Homebuyers everywhere face fierce competition for the available homes for sale. When the right home hits the market, you must be ready to move with an offer, or you could miss out. Follow these tips so you can be ready to act after finding your dream home.
#1 – Take care of your finances
Don’t wait until you extend a purchase offer to straighten up your finances. The time to work on credit scores and lowering your debt-to-income ratio is well in advance of doing any house hunting.
Tackle making any improvements to your debt and credit history before you start your housing search. The last thing you need is to miss out on your dream home because you couldn’t get approved for financing due to your credit score.
Another step you can take while working on financing and starting your home search is to keep saving funds. The more money you can save, the more substantial the financial position you will be in when it’s time to buy.
Finally, set aside money for the earnest money deposit so it is ready when you write to the purchase offer. You don’t want to be scrambling to get funds together to write that check. Consider putting it in an earmarked savings account so there’s no chance of spending it.
#2 – Work with a real estate agent
A real estate agent is your partner and advocate in this process. When you first hired them, you shared your needs and wants. As your relationship develops and you look at homes together, they better understand what you are looking for. This helps your agent know instantly when your dream home comes to the market.
Let your agent know you are ready and willing to work fast to land your dream home. When the real estate agent calls and says you must see this property, you’ve got to drop your schedule and see the home. They’re calling because they know it’s a contender, and they don’t want you to miss out! Stop what you’re doing and scroll the online photos or take a virtual tour. This is your potential dream home. Make the time to be the first in the door.
#3 – Find a lender partner
Don’t wait to find your dream home before interviewing the mortgage lenders. Again, make this decision in advance of your house hunt.
You want to form a relationship with your mortgage lender, and relationships take time. You’ll also want to select the right lending program for you. When the right property comes along, you’ll know exactly what financing package you want and feel more confident you’ll get approved thanks to conversations with your lender partner.
With a lender partner, you can contact them right away and let them know that you are extending an offer on a home. This helps your lender get the paperwork started earlier, increasing your chances of a timely close, which helps make your offer more attractive to the seller.
#4 – Get your paperwork in order
Remember, speed is of the essence when finding the dream home. Have your paperwork put together and ready to be sent to your lender. If your house search goes on for a longer time, keep the paperwork file updated.
Some paperwork that you likely will need is:
- Photo ID
- Your proof of income
- Current bank statements
- Current credit card statements
- Statements from any retirement or investment accounts
- Your gift letter
- Any alimony or child support documentation
Plus, anything else that the lender has asked for specific to your preferred loan program. If you have a thin credit file, the lender might ask for a history showing you can pay your debts on time, such as regular payments for utilities or car payments.
#5 – Know your limits
Before extending your purchase offer, be clear about what you can and can’t compromise on in the purchase contract. Don’t overextend yourself and put your family in an unstable financial situation just to win the bid. Your dream home can turn into a nightmare if you spend too much money on it.
What you can do is find the buyer’s motivation for selling their home. Sometimes this can help you figure out how to make the sale and purchase agreement more attractive to the buyer and more competitive if the home has multiple bids. Again, know what you are willing to compromise on and what you can’t.
Be ready to win your dream home
It’s always a relief to learn the home seller has agreed to your terms and signs the purchase agreement. You are one step closer to moving into the home of your dreams and living the lifestyle you’ve always wanted. Don’t let the dream home get away from you. Use these tips to be ready to move when the right home comes to the market.
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