Success in Today’s Real Estate Market

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By: Betty Smith

So you are hearing the good news that real estate markets across NC are improving and you are thinking is this the time to sell or buy? The answer is a resounding yes!

It is true the real estate markets in most, if not all, communities has greatly improved. But no matter how good the real estate market is, you need to take steps to insure the greatest likelihood of success whether you are buying a home or if you are selling your house. Here are 3 easy steps to help guide you to success:

1. Get Pre-Approved for your mortgage loan

Today’s financing is complex so why take a chance finding your dream home and then realize you cannot get the loan? Many buyers get pre-qualified for the loan, which has no substantive verifications – it’s a snap-shot into the big picture of the buyer’s ability to get the loan based on what is said. A pre-approval takes more steps to verify all your income documentation and your debt-ratios qualify you for the loan in order to buy that dream home. With a pre-approval your offer is solid with only the appraisal of the property being the contingency – it’s like having a green light in a busy traffic intersection!

For sellers in the market, if you have priced your house right and have it in great condition, you could get multiple offers. If so, you want to look at those offers that have buyers with solid financing options, and in writing. In this improving market, you don’t want to take a chance on a buyer who hasn’t confirmed their financial ability to buy your house because you risk losing that buyer who does have good financing!

2. Give yourself time

The average time on the market for a property to get an offer has become shorter as the markets improve; however, the time to get your loan from application to closing has increased in time.

For buyers, there are more questions, more documentation, and there is due-diligence for the property review. Prior real estate markets had closings between 15 to 30 days on average, but in today’s market we are seeing buyers look for 45 to 60 days to get the entire process from sale to closing.

For sellers, the average can be between 90 to 120 days in most markets to sell a house, and we are seeing this averages decline this year. But please note this success rate is for those houses that are priced right and in great condition. What the buyer sees when touring is important so staging your house for the best showing experience will get you quicker results.

3. It’s Not Just The Price – Condition Matters

Appraisers don’t just analyze the price of the property, they also review the condition of the property. Appraisers have the ability to “red-flag” items around condition and often they will do so as the loan underwriter is looking on behalf of the investor – this is especially true of any government-backed loan such as VA or FHA.

For the sellers, a pre-inspection of the property can be a great exercise before placing the house on the market. Fixing those roof leaks, that standing water under the crawl-space, and replacing that rotting wood siding are just a few examples to address prior to placing for sale. A house that has been staged and repairs addressed prior to going for sale can bring offers quickly, along with making the due diligence inspections/repairs go much more smoothly. In NC, due diligence money is provided to the seller for a buyer to review the condition of the property. In return for that due diligence money, the buyer can walk away from the contract for any reason whatsoever, as long as it is prior to the due diligence date expiring. So why let a buyer walk over a small repair you can make prior to placing the house on the market?

For the buyers, placing more due diligence money down to take your time during inspections can be a very valuable return on your time and investment. We are seeing more and more multiple offers in the market so being able to take your time and inspect thoroughly is really important. It could also be important as another buyer maybe waiting right behind you to scoop up your new home!

These are 3 fairly simple steps to help you insure success in today’s real estate market. Your Allen Tate agent can walk you through and analyze your best strategy for your success. You will be glad you called us!!

By Tony Jarrett (Regional Vice President, Triad)

Post courtesy of Allen Tate Realtors