If you have spent any time lately searching for a home to buy, you know the Pasadena real estate market has been very competitive. With interest rates low and housing inventory tight, purchasing real estate is now synonymous with the laws of nature…..only the strong survive.
However as a home buyer, there are certain things you can do to improve your chances. Lets first review the most obvious.
First and Foremost
- Get Prequalified – searching for a home without first obtaining a pre-qualification is like going to the mall with no money or credit card in your pocket. You’re just killing time. You need to meet with a lender, complete an application and answer some questions. You may also have to provide some preliminary documentation such as tax returns, bank statements and pay stubs. Once you obtain a pre-approval letter you increase your credibility and are perceived as more serious.
- Organize your documentation – make sure your most recent bank statements and check stubs are current as well as any sources of income you may be using. Don’t submit banks statements which are 4 months old.
Some of the Less Obvious Keys to Acceptance
- Understand the Purchase Contract – this is a biggie. First and foremost, have your agent explain the contract to you. If they can’t, then move on and find another. You will be bound by a legal document. If they don’t understand it, what are your chances of doing so?
- Remove or Shorten Contingencies or Time Periods – there are several contingencies buyers are afforded in the contract as well as a standard number of days in which to perform. Removing some of these or shortening the time periods my make strengthen your offer, but discuss the ramifications with your agent.
And Finally, the Last Critical Step to Acceptance
I don’t know of any agents that will tell you they decided on another offer because your offer was so poorly written and illegible. However it happens. If your agent is faxing the papers to you for your signature and you fax back, then the agent faxes to the listing agent, you have a document that cannot be read. If you are spending $300,000, $700,000 or whatever amount, shouldn’t the seller be able to read what they have committed themself to.
Ask your agent how he or she plans on presenting it for consideration.
Think about the last time you shopped at the grocery store or discount store. The well packaged products catch your eye. Same with a purchase offer. A well put together offer package including a letter from you stating why you want the house, can do wonders for your chances of acceptance.
If a listing agent is looking at several offers, the well organized, easy to read, properly written offer with complete documentation will increase the chances of you moving to your new home!
As our grade school teachers used Neatness Counts!