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Summer brings hot house hunting — tips for making a successful transaction

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Posted: Friday, July 12, 2013 7:05 am

The end of summer’s approaching fast, but that doesn’t mean the opportunity has passed for buyers who’ve just decided to jump in. While the opportunity hasn’t gone away, the truth is things have already changed drastically in the past few months. It’s our job as Realtors to get and keep you up to speed on the latest market changes. Here are a few steps to follow that we hope will make your summer house hunt more successful:

1. Preparation — Many buyers know that the economy and real estate markets are changing for the better. But what they may not know is that these changes mean they have to be more prepared than ever and ready to act. That means having answered key questions like:

  • How much do you really have for a down payment?
  • What’s your actual credit score? And, are there any errors on your report?
  • What’s your target neighborhood and why?
  • What’s your price range? Does it coincide with a lenders letter of approval?

Answering these tough questions before you start looking will places you in a position to actually make an offer once you’ve found a home you like.

2. Lowballing — Lowballing is one of the biggest mistakes a buyer can make.

Deals don’t happen when one party is miserable with the final terms. And if the first terms signal a tough negotiation, many sellers will decide to just walk away. It’s better to get a valid idea of pricing and making the offer from that standpoint. Ask your Realtor to show you what has recently sold in the last 60 days. When writing offers keep in mind:

  • Time is money — Lowballing can cost you both
  • Multiple offers are becoming common — Your lowball probably won’t even be considered
  • Offended sellers aren’t your friend — So, make sure your offer is respectful

3.competition — Multiple offer scenarios can be intimidating for new buyers, but your Realtor can help beat these fears. Their market knowledge can help to understand that the “right” offer is not always the highest offer and how to make smart decisions that will help get an offer accepted.

Offers typically present sellers with a purchase price and contract terms.

It’s often these “terms” that are overlooked. When trying to beef up an offer to be more appealing for a seller find out what other items might be important to them. You can beat the competition, if you’re smart.

4. Deal Breakers — Dreams don’t do any good inside your head. Make sure you share your list of must have’s with your agent. There’s nothing worse than getting through the offer stages of a home purchase and then finding out that the wrong color floors, feng-shui of the walls, or some other nuance will keep you from closing. To be successful, make sure you inform your Realtor about any deal breakers or deal makers.

5. “Right Fit” — The right fit is about the whole picture, not just a feature. The slim inventory doesn’t mean the dream homes are all gone. It may just be a matter of smartly identifying the perfect property hidden behind a few small flaws. The key is to “keep an open mind”. Points to consider:

  • Does it have room for change — will it meet your needs in 3 years?
  • Can you handle the typical maintenance issues that go with homeownership?
  • Is the location compatible with your commute?

Hopefully these points to have help with your summer home search. The sizzling summer deals make for Happy Hot House Hunting! If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to email me.

Sheri Aguilar is the president of the Lodi Association of Realtors and can be reached at