The Right Lender Can Help Win in a Situation with Multiple Offers

This is the final part of a three part serious on how to win in a situation with multiple offers. 

Reasons why NOT to use a big box lender in a multiple offer situation

In situations with multiple offers, if one buyer is getting a mortgage and another buyer is paying all cash, the seller may not necessarily accept the all cash offer. The goal of the seller is to sell the property. The seller, with the help of the seller’s agent, will want to accept the best offer to get to the closing table. I have already discussed the terms of an offer can win against multiple offers and how a Realtor can provide an advantage against multiple offers. However, if a buyer uses the wrong mortgage lender, it could cost time, money, and the home.

With a Variety of Mortgage Lenders, Having the Right One against Multiple Offers is a MustWhen I write “the wrong mortgage lender,” I don’t mean one lender is bad and to stay away. In a competitive market, where inventory is low, having a reliable, easily accessible mortgage lender can mean getting to the closing table. The low rates offered by big box lenders can be very attractive but the underwriting guidelines are strict and unyielding. By big box lenders, I mean Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, etc. and other large banks who do not keep their loans in house. When a buyer gets a loan from one of these banks, the bank in turns sells the loan to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. In order to sell the loan, the loan has to follow certain guidelines. The process to follow these guidelines is painstakingly slow and, with larger mortgage lenders, buyers do not have one person handling every part of the mortgage process. Our buyers have used a variety of lenders but the smoothest transactions by far were when our buyers have used either Guaranteed Rate or First Republic. In fact, one deal was saved when Guaranteed Rate stepped in after Bank of America could not approve the loan.

Boutique Mortgage Lender Guaranteed Rate Can Help Win Against Multiple Offers

  • Underwriting

Due to the strict underwriting, big box lenders have had to delay a closing date for some buyers if the situation is unique in some way (not FHA approved, appraised lower than asking price, the buyer is self employed, or from out of the country, etc.). As I mentioned before, the seller’s goal is to sell the property and the seller’s agent will help sort through the offers to find the one to get to the closing table and offers the best terms. The seller’s agent and, in this age of information, the seller know big box lenders are more tedious to deal with. If another offer has an offer letter from a mortgage lender the seller’s agent and the seller know will get the job done, that offer will hold more weight.

  • Inflexible Processing Time

A buyer who submits an offer with flexible terms will be attractive to the seller. But in order for a buyer to have flexible terms, the buyer needs to know what options the lender can offer. With a lender such as Bank of America, a buyer would not be able to offer a closing date less than 6 weeks from acceptance.

  • No Waiving Mortgage Contingency Option

If the buyer wanted to use a larger lender, waiving the mortgage contingency would be an incredibly risky move on the buyer’s part. The property would not likely be able to be pre-approved by a larger lender prior to submitting an offer, so the buyer would have to hope the property is approved afterward which could take weeks and leave the buyer’s deposit vulnerable. Smaller mortgage lenders are more involved with the local community and know the real estate market specific to their area. This benefits the buyer because the lender will be able to anticipate any problems which could affect the loan or the lender will able to pre-approve a property in as fast as four days.

Situations with multiple offers may not continue to happen as consistently as is now the case, but rare and unique properties will always have more than one interested party. When a buyer has to have a certain property, who the buyer uses and what terms the buyer offers can make the property home.

Posted in Buy Property, Mortgage, Real Estate Sales Market, Real Estate Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Buying a House? Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage First

Get Pre-Approved Before BuyingI’ve written before about the home buying process and the steps buyers need to take to become home owners. Yet I still see and speak with many buyers that do not have their pre-approval letter or have not spoken with a lender. In a buyer’s market (more listings for sale than buyers) or a “normal” market where not every listing goes under-agreement after the first open house, I could understand moving at a slower pace. Now is not that market. Now you are running with the bulls. If you do not want to get trampled, first – don’t wear red, and second – speak with a lender and get pre-approved.

This is not just in my corner of the real estate world. This is true all over the nation (with few exceptions). Last year sales of occupied homes were the highest they have been in five years, however the inventory is at a 13 year low. Which is prompting a need for construction of new homes and condo buildings. August saw the lowest supply of new construction homes on the market since 1963 at 143,000 units. Last month it rose to 150,000. At this rate, it would take a little over four months to exhaust all the supply of new construction off the market.

The lenders we work with are professional, responsive, and in some cases, superheros. It takes little to no time at all to get a pre-approval letter. In this market, if you want a chance to buy a home you want, have a pre-approval letter before you see it. If you find a home first and then try to get everything in order, you can lose out. If you plan to get a mortgage and do not submit a pre-approval letter, sellers will consider your application incomplete. And if multiple offers are submitted, your offer will end up at the bottom of the pile, behind those with a pre-approval letter and buyers paying cash.

We want to help you put the strongest offer forward, so you can secure the property. If you need the recommendation of lenders to speak with, we would be happy to provide the names of those lenders we feel are the best in the business.

