Post by Category : Real Estate

6 Mistakes Buyers Make  0

When you’re looking for a home, but the market favors sellers, you need a plan in place to avoid making mistakes.

The real estate market fluctuates often, making it tough to predict whether the market will favor buyers or sellers when it’s your turn to buy. Especially if you’re shopping for real estate in San Francisco, CA, or another market that currently favors sellers, you need to know some tricks of the trade to help ensure you don’t make any mistakes. Buyers in a seller’s market can get what they want, but they need to bring their “A” game — buying a house in a hot market isn’t for the indecisive. Here are six common mistakes many buyers make — mistakes that you can learn to avoid — when shopping in a seller’s market.

1. Not making your best offer

The drive to buy what we want for as little money as possible is practically in our DNA. So when most people see the listing price of a home, they naturally wonder what they can really get the house for. Offering lower than asking price is a perfectly reasonable strategy in some instances, such as if the house is overpriced compared with other similar homes in the area, or if it’s a buyer’s market with lots of available inventory. But trying to get a deal when you’re in a seller’s market might not be the best idea. “In a seller’s market, many buyers do not step up with a strong enough offer,” says David Dubin, a New York broker. “There is usually a shortage of inventory, and the competition is usually fierce. I always encourage a buyer to come in with a strong opening offer.”

2. Waiting too long to put in an offer

Just as impulse-buying a home is risky, analyzing a home purchase to death in a seller’s market is inadvisable too. When you wait too long, “You are at high risk of losing [the home] you have fallen in love with,” says Dubin. Once you’ve determined the type of home you want, the location you desire, and your price range, and finally find a home that meets your qualifications, make an offer. To give yourself more leverage, be prepared to make a quick offer by having your finances in order — get a preapproval if you can. “Know how much you can truly afford, repair any credit issues, have your down payment in hand, and delay [other] major purchases,” says John Lazenby, president of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association in Florida.

3. Not working with a seasoned agent

In a seller’s market, it benefits buyers to get all the help they can. If you have a seasoned agent on your side, you’ll probably have a better chance of getting the home you want. Plus, in most cases, buyers don’t pay real estate agents; sellers do. “When you are competing against other buyers in a fast-paced market, it is vital to be ‘offer-ready,’” says Michael Holt, a New York agent. “Working with a real estate professional saves tons of time and stress, as they know the ins and outs of the process and can provide tremendous insight regarding upcoming inventory.”

4. Not being prequalified (or better yet, preapproved) for a loan

You might know that you’ll be approved for a mortgage loan based on your steady income, your low debt-to-income ratio, and your high credit score — but the seller probably doesn’t know that. The only way to prove to the seller that you’re a qualified buyer is to be prequalified from a lender. “Prequalification is absolutely paramount,” says Teka Klopfenstein, a New York agent. “A buyer has zero advantage if they do not have the cash to purchase without a mortgage and haven’t taken the time to speak with a lender.” Not getting prequalified, she says, “sends a message to the seller that the buyer will lag on getting their ducks in order and aren’t taking their house hunting seriously.”

Preapproval is a step above prequalification (where you simply tell your lender your financial story). The preapproval process involves submitting a mortgage application, complete with supplying verifying documents. “Preapproval from a reputable lender is key,” says New York agent Ryan Stenta. “Presenting this shows the seller that the buyer has already set the wheels in motion and is serious about making [the deal] a reality.”

5. Not being prepared for a bidding war

If there is ever a time when a bidding war could be imminent, it’s during a seller’s market. No buyer wants to be involved in such a battle for fear of possibly going over budget. But broker Michael Holt presents this solution for buyers: “Set your search below your max budget to leave room in case of an over-asking bidding war.”

6. Not learning from your mistakes

There’s no shame in learning that your offer has been declined, but it’s easy to get frustrated if your offers are declined over and over again. Learn from your last transaction(s) so you can get what you want. Stenta says that buying a house, particularly for first-time buyers, is a lot like dating. “You probably have to let a few keepers slip through your fingers, have a couple sleepless nights over it, and then come back with serious intent to lock up the next greatest opportunity in front of you.

– via Trulia

Bedroom Qualification – On the Road With Roger

Today we are going to look at what makes a legitimate bedroom. It is not uncommon when looking at a house, to get to a bedroom, usually in the basement, that does not meet the criteria for a bedroom. They are called non conforming. But you also may not have a legitimate bedrooms upstairs either. There is a difference between what meets a bedroom code and how a Realtor of Appraiser may define a bedroom.

