to get pre-approved for a loan even before you view your first home, and to get a pre-approval letter in hand. Once approved, check in with your lender every few weeks to see how your rate and program are doing.
4. Know the Market at All Times. Have a detailed talk with your agent about the current state of the market at the onset of the relationship, and at regular intervals thereafter. Also discuss what can be foreseen up ahead. Your REALTOR will have his or her finger on the pulse of the changing landscape and, thus, is an invaluable resource. On your own, locate information sources outside of mass media. Real estate markets follow basic fundamentals in the same way stocks do, offering infinite analysis possibilities.
5. Have a Purchase Game Plan. While it's certainly prudent to wait until you're comfortable executing a property purchase, it's imperative to know, in specific terms, exactly what economic indicators are impacting your decision and why. This will help it become crystal clear when it's time to make your move, and you can then do so with confidence.
6. Understand the Timeline. While great deals are certainly abundant in today's market, nobody said it would be easy to land one for yourself. Particularly on short sales and foreclosures, be prepared for bidding wars, bank delays and other challenges. Learn in advance the average timeline involved with each type of transaction based on prior 30 to 60-day statistics, so that you may strategically plan your efforts.