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The Real Estate Story: Six Secrets To Buy

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With more home buyers in the market than homes available, many families are having a tough time.

They’re often getting outbid by investors or buyers with cash, so what can you do?

One expert is sharing some secrets to help make your offer more attractive.

“My husband keeps telling me don’t fall in love with a house, I didn’t quite get that at first,” said Kimberly Escobedo, Mother of Two.

For the past two years, Kimberly and her family have been outbid four times, even though they’re offering cash.

“It is a very difficult market and there’s usually multiple offers on most homes,” said Mona Gergen, Dunnigan Realtors.

Kimberly’s Realtor, Gergen, says competition from investors, willing to pay above the asking price, is making it tough for families.

But there are some things you can do to sweeten your offer.

No 1: Get a desktop underwriting approval, not just a pre-approval letter, from your lender.

“What it means is that a lender or loan broker will actually enter your information into a computer,” said Gergen.

This will also show your FICO scores and if they’re good, the home seller will see them.

No. 2:  Shorten your loan contingency period.

“In the standard contract, it gives you 17 days to do a home inspection. However, most people are probably shortening their contingency periods to maybe 10, 12 days to make their offer more competitive,” said Gergen.

Before doing this, be sure your lender will give you your loan on time. Otherwise, you could lose your good faith deposit.

No. 3: Remove your appraisal contingency but only do this if you have extra cash to put down.

“If the appraisal comes in at $240,000 and the buyer has offered $270,000 for the house, the buyer may have to come in with an additional $30,000 dollars for the down payment,” said Gergen.

No. 4: If you have a good loan broker, have them call the selling agent to tell them how qualified you are.

No. 5: Write a personal letter to the seller.

“Sometimes I have my clients take a picture of their family or pets and include it with the offer,” said Gergen.

No. 6: If the seller is home, get to know them.

“They really connect with my clients, they just like them, I’ve been told they’ve been chosen because of that,” said Gergen.

Another option… buy new construction, something Fair Oaks resident, Mark Smathers, is looking into because there’s less competition.

“I like having all the cabinets the way I want them, the countertops the way I want them, the hardwood floors if I want it. I don’t have to remodel or do any changes, it’s already there,” said Mark.

While the market may be ultra competitive with historically low interest rates, Gergen still thinks it’s a great time to buy.

“I would just encourage buyers not to give up, understand they may have to write six or seven offers but eventually, they’ll find a home,” said Gergen.

As for Kimberly, the search goes on.

“We plan on looking until we find the right one, we’re hoping the market will level out a bit, and that more houses will be released… that by waiting, although hard, we’ll find that perfect house,” said Kimberly.

Another thing that may sound obvious… make sure your offer is complete and legible.

Realtor Mona Gergen says often, they get illegible offers and those offers will likely get overlooked.

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