Shopping for a home is exciting. You spend time looking at amazing photos of homes, comparing one to another, finding ideas for inspiration, dreaming about your future life in those same rooms. You can see your kids swinging under the tree and conversations over cups of coffee shared among friends in the kitchen.
Once you get deep into the thick of home shopping, you might be surprised by a deep details within home listings, of which you were unaware (but reveal lots of valuable info)!
Here are 10 things you never knew about home shopping in Boston.
There are Secrets in the Listing Dates
New listings get the most attention, especially for the first open house. After just 2-3 weeks, though, a listing may become “stale.” This means that interest drops. You can start to read patterns of when home prices will drop based on their listing dates, or you can make an offer on a stale listing below list price.
Getting Pre-Approved = A Better Buyer
Sellers often consider offers from buyers who they confidently feel will be able to execute the transaction. In hot sellers’ markets like we have right now, proof of financing is a must. This means that a buyer can get the loan funded. When a seller sees a pre-approval letter, they know the lender has reviewed the buyer’s credit, debt, and income, and verified everything to approve the loan. Pre-qualified is different, and is merely a high-altitude overview.
People Pay More Than The Listing Price
Properties are often strategically priced to get more eyes on the home and thus more offers, many of which can be for thousands over asking. That listing price that you see is often simply a starting point for your negotiations.
Loan Approval Can Be Rescinded
Sellers can get over-confident as escrow progresses and prematurely start to plan the move in. Do not open new lines of credit while you are under agreement and before your loan closes! This can adversely affect the calculations that the loan officers will again verify before finalizing the loan. Tempting sources of financing such as new credit cards for furniture stores offering 0% down terms, or opening a Home Depot or Lowe’s credit card for home improvements – don’t do it yet. Many loan funding is pulled the day before escrow closes because when the lender re-runs credit to finalize everything, he will see a ding on credit and possible new debt that throws the debt-to-income numbers out of whack. Just wait an extra week until the loan is funded.
Inspections are Negotiation Points
Buyers often become sad when inspection reports show them everything wrong with the home they are buying. Honestly, that’s part of the goal of an inspection. Solid information about the property. Inspections should be viewed as a negotiation point for realtors to go to the sellers and ask for price reductions or credits. It is possible the seller will fix items if they really want to sell the property without much difficulty and the reality is most things are minor. Buyers should happily take any credits offered, especially if they are handy and can change a toilet flush handle on their own.
Buyers Don’t Pay Agents
Don’t shy away from finding a great buyers agent who will work for you from the start of looking for a home to closing escrow. Don’t worry – you don’t need to pay them. Agent commissions are paid from the sale proceeds given to the seller. Out of professional courtesy for everyone involved, just be sure to disclose right from the first showing that you are already working with a real estate agent.
Location Has Micro-Locations
Everyone is always looking for a perfect location that is safe and in a good school district or near things they do. Great! But just because you hear something about Boston doesn’t mean every part of that city is bad or good. There are good and bad pockets in all major cities. Consider the neighborhood, and sometimes the street, not just the zip code.
New Construction Still Needs Inspections
Boy is this true. We haven’t seen a new construction deal that didn’t have items added to the final punch list after a home inspection.
Buying a brand new home where the paint hasn’t even dried – don’t waive those inspections! There are still issues that inspectors will find – usually minor items that need to be fixed. But if the inspector finds a major issue because something wasn’t built to code, you’ll need to know that before you commit.
Real Estate Has Seasons
Eager to find a home but can’t find one to buy? Got that pre-approval letter with no place to make an offer? Believe it or not, these aren’t uncommon problems in the real estate market. Summers tend to be busier seasons with the good weather making shopping better and summer vacations making relocation more manageable. Seasons slow for holidays when people don’t want prospects walking around the Christmas tree. That being said, buyers and sellers toward the end of the year tend to be more legitimate and eager to make a deal.
Ready to learn more about buying a house in Boston? We can help! Send us a message, or give us a call today! (617) 657-9811
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The property listing data and information set forth herein were provided to MLS Property Information Network, Inc. from third party sources, including sellers, lessors and public records, and were compiled by MLS Property Information Network, Inc. The property listing data and information are for the personal, non commercial use of consumers having a good faith interest in purchasing or leasing listed properties of the type displayed to them and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties which such consumers may have a good faith interest in purchasing or leasing. MLS Property Information Network, Inc. and its subscribers disclaim any and all representations and warranties as to the accuracy of the property listing data and information set forth herein.