Home Buying Process: How to Succeed.

Hurry Up and Wait

Hurry Up and Wait. Yep, I said that. Maybe it is a byproduct of parenting, maybe it is a hyperbole. As a home buyer, there are some things you should do yesterday. Or at least as soon as possible.

  1. First, get your finances in order. Then get them to your lender. Find out what amount of money you are pre-approved for. And are you comfortable with that level of debt? Just because you qualify for an amount of a mortgage means that you should max out on that amount.
  2. If possible, get yourselves pre-underwritten at various price points. With pre-underwriting, you can usually waive your mortgage contingency. This is a bit of work and effort. And you may end up doing it long before you are ready to make an offer. But knowing what to do ahead of time can save you time in with offer crunch time scenarios. You have to wait a bit until your dream home hits the market, so all of this effort may just be the classic, “hurry up and wait”.
  3. Create an offer with certainty. What sellers crave is an offer with certainty. This means they want an offer with the highest likelihood of closing. So how does one accomplish this? Well, put yourself in the shoes of a seller. You have several offers in front of you. You will most likely take the one that is a balanced combination of the price offered for the home and offset by the risk of it not closing on time. So, the fewer variables in an offer that could keep an offer from not closing are usually of more interest to the seller.
  4. Getting all of this together and then waiting for an accepted offer to occur is truly the old hurry up and wait.

Addressing Contingencies

Getting pre-approved or pre-underwritten is one part of the equation. Addressing the other contingencies is also of paramount importance. These include answering the following questions:

  • Can you waive a home inspection contingency? Or make it “for informational purposes only”. Are there pros and cons to all of this?
  • Is there better language to insert into the offer about home inspections?
  • What sort of closing date does the seller need? Is it a quick close, or is it longer? This can make or break it for a seller. Would a lease back be helpful? Some sellers need to close ASAP, others need time to figure out their next move.
  • Preparing to address all of these contingencies without an accepted offer in hand, is again, the old hurry up and wait.

These are questions that need answers as they are the first steps of creating a strong offer. How you frame these contingencies is of the utmost importance to getting your offer accepted.

Getting an offer accepted is only one step. This is like making a first down in football. There is still a lot of field to cover before you score. With an accepted offer you still need to get through a home inspection, an appraisal, perhaps a title V inspection.  You will need final water read, final fuel adjustment, a smoke detector certification, homeowners insurance, and so much more. Again, a little more of the hurry up and wait.

As with everything in life, the best place to start is consulting with a professional who will guide you through the process. As today’s uncertain real estate market continues to shift, it’s more important than ever to hire an experienced buyer’s agent who will represent you exclusively.  A good agent can help you get through the hurry up and wait.

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