Looking for a dream home?
Looking at the same home everyone else is looking at?
You live far away.
A normal loan (conventional)
You are normal, that's helpful to know.
If what you are doing is not working.....
What are you willing to change?
It is as simple as that.
There are many options available. However, none of these options will prove beneficial if you are an unrealistic buyer with too many encumbrances on the process. YOU need to change the conditions which you have imposed. The best solutions are wasted on those who insist on only one way to accomplish a task. Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability and your agent will be willing to open the treasure box of solutions that are available to agile, decisive, competitive buyers.
The craft of buying and selling homes is not confined to California, New York or Florida. Buyers from all of those locations acquire real estate in all those locations. Area has little to do with the craft. A realistic strategy has everything to do with it. And it is your strategy that needs an overhaul. The precision in which that strategy is implemented will require intimate market knowledge and exceptional creativity to construct the advantage you seek. For that, local expertise and resources is required.
Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, Fl
You will at least know when they are going to sale.
Best of luck.
The problem with chasing short sales is that they have to be priced below market - how else can you entice someone to wait around for bank approval - but by being priced below market, they attract a lot of offers.
I suggest that you have a heart-to-heart with your agent, look at the data, and figure out just what your budget will allow you to actually close on a home, rather than bid on one.
All the best,
The one exception to this is with investors. Many first time homebuyers are continuously beat out by investors in certain price ranges, even though they are well qualified - cash is king. I like the approach that Fannie Mae takes in it's Homepath properties, allowing only owner occupied buyers to make offers for the first few weeks (I should note here that I have other issues with the Homepath program). This gives buyers a better chance to find homes. Now don't get me wrong - I think investors are wonderful, and I work with many, but in certain lower price ranges many buyers are getting the short end of the stick because they just can't compete.
I am all for new ideas that help buyers and sellers and make our markets stronger, but there are many factors we need to consider, and no change will make everyone happy.
Rachel LaMar, J.D.
Broker, LaMar Real Estate
It is definitely tough out there right now for buyers, but it is not impossible to find your dream home, even from afar. The first thing you want to do is find an agent with whom you connect and who really understands what you are looking for. As soon as a home meeting your criteria is listed, that agent can go to the home and shoot video, take photos and be in immediate contact with you. If you feel the home is one that seems to be your dream home, I would encourage you to make and offer and come see the home as soon as possible.
I have been successful in getting offers for clients who are taking out loans, when there are other cash offers, so it can be done - it just depends on the situation. The bigger hurdle is getting a seller to accept an offer when you have never seen the home...but this too can be done with some creative work by your agent. The most important thing you can do, if you have not done so already, is put together a list of neighborhoods/models/features that you like. With a strong agent on your side you CAN find that perfect home, and hopefully we will start to see more inventory as we head into Spring, which will be a big help.
Best of luck to you.
Rachel LaMar, J.D.
Broker, LaMar Real Estate
I can understand your frustration, If you are working with a Realtor who really knows what you want they can guide you in the way to make the best offer quickly. Cash does not always make that big of a difference if the home is in sound shape and your offer is strong. Most of the homes being sold these days are financed.
Living far away is more of a problem than the cash buyers. Since many people are making offers you need to get your offer in right away. If it takes you several days to see the home, it may already be off of the market Your Realtor needs to sell you to the seller and their agent. It is not just a matter of sending the offer in.
Local Help with Your Real Estate Needs
The San Diego Property Shop
CA DRE # 00648687
Coldwell Banker Star Realty
EXPERIENCE -- Most of our buyers are out of area. You need an experienced agent that knows how to get your offer chosen! You living close or over seas has less than you might think to do with your success in buying a home. If your agent is weak so is your offer!
We are a husband and wife team that have 30 years experience in both lending and real estate. A rare combination. This helps us a great deal in getting our offers accepted and most importantly - closed!
You'll need the tools to feel confident to put in the right offer. We'd like to get you up to date on the market. So when you are ready to proceed you will know a good deal from an over priced home and will feel comfortable to make an offer. Timing is critical -- you must move quickly.
Lots of good answers below --- I would highly recommend that you find an experienced agent that you like and trust to represent you. I would do your research online and then make some phone calls and then meet in person. The agent can make the difference of your offer being chosen or not. Experience really is important right now. An experienced agent can see things an agent with less experience wont see until it's too late.
I would read testimonials and look at their individual websites.
It would be a good idea to pick an agent that has at least 10 years of experience and has not held any other job during this time. You should look for a FULL TIME agent. Also ask to speak with their recent clients that just closed escrow! At least three clients with in the last 30 - 60 days. Verify these were their clients with proof of the sold MLS listing.
Everyone says they are an expert in short sales and REO's - the truth is far from that for most agents.
