First-Time Homebuyer Tips: Submit a Fair Offer on a House

Submitting a “fair” offer on your dream home may seem difficult, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. Lucky for you, we’re here to help you determine what it takes to submit a fair offer on a home that increases the likelihood that a home seller will accept your proposal without delay.

Now, let’s take a look at three tips to ensure that a first-time homebuyer can submit a fair offer on a house.

1. Study the Housing Market Closely

Are you preparing to submit an offer in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? Ultimately, the current state of the housing market may help you define a fair proposal based on the sector’s conditions.

For example, a buyer’s market frequently includes an abundance of top-notch residences and a shortage of homebuyers. In this market, you may be able to submit an offer at or below a home seller’s initial asking price and receive an instant “Yes.”

On the other hand, a seller’s market usually features a shortage of high-quality houses and an abundances of homebuyer. As such, you may need to submit an offer at or above a home seller’s initial asking price if you want to secure your dream residence.

For first-time homebuyers who analyze the housing market closely, they should be able to differentiate between a buyer’s market and a seller’s market. That way, a first-time homebuyer can determine fair market value for a residence and submit an offer that corresponds to it.

2. Evaluate Your Homebuying Budget

There is no need to overspend for a house, regardless of the current housing market’s conditions. But with a homebuying budget in hand, a first-time homebuyer can resist the urge to pay too much to acquire an outstanding residence.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage often provides a great option for those who are uncertain about how much they can spend on a home. This budget will enable a homebuyer to narrow his or her home search based on the finances at his or her disposal.

Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions to learn about all of your mortgage options. Then, you can select a mortgage that matches your budget and move one step closer to acquiring a terrific residence.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a must-have for a first-time homebuyer, and for good reason. This housing market professional can teach you about the intricacies of buying a house and help you submit a fair offer on a residence any time you choose.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will guide you along each stage of the homebuying journey and help you overcome any potential pitfalls along the way. And if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them at your convenience.

Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and by doing so, a first-time homebuyer should have no trouble submitting a fair offer on a residence.

Buyers May Lose Out

According to Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtor’s chief economist, the spring housing market is starting off strong. “If activity is sustained near present levels, existing-home sales will see their best performance in five years. The NAR expects sales to rise between 7% and 10% in 2012.

What does that mean? Strong demand has melted away inventory in some housing markets with investors and first-time buyers vying for bargains, homes are being snatched up as soon as they hit the market.

Prices may not be shooting up, but homes are once again selling at a rapid clip in many markets, draining the multiple-listing services and turning up the competitive pressure on buyers. Multiple offers and bidding wars are back.

Lately if a buyer is not there the first day a home comes on the market, it’s gone. When a quality property that is priced accurately comes on the market, it’s not going to sit around. In some areas the competitive environment has already begun to nudge prices up slightly.

Bargain prices and historically low interest rates are bringing buyers back. The belief among buyers is that the housing market has already turned the corner and that there won’t be a better time to land an affordable home.

National Association of Realtors President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc. in Miami, says market conditions are improving as supply and demand have become more balanced.

Home Buyer Beware

Buying a home can be an exciting time and there is no better time to buy and take advantage of low mortgage rates and prices. Buyer beware, just because it is a good deal you still need to do your due diligence before signing on the dotted line. Here are some potential purchase pitfalls to look for:

Do-it-yourself anything

Does the home you are purchasing have a great finished basement, new deck or three season addition? Check with city or town hall to make sure the work was done to code and the proper permits were pulled. Things not done to code can be expensive to fix and can ultimately lower the home’s value.

Structural problems

Structural problems are a big red flag. Have a professional home inspection and if need be have a structural inspection on the home. Things to look for include doors and windows that don’t open and close properly and cracks along the foundation. Some cracks may be harmless and normal settling but typically the bigger the crack, the bigger the problem. Structural problems are usually a deal killer as they can be very costly to fix.

Insect damage can be part of a much bigger problem. Signs of excessive termite or pest damage does not tell the whole story and often there is unseen damage inside the walls. This may require a special pest inspection to determine if the home’s studs have been compromised thus affecting the home’s structure.

Water damage

Another potential problem is water damage. Water damage can cause the failure of the foundation. Water needs to be always draining away from the house. Look for moisture or water stains in the basement. This may indicate a drainage issue. Also be sure to check if the home is in a flood zone. Water in the home can also cause mold. Mold can lead to many serious health issues and is expensive and time consuming to remove. Mold should always be removed by a professional specializing in mold mitigation.

Electrical work

Do-it-yourself electrical work or antiquated electrical can be a recipe for disaster. When looking at homes be wary of electrical work that has been added on over the years. If the home has an addition make sure to ask if the current electrical system is enough to handle the additional square footage. Be wary of older knob and tube wiring or aluminum wiring this can be very expensive to replace.

A professional home inspector should always be able to help point out potential pitfalls in a home before you purchase it. Never skimp on peace of mind. To find a qualified home inspector you can check with the National Association of Home Inspectors.

A Great Way to Find That Perfect Home

If you are looking for a piece of property that you and your family can call home, there are a few important factors to consider beforehand. First, shopping for homes does not have to be difficult if you do it online. One way to do that is by using the “Search Properties” link above. It will help you to find the perfect home in the area of your choice. You can also Sign up for “New Listings Email Alerts” that will email you every day with new listings, price changes, back on the market and open houses. You will have the ability to search the MLS and get the addresses of properties, view full listings sheet, show where the property is on a map, etc. You can keep the homes you like in a saved folder to view at anytime or email them to a friend or colleague.

This website also will allow you to sign up for MLS Property Messenger which will alert you of a new property as soon as it comes on the market. Be the first to know about new listings or price drops with the great service.

In the end, you and your family want to be as comfortable as possible in your new home, and so it is important that you find the perfect environment for your property. Once you begin shopping for homes, try to search for property that is located in a good area, and more importantly, the property should be close to your work and to your children’s schools, as this in turn will ensure that commuting does not take too much out of your time. Do not focus on pricing alone, as this will limit your search. Instead, focus on how much room you are looking for, and make sure that these rooms are spacious enough so that no one feels crowded. Pricing can always be negotiated down the road, and you will find that if you negotiate a price on a home that you truly do like, then you will feel that you got a great deal. In the end, you and your family want to feel comfortable in your home, so it is important to begin your search on the right foot.