April MarketFLASH




Central District, Seattle

The culture and demographics of the Central District has changed repeatedly throughout the years. The Central District is on the east side of Capitol Hill and is considered one of the oldest surviving neighborhoods in the city. Throughout its history it has seen many changes in demographics and politics, but has recently seen a period of new construction and community improvement projects. The Central District’s main thoroughfares are Martin Luther King J Way (or MLK) and 23rd Ave (north and southbound) and E. Union, E. Cherry and E. Jefferson Streets and E. Yesler Way (east and west bound). It is indeed, very Central, and it borders Capitol Hill, First Hill and the Madison Valley areas. The area was first cleared for development in the mid 1800’s. It was the ideal place to settle because of its close proximity to the business district of Seattle. Some homes in the CD have recently undergoing extensive renovation. Many houses are being replaced by multi-unit townhouses and condominiums. Easy access to Interstate 5, Interstate 90 and downtown, as well as ample street parking, makes the CD an attractive and convenient place to live.
In the 1970s, the CD became largely an African-American neighborhood and the center of the civil rights movement in Seattle. The Central District is currently home to the Northwest African American Museum.

Condo Hot Buttons

One of the first questions I get asked is Can I rent the place? Some units have rental restrictions and that can be changed at any time by a vote of the homeowners. There is a love/hate with renting. Of course, as the owner, you want to be able to have that option. But when you sell, if the owner occupancy is too low, a lender could turn down your loan. The owner occupancy rate needs to be 51% or higher to obtain a loan. I personally think it’s good to have rental restrictions because a day will come when YOU will want to sell and you don’t want the building to have turned into too many rentals. Owners have a tendency to also take better care of their places than renters.
Logical question to ask and you must do your due diligence to get the answer. When you buy you get a resale cert, and meeting minutes come with that. That is also a question that is answered in the resale certificate you get as a buyer and have 5 days to review. But there is a difference between knowing about an assessment or the board just discussing an issue that could lead to an assessment. Assessments can be ok if the dollar amount is specified, and either paid by buyer or seller at closing.
Limited litigation can be ok if dollar amount specified and insurance is enough to cover the full amount. I lived in a condo once that had a litigation issue, and I couldn’t sell until the litigation was resolved.
If there is work being done on the complex, many loan programs require the work be completed prior to funding. The association must have a current and approved budget with at least 10% reserve funds.
The complex must be FHA or VA approved and most are not. There is a process to obtain this approval and most associations don’t want to do what it takes to obtain this qualification. It is more frequent to see VA financing in newer condo construction.

Fantasy Month – On The Road With Roger

Fantasy Month – On the Road with Roger – Roger Morris Real Estate, Seattle, WA | This explains how your first month’s mortgage payment works, turning out to be a “Fantasy Month” for YOU! On the Road with Roger is a series of exciting videos about Seattle neighborhoods and real estate topics. If you are looking to buy or sell real estate in the Seattle metro area, Roger Morris Real Estate can help you! Contact me for more information about this or other real estate questions.

Click Here to contact Roger Morris.

International District, Seattle – On The Road With Roger

The International District is commonly referred to Chinatown-
International District – made up of three neighborhood names
of Chinatown, Japantown and Little Saigon, or simple the CID
and it is the center of Seattle’s Asian American community and
one of eight historic neighborhoods recognized by the City of Seattle.
Much like First Hill, condos and apartments are the main housing options in the International District. The First Hill Streetcar has opened which connects First Hill with the International District and the Capitol Hill light rail station.
Hing Hay Park is a popular gathering place in the Chinatown International District and the Wing Luke Asian Museum is an
important cultural institution in the neighborhood. There is an extremely rich history for this area with Chinese immigrants first coming to the Pacific NW in the 1860’s. The impact of I-5, immigrants from other countries arriving and land use conflicts, the area has endured through many transitions but it’s a wonderful neighborhood to live in and enjoy.

March MarketFLASH and Home Sale Stats

MarketFLASH_March (1)2016-04-26_1209RainierResaleCondoClick Here to contact Roger Morris.

Hazardous Waste

It’s not uncommon that when you purchase a property, the seller leaves their paint. See how to remove hazardous materials according to the city’s guidelines.

On the Road with Roger is a series of exciting videos about Seattle neighborhoods and real estate topics. If you are looking to buy or sell real estate in the Seattle metro area, Roger Morris Real Estate can help you! Contact me for more information about this or other real estate questions.

Click Here to contact Roger Morris.

The Mortgage Process: Know Before You Owe – On the Road With Roger  0

TILA / RESPA / TRID — It’s got so many acronyms and names, even folks in the real estate and lending industries are confused. The Know Before You Owe – or Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Real Estate Settlement Act (RESPA) Integrated Documentation, simply referred to as TRID, has been in effect since October 3, 2015, creating changes in the lending and closing process for homebuyers.

TRID is a set of rules that improves the loan disclosures made to homebuyers, and requires lenders provide a Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure for each transaction. The Loan Estimate provides increased transparency when shopping for a mortgage. Once a loan application has been received by a lender, the lender must provide a Loan Estimate – making it easier for homebuyers to understand their loan costs in order to make an informed decision about which lender to select. No later than 3 days prior to closing, the Closing Disclosure must be submitted to the homebuyer. The homebuyer can compare side-by-side the original loan estimate and the actual closing fees and costs.

This process, of course, adds additional time onto the closing period, but when making such a huge decision on a home, you want to make sure you know what you are getting into!