Have the agent send you their own work and not what their office closed. You can obtain this information directly from the board of realtors as well.
Experience is crucial in this business right now. If you call the listing agent they could be listing this house for their relative. They may have zero experience.
We represent more buyers than sellers. We have been in the business for over 30 years.
I am born and raised in San Diego and have lived in Carlsbad for many years. Cal State Realty has over 300 agents located throughout California.
Scott and I are a husband and wife team - you will receive twice the attention and assistance!
Please feel free to contact us, view our profile and websites.
Scott and Shelley Weier
Cal State Realty
C2 Financial Corporation
Best of luck!
You need a Realtor who is willing to work the 'off mls' market as well as knowing the latest tips to winning a multiple bid offer....
While purchasing a home can be challenging in the current market, it's not impossible if you have a persistent and knowledgable agent on your side. One option is to pursue Fannie Mae properties, because they give first preference to owner occupants. Also, some homeowners will actually choose an owner occupant over an investor. Please contact me for an in person or phone consultation about your housing needs, and I promise we will get you into a home!
Real Living Lifestyles, CA DRE #01435354
300 Carlsbad Village Drive, Suite 224
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Call or text me at: 760-845-4365
I'm sorry to hear that is happening to you. I know it can be discouraging, but if you have an aggressive agent they should be able to pull a few strings for you. If not, I would be more than happy to help.
1. They should try to find you a home that is not on the MLS yet (a pocket listing).
2. If other cash buyers do outbid you, your agent should be stating that you want to be considered the second best offer. (So if the appraisal falls through on the first accepted offer, they will offer it to you first).
3. Take away all contingencies and offer as much as you can. (Be the highest bidder)
I hope that helps!
However; in my experience this year with upwards of 20+ offers on a property, some sellers are forced to narrow down their offer selection by which buyer financing will be a sure thing and who will be the easiest to work with. Unfortunately FHA appraisers and underwriters are being a bit more picky on inspections and document requests, I am seeing it and have experienced it with Chase bank this year on 2 separate buyer FHA loans.
My first time home buyers with FHA financing have had a tougher time getting their offers accepted over my other first time home buyers with conventional financing with just 5% down.
Years ago (15-20), FHA was notoriously for adding appraisal conditions and everyone was on pins and needles until the appraisal was received to find out what repairs or issues were called out. That is not the case anymore. I, frankly, have not seen any difference between my FHA and Conventional appraisals. I close FHA loans in exactly the same time frame as Conventional loans. And, rates (at least currently), on FHA loans tend to be slightly lower. Debt to income ratio are considerably higher and the higher loan amounts are very important in the California and West Coast markets.
Outside of my borrowers signing several more documents (this is, after all, a government progrom...paperwork is King), it really do not see the impact on the seller of accepting an FHA loan.
And, of course, if a seller likes his/her neighbors and wants to leave a legacy of building up the neighborhood, a owner occupied FHA borrower seems to me to be a better alternative to a cash offer. And, frankly, I do think a good number of sellers want to know the home they have loved and cherished for many years is going to a new family/person who will love the home as well.
Maybe I am just romantic??? Not sure, but I know I want someone to love the home I loved.
1). Write a letter to the seller giving them highlights of you (and your family if it applies). Include points about how much you love their home and the care they have taken, what your intentions are with the home & why they should sell the home to you.
2). If at all possible, go for a conventional loan with 5% down vs. FHA with 3.5% down. This is a stronger offer and less hassle for the seller.
3). Ask your lender if they can pay the closing costs as a loan incentive so when you present your offer to the seller, your offer is clean and you are not asking them to give up more of their bottom line.
4). Work with a Real Estate Professional who is proactive and finds listings for their buyers before they come on the market. You will have less competition this way.
If you would like more information on what I do to find my buyers their dream home, please give me a call or visit my website: (760) 622-9122 http://www.northcountysdhomes.com/
I do understand the lack of inventory issue from a lender's perspective (no, I do not try to do both real estate and financing...My world is plenty full solidly focused in my area of expertise). The past year I have had more preapprovals issued than at any other time in my 20+ career. And, some have been updated time and again for over a year.
Others are in contract within weeks of my issuance of the preapproval. And, in every case it can be attributed to the excellence of the buyer's agent. And one other factor: The borrower was realistic about the market and listened to the agents advice.
Those borrower's trying to "find a deal" or flitting from one agent to another...are in my drawer gathering cobwebs.
Yes, the first step is a great agent.
Best to you all,
@Nancy - check David's profile and other questions he has responded to. The reason why will become self explanatory. Keep up the good work!
@Peter - The real answer to this question in my opinion continues to go back to having a good buyer's agent. Have you made that call?
