Episode 14: My Best Advice for Finding a Home to Buy in 2021
Below are the show notes and transcription for Episode 14.
Episode Transcript 014 – My Best Advice for Finding a Home to Buy in 2021
To access the show notes for today’s episode, and every other episode of the podcast, go to innovativeproperties.com/podcast and you can access the notes for every episode.
Welcome to another episode of the Agent On Duty podcast.
I am John Marion and I am the Agent On Duty.
This podcast is focused on the residential real estate industry and is for everyone who’s interested in real estate.
Wow! 2021 is shaping up to be one of the craziest years in the residential real estate industry ever.
Okay. Before we get started on today’s podcast, I want to just let you know that in our next episode, I’ll be talking about appraisals real estate appraisals, residential real estate appraisals. I had a question that was called in, and I’m going to answer that question and talk about appraisals.
Hotline Caller – Appraisals
Caller: Hey John, my name is Kevin. I live in Canton, Georgia, and I have a question for you. We’re thinking of listing our home and we don’t know what price we should list that. Should we go ahead and get an appraisal done or talk to an agent? What should, what should we do? Let me know what would be the best first move. Uh, and if we do an appraisal, even if after we talked to an agent, should we buy her on appraisal to see what I was at home by you with? Right. Thank you for your taking the time and appreciate everything you do. Okay, bye.
Okay, so thank you, Kevin, from Canton, Georgia. That’s a great question. Tune into the next episode when I will fully answer that question. It’s not a simple yes or no answer. It’s a great question. And I’m going to devote a lot of time to answering that question and explaining the variables of the answer to that question.
Okay. Now let’s get started with today’s episode. Homes have disappeared from the market. Nobody is selling demand is up. It’s a strong market, but most buyers can’t find a home to buy. This is episode 14 today. I’m going to give you my best advice for finding a home to buy in 2021, to access the show notes for today’s episode and access the links for more information, go to the show notes at innovativeproperties.com/podcast.
You can access today’s show notes for this episode and every other episode of the agent on-duty podcast. And while you’re there, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a question in the show notes, and I’ll be able to answer that question on a future podcast. You can also call my podcast hotline at (678) 288-4181 and ask any real estate related question, leave your voicemail. And I’ll answer your question in a future podcast.
And you can that phone number when you go to the show notes at innovativeproperties.com/podcast. So today I’m going to give you my best advice for finding a home to buy in 2021. This is a crazy market. Inventory is down. Uh, we’re getting multiple offers on homes. I’m hearing from agents across the country, similar situation, and just about every market that I’m hearing about. There’s not enough inventory and the new home builders cannot keep up with the demand and sellers are simply not listing their homes on the market, in the quantity that meets the demand of buyers. Uh, there’s plenty of buyers out there. It’s a strong market. Interest rates remain low, although they ticked up a little bit, uh, last week and, uh, they probably will go up throughout the rest of the year, but they are down at historically low interest rates. So it’s going to be a great time to buy throughout this year. Uh, but the challenge is finding a home to buy. How do you find a home to buy if you’re in the market, looking for a home, uh, you’re a frustrated and if you are planning to be in the market to look for a home, uh, I don’t want you to get more frustrated than you need to be. So I’m going to give you my best advice for finding a home in 2021, uh, under the current conditions that we are working with.
Real Estate Agent Agreement
One. Start a professional relationship with an agent now. And the reason this is important is because of, you’re just kind of dabbling in your approach and you’re inconsistent and you don’t really have a plan, but you want to buy a house and you’re just relying on your own efforts going online, seeing what’s available, just kind of randomly checking out the real estate websites, but you don’t have an agent that you have engaged in with a professional relationship. Uh, you are going to be extremely frustrated every time you see a house. If you try to call that listing agent, when it comes on the market, that agent is being inundated by phone calls from other agents, uh, who want to view the home with their clients, make an appointment, and then they will be submitting an offer. And if you’re, you don’t have an agent and you’re simply trying to call the agent that you see on the sign or that you see on the website, you are going to be super frustrated.
