Prepare Before you Look for a Better Home Buying Experience

By: John Harris

The current housing market is definitely a buyer's market, but that does not ensure that you will get the home you want - or any home, for that matter. To ensure that your homes for sale deal does not fall through at the last moment, do a little beforehand preparation.

Check Your Credit Rating. The very first thing you should do is to check your credit score. During the housing bubble, mortgage lenders had loosened the financing strings a bit for buyers, meaning that a couple years ago you could have found some type of financing with a not-to-stellar credit rating. Today, lenders have tightened the belts for buyers of homes for sale. There have been so many foreclosures on homes purchased during the bubble that mortgage lenders must ensure they do not add more to the steadily growing list.

Order free copies of your credit reports from the top three reporting agencies at: www.annualcreditreport.com. Also, get your credit score (you will probably have to pay a nominal fee). If you are not sure on your standing for buying a homes for sale, ask your realtor for advice. If you find that you need to improve your credit score, check a couple previous articles offered at this web site on how to do it. The better your credit score, the better your mortgage interest rate (meaning smaller monthly payments) and the easier it will be to obtain a mortgage and buy the homes for sale of your dreams.

Sell Your Home. Once you know you will be able to obtain financing for a new homes for sale, prepare your home and list it - before you begin looking for a new one. It is taking longer to move homes for sale now. So, you want to ensure that your homes for sale is sold and the money in the bank before you begin house shopping. It would be terrible to find the homes for sale you want only to have the deal fall through, because you could not sell your own home in time. Unless, you can easily pay two mortgages for several months or more, selling your home first is essential.

Do Your Research. When you are ready to begin looking for a new homes for sale for sale, research the sale prices for similar properties in the neighborhoods in which you are interested. It will give you an idea of what is a reasonable selling price and what isn't. The data should be within the last six months, since the market changes quickly. Your realtor can supply this information to you from the multiple listing service. Do not rely on homes for sale appraisal web sites. They generally rely upon deed and mortgage filings, meaning the information may be older and not current enough for your purposes.

Be a Fair Negotiator. Regardless of what is being sold, too-low offers offend people, turning them off to further negotiation. Many years ago, a not-too-nice realtor sent my realtor a lowball offer for my homes for sale, adding a message that if was not worth what was being offered and she should tell me to take it immediately before the potential buyer changed his mind. The male realtor was trying to ramrod over and intimidate my female realtor (apparently, he had used this tactic with a few of her colleagues). It angered me so much that I told my realtor to sit on the offer (which tied it up) until the last minute. We declined a few days before the offer expired in order to accept another, much better offer. The buyer should have hired a more professional realtor.

I guarantee that making too-low offers will not make future negotiations easy, if they deal with you at all. So, make a reasonable offer. You will know what is reasonable from your research. If the homes for sale already is fairly priced, then make an offer no more than ten percent below the asking price. You always can ask for other concessions, such as the seller paying your closing costs, upgrade the kitchen appliances, or perhaps leave an item in the home as part of the sale.

If the homes for sale is overpriced, ask your realtor to explore the possibility of lowering the price with the seller's agent. Some sellers might wish to sell their home with a much later closing date in exchange for a lesser price. Buyers can offer incentives, as well as sellers. Discuss your options with your realtor. If the seller will not give on the price, continue your homes for sale search.

Sold Sign? In house hunting, there always is the chance that before you make an offer, someone has beaten you to it; and the house is sold. Additionally, you may see a homes for sale that interests you, but it has a 'sold' sign in its front yard. This should not stop you.

In this housing market, many homeowners and developers with homes for sale are experiencing contract cancellations. People change their minds on a particular homes for sale, they find another home they like better, they could not sell their own home in time for the closing, or they could not get the financing in the first place.

If you find a homes for sale that already has been sold but not closed, ask your realtor to talk to the owner's agent, telling him or her that you are interested. Ask the agent to call, if the sale should fall through for any reason.

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