You should work with your agent on getting this right and you sure will find your dream home.
If your initial offer is too low, the seller might consider it to be an insult, and may give up on you entirely. Not sure if your offer is good enough? If you have a buyer's agent, ask your real estate professional if they think your offer is reasonable. After all, it's their job to know current real estate trends, and to help you find the home of your dreams!
We want to reform the industry, but Peter just wants to buy a house.
Here's the problem. In some markets, short sales have become the new normal. This will pass, but for now, we have to deal with it.
Short sales have to be offered at an attractive discount, and when they are, investors jump on them and normal people start dreaming that they, too, can buy a "wonderful home so cheaply."
Well, normal people do have a chance, but they need someone to explain the local market to them, so that they can calibrate their dreams and make home ownership a reality.
There are roughly one million real estate agents in the country, and the idea that none of them has anything to offer outside their farm is disproved by the good information posted here.
So, Don - comment away!!
CA DRE 01775528 I 980076
I typically identify myself with my CA DRE # on online forums.
Here - I will make it official to hereby amend any and all Trulia answers I may have provided with or without the DRE #.
CA DRE # 01775528 i NMLS 980076
Hope that helps...
Hey - baseball season - right around the corner - let me know if you are making it to AZ for any spring training. Seattle and the Padres share the same facility. My 12 year old baseball fanatic has been waiting and watching MLB Network everyday since November! He is a big Angel's fan. Hope all is well.
My short answer is, the homes that receive multiple offers and are snatched up very quickly are usually short sales/fixers that are attractive to investors to buy and flip. If you're looking for a nice move-in ready home, hire a good agent and he/she will certainly be able to send you listings as soon as they hit the market, and write strong offers that stand out from the investor all-cash offers. Just last week I wrote an FHA offer that was accepted on a beautiful home, and the government loans are supposedly the hardest ones to get through.
It's definitely possible; don't be discouraged, a good agent will definitely get you into your dream home! Good luck Peter!
I agree with some of the agents below. I usually allow my listings to remain on the market for at least 10 days (two weekends) to get the highest and best offer(s) for my sellers. This is just my perspective from the listing side.
Here is my advice to you for your situation: Pair up with a real estate agent who is diligent about sending you new properties ASAP, not once a day or once a week. You also need an agent who is big on communication- the minute you identify property as one that you are interested in, your agent should be on the phone to the listing agent to find out as much information possible (i.e. how many offers, when will they present offers to seller, etc.) Also, for my clients who are out of the area, I am always available to tour the property myself, video camera in hand, to send you a personalized virtual tour right away.
Let me know if there is anything I can do to assist you. I have helped lots of first time homebuyers get the edge and get their dream home and it would be my pleasure to do the same for you.
McAllister Homes Real Estate
We were not just talking about short sales...we have been discussing ways buyers might be able to get their offers accepted, and what has been hindering them from such. It is actually very interesting.
Broker, LaMar Real Estate
Preapproval on short sales would eliminate a lot of headaches, and save time. HOWEVER, it could create problems as well (a topic for another time).
Your point about giving buyers preferential treatment for some time is interesting, and presents one flaw in the system. Another big problem with the Homepath program in particular is that it can hurt other sellers within the neighborhood. I sold a home to one of my investors, and she gutted it and put in high-end everything - no skimping and nothing was left untouched. It was beautiful. She sold that one and it brought the comps up. She then purchased a second one in the neighborhood. While she was in the process of rehabbing it, the property next door listed as a Homepath sale. The lender would only take a price $30,000 higher than what my client's last sale had sold for, and it is now in escrow. Obviously they do not need an appraisal, so they can ask whatever they want for the property.
The problem is that when my client wants to sell her second property in the neighborhood, the $30,000 comp increase sale next door won't entirely benefit her. That home had cheap flooring, few upgrades, and had not been redone in a way that was even close to what my client does. An appraiser will only take into consideration the new higher comp, thus my client's more highly renovated place will likely sell for less (I spoke with several appraisers about this). This is extremely frustrating (I recently wrote a blog on this topic and passes it along to the UT to investigate as well).
My point is that there are many issues out there that prevent buyers or sellers from truly realizing benefits they should be able to reap. Appraisals can help or really hurt, and the conservative approach appraisers use since the market crash - while "protecting" lenders - can actually hurt sellers. We do need changes but I am not sure in what way, nor do I believe we will see any that will benefit everyone.
It's great to hear what others have to say, and hear ideas you may have not considered. Have a terrific week!
Broker, LaMar Real Estate
You made some good comments. I would have to agree that there is no perfect solution.