You need to get into a professional relationship with a real estate agent that will represent your best interests. And you can talk to the agent about that. Agents of course, make their money, make, um, collecting a real estate, a commission when they do a real estate transaction. And in cases you do not have to take extra money out of your pocket to pay the commission. The commission is normally built in to the sale of the home and the seller is bringing the money to the table to pay the real estate commissions on both sides. So don’t be worried about, uh, the possibility of you having to come up with a large sum of money to pay a real estate commission before you purchase the home. And it’s built into the price of the home. So you don’t have to pay extra money on top of the price of the home to make sure your agent who’s representing you is compensated properly.
The system works well for that. So you as a buyer are in a great position to get professional representation, and that is going to be the biggest single factor in reducing your frustration in finding a home to purchase in 2021. So I want you to, uh, find an agent and engage in a professional relationship with them. And what I mean by that is sign a document. Uh, it could be called a buyer brokerage agreement or a brokerage engagement agreement where that agent and that brokerage is representing you and you are the client. And that agent is looking out for your best interests. Uh, when you do that, that agent knows you’re a serious buyer and can give you the best advice and that agent will be available to you to act quickly. And I’ll explain why that’s important in just a few minutes.
Final Loan Approval or Cash Purchase
So this leads into my second piece of advice and that is get pre approved to purchase a home.
Now, your agent will advise you how to do this. If you don’t have a good connection with a mortgage lender, your real estate agent can guide you through the process of connecting with a good local, a good lender that does mortgage loans in the area you’re buying, or if you’ve already got that lined up. That’s great. The goal is not simply to get pre-qualified. A prequalification is a very low bar. You want to get pre-approved, but actually better than pre-approved. You want to get final approval and there are some lenders that will do that. They will thoroughly check out your financials and get you approved and final approval for the purchase of a home yet to be identified, there’ll be contingency on the loan that that you’ll have to find the home to buy, but they will be able to pre-approve you or give you a final approval for purchasing a home up to a particular price.
And when you get that final approval from the lender, you want to be very careful that you do nothing to change your financial situation. Don’t go out and even buy a bicycle. Uh, don’t do anything different, just, just don’t do anything financially, get, get that final approval work with your real estate agent. And when you identify a home that you want to put an offer in on a, you will have a great letter written by your lender that says you have final approval and your real estate agent may be able to submit the purchase contract offer with no finance contingency or one or two days finance contingency. So this is what you want. You want to put yourself in a position where you can reduce that finance contingency. And many times buyers submit offers with 45 days finance contingency or 30 days, and in a normal market.
That’s okay. 20 to 30 days. You know, w when I represent sellers, uh, in a normal market, that’s kind of a normal offer. It takes 20 to 30 days to get final approval. But now with the demand for homes, sellers are getting multiple offers on their homes, and they’ve got to sort through all the incoming offers with their agent. And one thing that we’ll quickly right off when they’re comparing, offered to offer to offer is that if you have a long contingency period, that that doesn’t make you look like a good buyer. And also if you have a only a prequalification and the lender still has to verify your income and your financials and, and all this stuff, uh, that does not put you in a position of being the best qualified buyer that is out there. Uh, again, we’re getting multiple offers on homes and you’re competing with other buyers.
So you want to have final approval to purchase the home from your line, with your lender. You want that final approval. Now, I don’t know if all lenders do this. I’ve worked with lenders that do it. A lot of loan officers don’t think in those terms, they just think, Oh, we’re very efficient, you know, and we could process the loan, no problem in two weeks or three weeks, uh, that’s fine. But do the work now ask your lender to do the work now and verify every single item that they need to verify, get through underwriting and get that final approval, uh, for your loan. And that will reduce your frustration. You’ll increase your chances exponentially of having your offer if it’s a good offered. Otherwise with the other terms that you put in, uh, that will put your offer at a very, um, very high on the list.
And, you know, probably will be the best offer if you can do that. Um, additionally and a step better might be to go with a cash offer, and most buyers cannot offer cash on a, uh, to purchase a home, but what you can do and ask your real estate agent about this, a lot of agents may not how to do this, or have good connections where this can be done, but there are loan products out there that you can be qualified to make a cash purchase. And it’s basically money that you’ll borrow for a day, and it enable you to make a cash offer. And then additionally, to that, working with this financial institution or another traditional mortgage, uh, company, you can line up a more traditional mortgage loan on the backend that can be completed after you make the cash purchase. And sometimes that happens the same day.
