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Business & Merchant

By Roger Dolanch, Broker/Owner

These Helpful tips for home buying come from Roger Dolanch.

Get pre-approved, not pre-qualified! —In the past, agents would recommend that buyers get pre-qualified by a lender. This means that you spend a few minutes on the phone with a lender who asks you a few questions. Based on the answers, the lender pronounces you pre-qualified and gives you a ballpark figure of how much and what type of a loan you should be able to get.

The way to make the strongest offer today is to get pre-approved. This happens after all information has been checked and verified. You are actually APPROVED for the loan and the only loose end is the appraisal on the property. This process takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on your situation.

List Your Property First, Then Find the House – If you have a house to sell, ideally you would sell it before finding the house you want to buy! In order to do that, you need to list it. To sell quickly in order to get your perfect house, you may settle for less than if you had more time. The bottom line is that buying before selling might cost you thousands of dollars.

If you're concerned that there is not a house on the market for you, then go on a window-shopping trip. You can identify possible houses and locations without falling in love with a specific house. If you feel confident after that then put your house on the market.

Play the Features Game — Before house-hunting, make a list of things you want in the new place. Then make a list of the things you don't want. You can use this list as a guide to rate each property that you see. This helps avoid confusion and keeps things in perspective when you're comparing dozens of homes.

Keep in mind the difference between style and substance while you are house hunting. The substance consists of things that cannot be changed such as the location, view, size of lot, noise in the area, school district, and floor plan. The style represents easily changed surface finishes like carpet, wallpaper, color, and window coverings. Buy the house with good substance, because the style can always be changed to match your tastes.

Listen to Your Agent — Your agent should show you everything available that meets your requirements. You don't want to rush into a decision on a house until you feel that you've seen enough to make the best selection for you. However, you do need to trust your agent’s judgment about the current market. They will know whether you need to move quickly to put your offer in.

Read Ads With Open Eyes – Ads are written to make the property sound inviting. Issues such as traffic noise, power lines, or litigation in the community are left out. What's not mentioned in the ad may be more important than what is in the ad. For this reason, remember that the person writing the ad is representing the seller and not the buyer!

Hidden Inventory – Did you know that many homes are sold without a sign ever going up or ad ever being put out? These great deals go to those people who are committed to working with one agent. When an agent hears of a great buy, who do you think he's going to call? His contracted client! So to get the best buy on a property, you should hire your own agent to represent your own best interest and stick with him or her.

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