For Buyers: Improve Your Chances

With inventory diminishing daily and multiple offers being extremely common, it is of great importance that you position yourself to have the "Best Chance" to get your offer accepted. You enhance your chance of getting the home of your choice by doing the following: 

  1. Get pre-approved for the purchase:
    This takes very little time and is of great value. At this time, identify the price range for which you qualify and which fits your lifestyle.
  2. Submit a strong competitive offer:
    Submit the offer as if there will be multiple offers.
  3. Include substantial earnest money deposit:
    Acceptance of an offer is sometimes determined by the amount of the deposit. A larger amount may signify a bigger commitment to the seller.
  4. Minimize or eliminate contingencies:
    The fewer contingencies, the stronger the offer.
  5. Make a buyer profile available:
    Time on the job, flexibility, reason for purchasing seller's home, etc.
  6. Be prepared to preview a new property quickly:
    Homes sell sometimes in hours. Be prepared to make decisions quickly and be accessible to change the terms instantly.
  7. Buyer and agent to have instant communication access:
    Let us maintain instant access to each other via office phone, voice mail, fax, pager or cellular phone.

For Buyers: Questions For Your Lender

  • Are both fixed-rate and adjustable mortgage loans available?
  • What is the interest rate? 
  • How long can I "lock-in" the financing at the current interest rate? 
  • Is a float down lock available in case rates drop after I have locked in? 
  • What are the other fees a lender may charge me in conjunction with my loan? 
  • Are funds for a second mortgage available?
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On adjustable loans:

  • How often will the interest rate be adjusted?
  • Is there a maximum limit on each rate change?
  • How often will the monthly payment be adjusted?
  • Is there a ceiling on payment adjustments?
  • Can the term of the loan be extended?
  • What is the maximum rate that can be charged over the life of the loan?
  • Is there any potential for negative amortization?
  • Is there a pre-payment penalty clause? This involves extra charges for paying off the loan before maturity. About 80% of all loans in the United States are paid off early.
  • What is the "grace" period? How late can a monthly payment be made before a late charge is assessed? What will happen if a payment is missed? 
  • If you sell your house, will the new buyer (if he/she qualifies) be able to assume your mortgage at the same interest rate? 
  • Do you have to pay "points" to get your new mortgage? Usually lenders charge points for the cost of giving you a mortgage loan. A "point" is 1% of the loan. 
  • Will the lender require mortgage insurance? 
  • Is the loan serviced locally or is the servicing sold? 
  • Ask for a written "good faith deposit".
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