My suggestion is to stop searching on the web by yourself and get a professional to assist you. This is a very fast paced market because the inventory is low. Most of the good homes go in the first few days and if you're not ready, you miss out.
Your BEST option, if you're serious about purchasing a home is to get with a Realtor who knows the area and can help you through the process. That's the FIRST and foremost step in purchasing a home. Check with friends and family to see if they can refer someone to you or research sites, such as this one to find a good professional Realtor such as one of the few that already answered your question.
Your SECOND step is to get pre-qualified for a loan. AFTER you find a Realtor, he or she will have you meet with the lender that he or she uses regularly. This is important.
Keller Williams Realty
Sellers are not jumping at offers below list price these days. In fact many homes are selling for above list price.
The only cases where homes may go for less than list price are on ALL CASH SALES.
Kawain Payne, Realtor
There is definitely less competition the higher your price point. I would be happy to assist you in finding a home you love and writing competitive offers on it. I would definitely include homes up to $425K. Each property is different and you never know, if you write a strong offer in other respects, you may get accepted. Feel free to contact me directly to get a jump on your home search.
McAllister Homes Real Estate
Your financing can have a big impact on you offer being considered and accepted.
A Preferred Buyer Advantage Loan Approval (read the web reference link below) could give you the little advantage over other offers. Most Realtors will tell you a pre-approval from a loan officer is not worth the paper it's written on......and I would agree.
I get probably 10-15 calls a month from buyers who are in escrow, have a 'pre-approval' from a loan officer, bu then got denied by underwriting and are now threatening lawsuit to get their earnest money deposit back from the seller.
Home buying is stressful and emotional enoug......no reason to make that even worse by submitting offers with a worthless pre-approval letter.
Sellers want to eliminate all risk that a buyer will fall out of escrow and they generally want to close in 20-30 days.
The best way to accomplish this is by working with a local lender who has a reputation to uphold and can get you a preferred buyer loan approval.
This level of loan approval I provide will give you and the seller greater peace of mind that your loan will approve and close early or on time.
Thus, they tend to accept offers not just on price, but who has the stronger financing offer.
If you were a seller and had 5-10 offers similar in price, which one would you choose? One where the buyer's loan was already fully approved by an underwriter and can close in 20 days? Or take a chance on the other 5-10 buyers where the loan officer issues a pre-approval based on their opinion?
Call me direct (951) 215-6119 or email brad(at)homeloanartist.com if you would like to discuss this further. We can also discuss how to get you a big lender credit to help pay your closing costs.
This price range leads many people into over priced listings and using the wrong Realtor can be costly.
Contact Shana if you are ready to buy.
There is definitely a shortage of inventory relative to buyers in the market. However, in your price range, there are not as many competing buyers. If you would like, I can set you up in the MLS to receive listings that meet your search critieria as soon as they are posted in the MLS. All I need you to do is send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your search criteria (ie. number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, minimum square footage, etc). If you were to hire me as your Realtor, once you find properties you're interested in, I would do a Comparative Market Analysis on them (before going to see the property) to see what a recommended offer price should be (based on current market value - not list price which may be too high or too low).
and check for available properties in your price range.
It really depends on the property. If a home has been on the market for 30+ days with no price reduction, it's probably overpriced and you can offer under the list price. In most cases homes $400k+ are having multiple offers as well. At the end of the day the property does need to appraise, so recent sales are most important. If you have a property in mind, I would be more than happy to give you an opinion of value. Have a good evening.