If You Found a Home Today, Would You be Ready?

Tim Lucas
Military VA Loan editor

by Ed Kunkel Jr., military Veteran and Realtor®

First things first, are you pre-approved with a lender?  In this market, you are wasting your time and everyone else’s if you’re looking at homes before doing this.  It’s not enough to think, “I will have no problem getting an approval, I have great credit, I have money put away, etc.”

But then it happens – You walk into the perfect home that you weren’t even looking for, and you rush to get your paperwork in order for your pre-approval and try to secure an offer on the home before someone else does.

Check VA home loan rates.

And…. Someone else gets it.  Ugh.  How long is that loss going to linger in your mind as you’re searching for another suitable home?  I’ve met with clients that never got over it, and ended up not buying at all.

It’s a rewarding experience helping people find their dream home, usually.  As long as they take the right steps and secure the home before someone else does – capitalizing on the opportunity, instead of missing the boat is what makes it rewarding!

So don’t be that consumer – the one that procrastinates about getting their financing in order – you should have a pre-approval certificate in hand before you look at your first home.

Get pre-approved here.

As a buyer in a fast-paced market with multiple offers, where is your leverage?  Simply put, your leverage is in:

1. Understanding how value and competition works, and,

2. What you have in your arsenal to compete with.

Let’s talk first about value and competition.  Leverage comes from understanding what is going on in your market, and being proactive about the process of securing your home.  What specifically is going on in your market?  For the price range and location you are looking in, what is the absorbency rate (number of months’ worth of inventory)?  If you understand what to expect and how to overcome in your market, that’s half the battle.

Now what about your arsenal?  Being pre-approved is great, but how do you compete with multiple offers of other pre-approved buyers?  Are you asking the seller to pay your closing costs or other concessions?

That is pretty typical approach from competing buyers. What can you do differently so your offer gets chosen over the others?  Are you using a local lender, and do you have a firm understanding of how quickly your loan will get funded?  I can add at least 101 other questions to your list, but the biggest question I have for you is:  Do you have committed professionals helping you with the process?

You are about to make what will likely be the biggest purchase of your life – does it make sense to hire  professionals that have a track record of helping multitudes of buyers like yourself?  Of course it does.

So, not only hire some great people to help you with this journey, but also heed their advice when they offer it, because they’ve seen first-hand the benefits of when when their past take their words to heart.

Ed Kunkel, Jr. is a Managing Broker/Realtor® at Keller Williams Realty in Olympia, Washington. Visit Ed here. Ed’s Military History: Veteran – U.S. Army and Air Force Reserve; Highest rank, E5; 11 years combined military service.