My husband and I will be relocating around late August to an entirely different state. Our summer job commitments are such that, at least until *right before mid-August* we can only visit our soon-to-be town for around 5 days (including weekend), and that visit is next week. As our moving costs are covered by our jobs, we are really tired of renting for years in this expensive big city (looking forward to moving to a smaller town), and the housing market is nice right now, we are *really* wanting to make an offer during our visit next week. Is this reasonable, given the time limit and the following?
We made a list of about 25 houses that we plan to see with our real estate agent and have a few pre-approved loans that are about $30K above the *asking price* range of most of those houses -- we want to make offers even lower. If we show the seller our loan pre-approval (to be taken seriously), then won't that affect our bargaining?
Should we plan another trip this summer?
Great responses already, JHox, J5, and euro_son: I see that (1) at least my husband should be there at inspection (he understands plumbing, heating, house stuff a lot better than I do) (2) the high pre-approval gives *us* the power (3) pre-approval stuff is handled through our buying agent (4) in case we don't love any of the houses, we go again.
One thing is that we do "sort of" have a buying agent. We only communicated a few times, and we have some doubts about her efficiency (we are not sure if she just makes up lists at the last minute since our own lists are so much more thorough). It is possible that she didn't take us seriously until she got our pre-approval a few days ago, despite that the only reason I first contacted her is that she was recommended by a colleague. My husband says my voice sounded too young. Sorry to bug with another question, but: How bad would it be if we check out another recommended realtor in the meantime?
You shouldn't be showing the seller anything. Do you have a realtor? You show your approval to YOUR realtor (the buying agent), then she/he will be able to negotiate something with the selling agent. Your realtor should NOT be showing the selling agent your approval.
Can't you just have your bank/mortgage company write an approval for a lower amount, even though you've been approved for more? They'll understand why.
As for the inspection/closing. You do not need to physically be there for the closing. I've seen many of them done via fax.
Your inspection you do not NEED to be there, but you should be. The inspector doesn't just say "pass" or "fail"; he teaches you about the house! He doesn't know what you'll consider acceptable or not... Maybe you won't mind hiring a plumber to do a simple $60 repair when you first move in. Maybe you won't mind having a simple $10,000 repair. What if he needs to show you where in the basement the cold water turns off, or things about the heating or A/C duct valves.
If my inspector tried to write down all of the things he physically showed me, it would be a ridiculous report that I'd need to have in PDF with color graphics. They typically don't make those for you; they show you how your house works.
And be certain the inspector is not recommended or working with the buying Delaware selling agent, or anyone else involved.
Get a realtor.
Tell realtor you might not be present in person for the closing.
Show realtor approval so they know you are serious and can have a loan.
Get a lower approval written up if needed.
Put in bid.
Hopefully get accepted.
GO TO THE INSPECTION.
Approve or not.
Set closing date.
Do what your realtor says....
About realtors; you can have as many as you want! Just don't let them know too much about each other, or they'll want you to sign something saying they're your only realtor.
There are few things you need to clarify for us; - was there a financing contingency on the contract ? Usually there is one on each real estate transaction unless you are paying all cash. The financing contingency requires you to secure a loan wiithin certain time frame. It means you need to get a commitment letter from a letter. I dont know how long you have been under contract for this property but i am suprised you went this far in the process without a commitment. - what type of loan did you apply for? Was it a FHA loan? If it is, the lender check your credit 2 or 3 days before closing and drop you like a hot potato. They are requied to do so and they disclose this when you first apply. They just want to make sure you didnt go out and buy an expensive car before the closing. - do you think there were any financial info that you might have overlooked when you applied for it? If thats the case they should have given you what they discovered. If you can give us some clarification on these items, we may understand the situation better. I am sorry that you went thru such a bad experience
You're pre-approval can be one of the greatest bargaining aspects you have! This is telling the agent that "we've got the money, do you want the sale." As long as the approval covers it, it's the dealing that is going to make the price drop (think about it, it wont go up from the initial price), and that depends on your offers. Go low, they come back higher, meet in the middle, etc.
as far as the trips, a home is a big investment, and a major one. If you dont find the perfect fit for you on the first trip, take the time to the next time around. It will be worth it. You dont want to put all this money into a hasty investment.
Your agent should communicate with the selling agent/party that you are indeed pre-approved for the amount for which you are offering...this is almost a requirement nowadays, it doesn't affect your bargaining to any real degree, the seller can either reject the offer or negotiate
I've bought 3 houses, each one I had only TWO days to shop and decide...it can be done! :)
ABSOLUTELY be there at the inspection and closing, especially the inspection, some closings can be done without you there if you pre-sign the papers, but for sure show up for inspection, this will allow you to get a first hand account of the problems and how to go about fixing them
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