Posted in Buy Property, Mortgage, Real Estate Sales Market, Real Estate Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Buying Power Affects Buying and Selling Property

Buying power in real estate is directly related to interest rates for a mortgage. Before a buyer should start searching for property to buy, the buyer will want to get pre-approved by a lender. The mortgage lender will determine what a buyer can afford in terms of purchase price based on what the buyer can afford in monthly payments after looking at income, other debt, etc.

The higher the interest rate for a loan, the less the buyer can afford to buy in terms of the purchase price. For example, a 1% increase in interest rates is equal to 10% of the purchase price of a property. As illustrated in the chart below, if a buyer could afford the monthly payments for a $400,000 home at 3.5% interest, at 4.5% interest a buyer would only be able to afford a $360,000 home. Depending on the real estate sales market you are looking in, this will change your buying options drastically.

Interest Rate vs Loan Payment

 

Freddie Mac History

With interest rates where they are, buyers have more money to spend on property. However, many potential sellers have asked me if they should hold on to their property and wait until prices go up to put their listing on the market. No one can predict what will happen next year or even a few months from now, but the current circumstances make now a great time to sell property. Low inventory means low competition. Historic low mortgage rates means strong buying power. No time in recent history has seen these two factors in play together. Even Warren Buffet has said we will not see buying power at this level for another lifetime.

 

Interest Rates from 2012-2013Even though the interests rates are ticking back up, it may be a couple years before they are back up to 5% or 7%. But I can guarantee if one seller I spoke with is thinking about holding on to their property to sell next year, there are a lot more thinking the same thing. Simply put, it is supply and demand. Right now, it is a seller’s market which is getting sellers multiple offers over asking price after a week on the market. The limited supply of available properties on the real estate sales market and an excess of buyers is pushing up the prices. Next year, if everyone decides to sell, it could become a buyers market with sellers hoping to get close to their asking price. When the supply increases buyers will take their time to look around and even under-bid.

Contact us to assess your individual situation and what the best strategy is in the current market.

Posted in Mortgage, Real Estate Sales Market, Real Estate Tips, Sell property | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Home Buying Process Simplified

Condo on Boston's Real Estate Sales MarketBuying a home can be the biggest purchase a person can make in their lifetime. For first-time home buyers this can be the most overwhelming and stressful experience they could go through. Here is a general breakdown of the steps you need to take to buy your home.

The first step is to figure out how much can you afford. The most common formula used to figure out how much to spend on your home purchase is equal 3x your annual income. Keep in mind, your mortgage payments together with your other monthly bills should not exceed more that 36% of you monthly income.

Next, you will want to save for a down payment. Depending on the loan you qualify for, you will need anywhere between 3%-30% for the down payment.

Once you have your price in mind and a down payment saved, get a pre-approval letter. This is incredibly important to have before you start your home search. You can get a pre-approval letter from any bank, but you are not locked into an agreement to get your mortgage from that bank. Having the letter can mean the difference between getting your dream home or getting lost in a pile of other offers.

Understand that not only will you need the down payment for your mortgage but closing costs and the other costs that come up in buying a home such as lawyer fees, inspection costs, etc.

Once you have the price and monies ready, begin a list of wants verses needs for you home. Do you really need walk-in closets? How important is a fireplace? Is size or location the top priority?

Now you will want to start talking to Realtors. Make it clear to your Realtor what your price range is and what you want and need in your new home. There are many different reasons to choose a Realtor: their experience, your past relationship with them, accessibility, etc. The most important factor is an understanding of what you want and for you to understand what your real estate agent will do for you.

Now that you have your priorities and a Realtor to help you navigate the real estate market, start seeing places in person that fit your criteria. Don’t feel discouraged if or when your lists of wants and needs change. You may go into this process with one idea of what you want and then you end up with something completely different.

Buying Property and signing PaperworkOnce you find the home for you, talk to your Realtor about making an offer. Your Realtor will explain what is the best price to offer based on a comparative market analysis. This will show you what comparable properties have recently sold for. Whether it is a buyer’s market or seller’s market, listen to your Realtor and make sure you understand the data they are presenting you. The comparative sales indicate market value for the given property which will dictate the best amount to offer. Your Realtor will help guide you through the contingency addendum. The contingency addendum protects the buyer’s interest and deposit money and allows the buyer to re-negotiate or withdrawal the offer based on the results of inspections preformed during the due diligence period. It’s important to do your due diligence about the house you are trying to buy but the more unnecessary contingencies you put in your offer, the less attractive your offer becomes to a seller. If you check off any contingency, you are not only costing yourself more money by having these tests done, but you are inadvertently telling the seller that you want as many ways out of buying the property as you can get. Many sellers would prefer to go with another buyer or even leave the property on the market instead of accepting an offer they think will fall through.

After your offer is accepted this is where the paperwork starts and lawyers become involved. This is when you actually preform your due diligence and have your potential home inspected and tested. If everything comes back to your satisfaction, time to sign the Purchase and Sale (P&S) agreement and to start choosing paint colors and furniture placement.

If you have any questions or are ready to start the process of buying a home, contact the Realtors of Matthew and Alisa Group Real Estate.

Subscribe to our real estate newsletters

Posted in Buy Property, First Home, Mortgage, Real Estate Tips, Realtor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment