Keys for all clients:
Each buyer and seller bring differing levels of experience to a possible real estate transaction. Experience in one set of market conditions often can be found lacking in yet another set of market conditions. Additionally, each party carries with them their unique set of hopes and fears.
Broad advice follows that remains consistent regardless of market conditions, experience level and possible emotional content in decision making.
Keys for buyers:
It is a rare buyer who offers a cash purchase, so if you need a loan, the first step in the home buying process is to become preapproved with a heavily practiced lender (both loan officer and financial institution). Unless you juggle better than most, this is a step that will give you the most confidence to shop for your home. Leaving the lender, you will know your loan type (they do differ), your down payment amount and what may be your upper limit pricewise so as to stay on budget for your monthly house payment.
Secure a practiced real estate agent (Realtor®) that has maintained a good reputation. Ideally you want the agent who will write an offer as a buyer’s agent. All remaining types of agent representation offer a lesser level of protection. The agent will know the current market, the current practice and processes, the current comparable prices and maybe most important the relative popularity of a home style so as to enhance the future possibilities when reselling.
Make sure your offer is contingent upon your acceptance of inspections. Experience and reputation are important here as well. You need independent parties to examine the property. These professionals have experience that neither most Realtors® nor you have.
Read all disclosures and the purchase agreement carefully. If questions, ask.
Keys for sellers:
As a buyer’s best advice has always been to buy all you can buy when you buy (those using a bank loan to buy) buyers tend to most often shop very narrow price ranges. 10% is normal.
Pricing is important. Further, it is most important what price you start out at vs. what you chase the market down to (via price adjustments) over months or years.
Days on market (DOM) are not your friend. When inventory is low, nothing stigmatizes a property as fast as does a lengthy DOM. Regardless of supply and demand characteristics, your best buyer is one that does not attempt to hedge their bet via a low offer because DOM is high. There is a direct correlation between DOM and initial offer price. The bigger the DOM the lower the initial offer. This gap becomes harder and harder to overcome as DOM advances.
Presentation is also important. Staging concepts are real. The buyer needs to see extra room in every room; open space on every floor, every counter and in every closet. Trick lenses that make rooms look bigger than they are, tons of pictures and tons of copy may not be the best approach. Rather consider arousing a buyer’s interest, getting them in the house and letting them make a few discoveries of their own will have emotions trend in a much better direction.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
IN REAL ESTATE TRANSFERS
“Dan works to foster realistic expectations and provides steady counsel which helps balance the emotional side with the realistic.”
~Fruitport sellers and Coopersville buyers
“Dan shoots strait. He will discuss both best practices and common pitfalls. It is obvious that he wants the best for you.”
“Dan’s unparalleled honesty, market research and work ethic produce uncommon results.”
~a Grand Rapids commercial real estate broker
Photo by Gary W. Samples