The Benefits of Getting Pre-Approved as a Buyer

Buying a home is a process. Part of the process is preparing to purchase a new home. The benefits of getting pre-approved as a buyer start by giving you, the buyer, a clear financial picture.

Find out what you can afford.

One of the biggest benefits of getting pre-approved as a buyer is that it eliminates doubt. The pre-approval letter shows the maximum amount you can borrow plus a specific interest rate and the loan terms.

Understanding what you can afford is a good first step when starting your search for a new home. Armed with a budget, you can now talk to your Realtor about what you are looking for in a home.

Pre-approval could give you an edge.

Depending on what type of market we’re in, having a pre-approval letter in-hand can give buyers an advantage. More specifically, this is true in a seller’s market where inventory is low and demand is high.

Sometimes two buyers could make an offer simultaneously. Typically, if one potential buyer has mortgage pre-approval and the other doesn’t, sellers tend to favor those who are pre-approved.

It provides bargaining power.

Next on the list of benefits of getting pre-approved as a buyer is flexibility. Being pre-approved may give you more wiggle room when it comes to negotiations.

When sellers know a buyer is pre-approved, they may be more willing to compromise on certain things to ensure the sale happens.

Being pre-approved saves time.

Closing on a new home takes time. On average, according to Forbes Advisor, the closing process can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days.

But if you have a pre-approval letter, it speeds up the process. You may be moving into your new home sooner than you think!

Pre-approval gives a buyer confidence.

Last but not least, being pre-approved as a buyer gives you confidence. When you are pre-approved, a lender has determined that you are qualified for a home loan.

Being pre-approved upfront gives buyers peace of mind from the start.

Summary

To summarize, there are two main takeaways. First, getting pre-approved as a buyer gives you a better understanding of what you can afford. Second of all, it shows sellers you are serious about buying a home. But, remember, pre-approval letters are usually only valid for 60 to 90 days. Talk to your Realtor more about your budget and what you are looking for in your new home. Keep reading our blogs for more industry insights!

8 Things to Keep In Mind When Buying a Home in the Fall

Just as the seasons change, so do peak real estate times. That means now is the ideal time to share eight things to keep in mind when buying a home in the fall that may work to a buyer’s advantage!

Less competition.

Fall is typically considered the off-season in real estate. Therefore, buyers may have less competition.

What’s more, inventory more often than not tends to stay the same, which means there are still plenty of homes available.

Buyers have time to negotiate.

Less competition also means the odds of getting caught in a bidding war go down. Hence, buyers can take back a little more control.

This includes everything from negotiating the price to asking for your preferred closing date.

More available help.

In general, since it’s slower, real estate professionals and other service workers have more time on their hands. Thus, they have more time to focus on you!

Expect prompt responses from your Realtor, lenders, contractors, inspectors and more this time of year.

Sellers are motivated.

Some sellers may have come on strong in the peak spring and summer months. They may have overpriced their properties or struggled to find the right buyers.

New sellers usually have a good reason for listing their homes this time of year. In the end, all signs point to motivated sellers, which is good news for buyers!

You might enjoy better rates.

As the year winds down, mortgage lenders and bankers may be open to discussing a slightly better deal just to get the deal done.

No matter what, it’s always good to shop around and ask about savings when it comes to interest or even down payments.

First-time buyers get tax breaks.

Remember, first-time homebuyers receive property tax and mortgage deductions. This holds true even if you don’t close until December.

You’ll see the house in a different light.

Next on the things to keep in mind when buying a home in the fall is how it looks without the spring flowers and summer sun. When you shop for a house in the fall, you may get a better idea of what it’s like on a cloudy or rainy day.

You may also get a better look at the exterior without all that landscaping acting as camouflage.

Save on home décor.

Who doesn’t love shopping for their new home? If you move into your new home at the end of the year, you will hit the jackpot on year-end and holiday sales!

You will be able to bargain hunt for everything from new furniture to new appliances to new throw pillows.

Summary

Did these things to keep in mind when buying a home in the fall come as a pleasant surprise? If you think the time is right to start your home search, connect with a local Lee County Realtor today. For more industry insights and home buying-and-selling tips, keep reading our blogs.

5 Tips for Searching for a Home Long-Distance

Searching for a home can be taxing. Searching for a home long-distance carries its own set of challenges. Whether you’re moving across the state or moving across the country, check out these tips to help the process go a bit smoother.

Outline your priorities.

Before you even start your remote home search, make a list of priorities when it comes to your new home. Separate wants from needs, and place each in order of importance. For example, if having two full bathrooms is a MUST-have, then place that high up on the “needs” list. If it would be nice to have a pool (but you could do without), that would fall somewhere on the “wants” side.

Consult this list often when searching for a home long-distance to keep yourself on track.

Do your research.

You may have heard things about the area you are anticipating moving to, but doing your own due diligence to confirm what you’ve heard is always a good idea. And thanks to the internet, it’s easy! Check out municipal and tourism websites and social media pages. Read the news from that region. Look at reputable sources for city data like U.S. News and World Report’s real estate section.

You can also join community Facebook groups, for example, and ask the locals themselves any questions you may have about neighborhoods, schools, city amenities and more.

Work with a Realtor.

We always think working with a Realtor is a good idea, but even more so when you are searching for a home long-distance. Choose a Realtor in the area you will be moving to. You can look at online reviews, or ask those community Facebook groups for recommendations. You can also contact the area’s local association of Realtors to get connected with someone.

Realtors will be knowledgeable about the area and its housing market and will therefore be able to better-assist you with your remote home search. Your Realtor can also visit homes on your behalf and do virtual walk-throughs, take photos and videos to send you, etc.

Take advantage of technology.

Speaking of virtual walk-throughs, technology like this should be your best friend when it comes to remote home shopping. If you’re searching across the country, for example, it’s not feasible to think you’ll be able to make multiple visits to see homes in person. Plus, by the time you get there, they could get scooped up by another buyer.

Ask your Realtor to walk through the home while you’re on FaceTime with them. Browse online listings from trusted sites and rely on high-quality listing photography. Ask if a property has 3D or virtual tour technology available.

Technology also comes in handy when working with your Realtor. He or she will be just a quick text, phone call or FaceTime away when you have questions.

Plan a visit, if possible.

Again, this tip may not be doable for everyone depending on distance and schedules. However, if you can get to the area to get a feel for it in person, doing so will help familiarize yourself with the city and its neighborhoods beyond the limits of online research. If you don’t find your new home while you’re there and you return to remote searching, at least you will have a better idea as to what to look for—and where.

Summary

Searching for a home long-distance doesn’t have to be daunting. Use these tips as a guide, and most importantly—get connected with a local Realtor who can show you the ropes! Keeping reading our blog for more helpful tips for buyers and sellers.