You’re motivated to buy a home and want to come across as a savvy, educated buyer. Remember these five tips for buying a home on your own and making an irresistible offer:
1. Present Proof of Finances
The biggest concern that sellers have is whether a buyer can actually complete the purchase of their property. As a buyer, you can show sellers that you’re ready by offering a mortgage preapproval or prequalification statement from your lender or banking institution. This will offer proof that you can make the purchase. If you plan to pay with cash, your bank or credit union can provide a letter of recommendation to confirm your financial situation.
2. Agree to a Short Inspection Period
Depending on where a home is located, specific inspections need to be completed to satisfy local laws. But sometimes inspection periods can be shortened, or even waived, in order to speed up the closing process. Oftentimes, sellers will offer a report of the inspections they’ve completed upon listing the home to satisfy fast, motivated buyers who wish to forego inspections. If that’s the case, buyers who are willing to be flexible about the inspection period will most likely appeal to the seller (though keep in mind that waiving a home inspection entirely comes with higher risk and is generally not recommended – more on this below).
3. Be Ready to Close Quickly
Most sellers hope to find a buyer as soon as possible. If you don’t have any contingencies, such as selling your current home, securing a loan or asking for repairs on the home you want to buy, let the seller know that you can close in as little as 30 days. This quick turnaround is attractive to sellers because your offer isn’t dependent on other time-consuming actions that are taking place. However, you may face some hurdles when trying to close in 30 days, rather than waiting the usual 60 days. What if a last-minute appraisal doesn’t satisfy your lender’s requirements? Or, a home inspection reveals a safety issue that needs to be repaired and resolved before signing any closing paperwork? Pitfalls like these may leave you with a 60-day closing after all.
4. Don’t Add Contingencies to the Offer
It’s important to make your bid on a home as simple to accept as possible. For example, if you ask the seller to replace or repair several features of their home before you make the official purchase, they may view your request as a time-draining, financial burden. This could make your offer look less desirable than others without a list of contingencies, so try to limit your requests and contingencies to nonnegotiable items (i.e. if the roof needs repair and you do not have the financing to repair it outside of the home purchase, you could include a contingency in your deal that the seller repairs the roof before the sale is complete. Though again, this may make your deal less appealing to the seller in a multiple-bid scenario). Remember, though, experts often agree that waiving some contingencies, such as the mortgage and inspection contingencies, are generally considered risky. Without a mortgage contingency in place, you are at risk of losing out on your deposit if your financing does not come through by your closing date. Similarly, without an inspection contingency in place, you may lose out on your deposit if the inspection unveils any issues that cause you to back out of the deal.
5. Offer a Realistic Bid
Don’t waste a seller’s time by making an extremely low offer. If you want to bid less than the asking price, tell the seller exactly why and then negotiate a deal based on facts, not your hope of getting a bargain without a substantiated reason. Serious bidders get more attention than those who throw together a low offer that isn’t justified or explained.
Once you’ve found the home you want to buy, do your best to make a positive impression on the seller. Show them you’re knowledgeable about the buying process, financially secure, and ready to move forward quickly. By following these tips for buying a home, you’ll secure the home of your dreams in no time.
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