About Stephen Piche
Top Sales Agent 2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019.2020
Suggestions for a buyer in a sellers market:
BE READY - Ensure you have an updated lender pre-approval letter*** or updated proof of cash funds.
DO NOT HESITATE - If you love a property - make an offer NOW - otherwise the next buyer will beat you to the offer. If a property is asking for the "highest & best " offer - be sure that you make it your highest and best - there usually is not a second chance to negotiate after. This usually happens when there are multiple offers - common during this time.
FHA or VA type loans - these are government backed loans and the property must meet certain requirements for these loans; roof age is a concern, wood rot, etc., usually no fixer uppers with this type of loan. Just because the listing states terms accepted are these types of loans does not mean the home will qualify, there are many agents that are not educated on what is required and you have wasted time and money on an inspection. Press your realtor for due diligence when previewing homes. Conventional loans are less restrictive and there is low money down conventional loans available - ask your lender - this may open more homes to you.
BE REALISTIC - Many homes, due to lack of inventory and demand are selling over list price - however the home would still need to appraise for the lender. Verify with your lender in the event of an offer price/appraisal deficiency that you are able to close the gap (if you really want the home) by bringing additional cash funds to closing and still meet the lenders required "funds reserve" they may want to see in your bank account. That said - shop homes that meet your price point.
CONTINGENCIES - Limit contingencies on the offer that you can live without. If one of the contingencies is "the sale of your current home" you are likely not ready in this market to buy. The seller will put your offer aside
DEALS - these are very few and far between nowadays and these homes are usually scooped up by cash paying investors and not end users. (End user= Buyers primary residence)
BE AWARE - Taxes on homes could be very high and likely to increase after your purchase - this may affect your debt to income ratio. HOA/Condo fees will also affect this. A quick call to your lender before an offer submission will verify if you can still qualify for a home with high taxes and the HOA/Condo fees that will need to be considered.
INSURANCE - Insurance will be all over the place and should be shopped. Factors to consider are: Roof age/hurricane protection - shutters, impact windows, wood frame home or CBS, flood zone or not.
INSPECTION PERIOD - homes generally sell AS-IS with the right for you to inspect. However the seller has no obligation to do any repairs, credit you or reduce the price. The next buyer is likely to accept it as-is. During the inspection period (usually a maximum of 15 days) you are able to walk away from the property if there are any issues not able to be resolved.
SELLER'S DISCLOSURE - Florida law requires that a seller disclose any known facts that affect the integrity of a home - ask these questions or request the "seller's disclosure" documentation.
HIGHEST PRICE OFFER - This dollar amount does not always win the bid. Contract terms, closing timelines etc., may make your offer more favorable to the seller. Ask the seller's agent what the seller is looking for for such items - but don't ask what the "dollar" amount they want might be- this won't be answered.
GET PERSONAL - Send along a letter to the seller with the contract noting what you loved about the home, how you see yourself there, raising a family (if that's the case) or general terms of how this home is a perfect fit for you!
PREPARE - be sure you have any and all documentation ready and updated that the lender may request during the closing process. Expect 30-45 -60 days closing on loans.
***There is a difference between a pre-approval and a pre-qualification from a lender. The Pre-approval is a stronger document - usually notes the lender has verified your income, credit, debt to income, cash on hand, taxes etc. A pre-qualification is usually information stated and not yet verified from the lender -.however -neither is a guarantee for a loan commitment at the starting stage.
Price Range (last 24 months)
$87K - $385K