Buyer Strategies For Different Types of Home Sales

This is a great time to buy a home, but not necessarily a "buyer's market."  Because of the current low prices and low interest rates, there are more buyers than properties available throughout Southern California.  Most buyers have to make several offers above list price before they are the lucky one!  Here are some strategies to give you a competitive edge.

First, you need to have full loan approval.  Vicki can refer you to a good lender who is honest and efficient.  Get all of your paperwork together -complete bank statements, pay stubs, and tax returns.  Ask for a copy of your credit report (I'll explain later.)  You don't stand a chance of getting an offer accepted without loan approval.   

SHORT SALES. The majority of properties on the market today are short sales.  It is advisable to find several properties that you're interested in and make multiple offers.  Then keep making offers until you're in escrow.  There is no risk to you.  You will probably be bidding against some of the same people on every property.  If the seller or bank chooses your offer but you've changed your mind, you simply withdraw your offer.  Most short sales take 2-5 months for bank approval, and many sales are never approved.  Then expect a 30-45 day escrow. 

STANDARD SALES - also called equity sales.  If the homeowner has been realistic in pricing the home (and sometimes they are not), these homes sell very quickly, and the price is also often bid up.  When viewing the home, it is important to be very pleasant to the owner if he/she is home.  They care about who will be living in the home that has so many memories for them.  They sometimes choose an offer based on who they like as much as who is paying the most.

FORECLOSURES - also call bank-owned or REO's (real estate owned).  These are coming up sparingly lately.  They often sell well above list price in 2-3 days.  You have to act fast.  Don't wait for the weekend!  Quite often, the bank will require that you get your loan preapproved through them.  This helps them to be sure that you're qualified, but they are also hoping to get your business.  You need to keep all of your paperwork together (everything you gave to your original lender plus their preapproval letter and your credit report) and be ready to fax or email it to their required representative. Hopefully, they will accept your credit report so that you don't have to have it run repeatedly.  Buying a home in this market it a lot of work - be prepared!  There is a lot of talk about the "shadow inventory" of the banks.  Are they holding on to properties so that the scarcity keeps prices up?  Does it take that long to fully process a foreclosure?  Will there be a lot more foreclosures on the market before long?  We'll see  . . .

Contact Vicki Stanton, 714-809-5787 or email