Everyone knows the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Few know the second part, which says, “But if you yank his neck, you can get his head a little closer to the stream.” Here’s your home-buying neck being yanked.
In the current real estate market, in most price points, a home on the market for more than a few weeks is either overpriced or needs a lot of work. There are exceptions, but sellers seem to be in the driver’s seat. That’s not my opinion, that’s reality [See Real Estate Watch, Page 17]. If a house goes on the market today, there’s a decent chance there will be one or more offers on it tomorrow.
As a buyer, you need to be smart, quick, and ready. Call it ducks in a row, arrows in your quiver, or the preferred military term that cannot be printed… you get my drift.
First things first, get prequalified for your mortgage by a lender. This means having in your paws an Arizona Association of Realtors Prequalification Form, properly filled out by your lender. This doesn’t mean an email approval from some online lender or your uncle George. Trust me, this form could mean the difference between having your offer accepted, or getting no further than the sidewalk.
I’m probably going to ruffle a few feathers in my real estate flock but, especially in this current market, you need a full-time real estate agent who knows the market that you desire. If a house comes on the market at 9 a.m. and your agent can’t show it to you until 6 o’clock that night, too bad, so sad. Also, an agent with long tentacles in the market may know of a home or two that’s about to come on the market.
I’ll save the ins and outs of the actual transaction for another column. For now, if you’re serious about buying a home in our area, get your ducks and arrows ready and prepare to move quickly.