I too like the idea that some banks give owner occupied buyers preferential treatment for a certain period of time. However, I don't know if it really is best since it is no longer an open market and low down payment buyers my be more likely to default, or have no equity if they have to sell, or may not have the funds to maintain the home so it could fall into disepair and bring down the neighbor's values. I am not trying to be argumentative, just emphasizing the other side of the coin. I do like the idea that they wait some time before reviewing offers.
I once had an REO sale where I was the listing agent and the bank instructed me to publish in the MLS the highest offer price recevied on a daily basis and to do so for about a week. I liked the idea and saved some buyers and their agents time if they knew they were too far off from the current highest offer. The home sold for $40,000 more than the asking price. I would do that technique again as I thought it had more positives than negatives, but you would not believe the outcry from some buyer's agents that didn't understand the concept or just don't like change!
In an ideal world, I think all short sales should be pre-approved short sales meaning the seller's hardship package has been approved and the list price set by the short sale lender and then the home is placed in the MLS.
The other side of the coin is perhaps you just ran into a few "hot" properties. According to Trulia the area has an average list price currently aof over $720k, but the recent sale prices have been at $572k. Looks like prices are going up, but doesn't indicate what you describe
Licensed Associate Broker
2008 Realtor of the Year
Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my ideas. That is exactly what I was hoping for to get another perspective, such as one from a mortgage person who may not be dealing with buyers looking at homes and making offers. Here's some additional information regarding your comments:
1 and 3: full price is not the market price. It has been incorrectly set by the listing agent and convinced the seller of such. Situations like a sale or purchase depending on another sale will have their own timelines, but I still do not believe the first offer in will still be the best overall for price or other important terms in coordinating such a transaction
2. Yes if the trustees sale is so close it makes sense but that has not been my experience. With an appreciating market and low inventory, the first offer is in a key position
4. Most short sellers are walking away from a short sale without any financial obligation or costs and these days, actually getting "moving expenses" paid for by the banks. The price they accept does not affect them. Banks are not that savvy on real market prices and the system can be manipulated by agents performing the BPO
5. There are details about an offer which is accepted which are not available just by looking at price, financing, and possible seller concession disclosed in the MLS or public records. For example, two I've lost recently had to do with whether the buyer was owner occupying or not.
6. Sorry, my term escalation clause has to do with setting a maximum price and increment level on an offer and nothing to do with escalation clause on a loan
1. Homes should not be sold within hours or a couple days. That is not enough time for all buyers to have a chance to view the home
2. Short sales need to be marketed for at least 7 days before offers are considered
3. Short sale sellers should not allow the buyer to be represented by any agent in the same office as the listing agent or any agent that the listing agent has done more than 3 transactions with in the past 3 years
4. Short sale sellers may not care about the sales price, but the neighbors and anyone who may need that home as a comparable for an appraisal sure do. So don't take a lowball offer because the listing agent tells you to. Know what is the fair market value of your home.
5. If the seller gives written authorization, then the listng agent should disclose the terms of the winning offer in a multiple offer situation so buyer's agents can understand how seller's think and maybe know how to improve their offer the next time
6. Escalation clauses should be better understood by sellers and listing agents and considered an acceptable offer technique(I'll call it the "Ebay" method).
I have lots of other ideas. I may upset a bunch of agents with these opinions but I am hoping instead to open some eyes to the idea that change is good.
The reality is that it is tough to find your "dream home" under the best of circumstances, let alone find it in a seller's market such as the one we are experiencing now. If you list ten things you want in a home and find a home with six or seven of your ten, you're a winner. Also, make your terms as desirous to the seller as you feel comfortable and keep perservering...
All the Best!
These days, if my buyer ix serious, we have to get to the property the minut it becomes available, so proximity is important. Do you have any friends or relatives in the area that can help?
Please feel free to call and we can work something useful out. For out of town buyers, I will often do all the previews and take videos...helps us to move faster.
Where are you trying to buy and from where? It is very possible to make this happen. However, more and more listing agents aren't thrilled about offers coming from buyers who haven't actually been in the home to see it because there is a higher chance a person who hasn't personally been in the home before making an offer will back out.
As others have said, it boils down to the skill of your buyer agent, their willingness to work hard for you, and your ability to meet the seller's needs. In multiple offer situations, it becomes a bit of a beauty contest and your agent needs to paint as pretty a portrait of you as possible. You have to find ways to out shine the rest. Price is only one of many ways in which buyers can demonstrate they are the best choice for the seller - again, a solid buyer's agent who can build rapport with the listing agent is a significant asset to get you where you want to be. The lender you choose also can be significant.
For example, if you are offering on a property owned by Wells Fargo - you better believe sending in your offer with a pre-approval from Wells Fargo on the loan side is going to get you bonus points. So find an agent that knows how to leverage your strengths and it will happen.