So this is a technique that, um, that I’ve learned in the real estate investment world, uh, something like this can be done for a traditional home buyer. It’s not something that most home buyers have even considered or thought about, but that’s my best advice. Ask your real estate agent, how can I make a cash offer? Do, how can I get access to cash to make a cash offer, even if I’m using the cash only for one day, uh, or simultaneously the day of closing, sometimes it’s called flash cash. Anyway, that’s, that’s a little bit more of a sophisticated, um, method of making your best offer. I think for most buyers, uh, just get final approval from a traditional mortgage lender, and you should be okay with that. But if you want to make that extra step and make a cash offer, uh, do some research and find out about that.
As a matter of fact, I’m going to leave a link in the show notes. Uh, I’m not sure where it’s going, where that link will go. I’ll have to give that some thought because I want to do something, um, in this regard that makes a lot of sense to you as a home buyer, wherever you are in the country, uh, that I provide a link so that you can access more information about the use of a one day money or flash cash to make a cash purchase, and then convert it, or, or do a, um, a traditional mortgage the next day or the same day. Uh, so that could be done. Look for that link in the show notes at innovativeproperties.com/podcast.
Go View Homes Immediately
Advice. Number three is to be available to view homes immediately and sign contracts right away. And this dovetails in with you having a professional relationship with an agent. So when a home hits the market on day one, as soon as you get notified, you and your agent get notified that this home has come up for sale, uh, your agent needs to make an appointment right away, and you need to meet that agent at the home right away, view the home, and then be ready to sign the contract. Almost the agent may have it filled out on, uh, on a hard copy. They can do that, but a lot of it’s really done, um, with electronic signatures. So your agent can have a contract, mostly prefilled out once, you know, you want to make the offer, they can fire up their laptop, finished completing it. And yes, a laptop normally is better.
Those of you that, that can use a tablet or something to do a contract. That’s great. I prefer a laptop just because some of the features in the contract a much easier to fill out, uh, when you’re doing a full purchase contract on a laptop, regardless of how your agent does that, you can do that on the trunk of the car, uh, or in the car or whatever, right there in front of the property, uh, or at the property. And you can sign that contract electronically and get it submitted right away. And so that is dependent on your availability. If you are a buyer in this market and you are only available on the weekends or after six o’clock in the evenings, uh, you are going to limit your opportunities to get your offer in quickly and in a competing market, whether we have multiple offers that buyers are submitting, uh, it’s really tough if you need a day or two or three notice to get out to a property.
So if you’re in that situation, you need to really think carefully about how you can leverage your time and make yourself more available to meet your agent right away. The day of, uh, you know, within an hour, if possible of the house, hitting the market, that you have an appointment and you’re out there looking at the home, uh, again, if you don’t do that, uh, just for, I’ll give you an example. One of the agents on my team submitted an offer recently on a home. And the first day on the market, they, the seller received 50 offers, five, zero 50 offers. And, uh, the agent on my team was able to submit an offer. It wasn’t accepted, but these are the situations that you will be dealing with when you are, uh, purchasing a home. So you’ve, there’s a lot of buyers out there and they are ready to look at the home right now.
And so when you see the home that you want, you need to be right there. And then with your best offer with no financing contingency, uh, because you’ve been, you’ve received final approval, or you can give a cash offer, your offer will be the best and follow your agent’s advice regarding the purchase price. In some situations you may have to offer more than what the house is listed for, unless they are trying to push the price up to the highest limit. Uh, you can make that decision in consultation with your agent, that you have a professional relationship with that you’ve already been engaged with them prior to seeing the home. Uh, so all of these three things are my best advice to you to find a home to purchase in 2021. And it all hinges on you beginning and having that relationship, that professional relationship with a licensed real estate agent.
Now, I don’t always push this. If you listen to my other podcast episodes I do talk about getting an agent, but this, but I have a greater sense of urgency that you get an agent. If you’re a serious buyer this year you can certainly, you can purchase real estate without an agent. That’s fine. There’s nothing wrong or illegal or any, you know, no red flags about that on its own, but for most buyers, you should have an agent anyway. And in this particular market I have a real sense of urgency and telling you, you must have a professional relationship with an agent. If you’re a serious home buyer who’s competing with other buyers in this low inventory market.
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