How to buy a house in today’s competitive market.
What is the deal with the housing market in Los Angeles today? In a nutshell, the trend I am seeing is prices are rising quickly due to low interest rates and more demand than supply. There are very few homes on the market when compared to the number of very well-qualified people who want to buy. In order to have any hope of buying a home in Silver Lake, Echo Park, Highland Park, Los Feliz, Pasadena, or any of the other hot neighborhoods in Los Angeles County, you have to do some homework and be prepared to act quickly and decisively. Here are the five easy steps to buying a house in Los Angeles today:
Step One – Find a Great Real Estate Agent
The first thing you need to do is find a really great real estate agent. Since you’re on my website you have successfully completed the first step! Call me right now at (310) 709-4128.
Step Two – Get Loan Pre-Approval
Unless you’re paying cash for a home, the next thing you need to do is get pre-approved for a home loan. Before we go out looking at properties you will need to meet with a loan officer (or two) and find out exactly how much you can afford to spend on a home. Once a loan officer has determined what you can qualify for, they can write a pre-approval letter, which every seller will want to see before your offer is considered (unless you are all-cash) Along with a pre-approval you will also need to submit proof of funds showing that you have the cash available to cover the down payment and closing costs, so you’ll want to get that documentation together, as well.
Why is it so important to get pre-approved before you start looking for a home? The worst thing that can happen is to find the home of your dreams and not be in a position to act quickly. More on that later…
Step Three – Research Properties Online
Start looking at homes online. If you’re serious about buying a house in Silver Lake, Echo Park, Highland Park, or any of the other highly-competitive neighborhoods on the Eastside, you’ll need to be looking at the new properties listed every day and paying close attention to what’s happening in the market. I will set you up with an account on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) so that you will see newly-listed properties as soon as they hit the market. The online consumer real estate websites are filled with inaccurate and outdated information (new listings can take 48 hours or more to surface on these sites, for example) You need direct access to the MLS so that you see new listings as soon as they hit the market, not 2 days later. I will set that up for you.
Step Four – Go See Some Homes
It’s time to jump in the car and go looking. My favorite part of being a real estate agent is showing people houses. Once you have your pre-approval in-hand we will get out there and see the best ones in your price range.
I show buyers properties every day of the week. When is the best time to go see homes for sale? Tuesday. The absolute best day to go see the newest listings in our neighborhood is on Tuesdays. Why Tuesday? Tuesday is the day open houses are held for real estate agents to preview new homes that have just been listed. Many, if not most, new listings in Silver Lake and the surrounding communities are shown for the very first time on Tuesdays. By seeing homes at the Tuesday open houses you are days ahead of the crowd, and those days can mean everything. If we can get in there and see the house right away, and then write a strong offer, you have a much better chance of having that offer accepted and owning that home.
Step Five – Write a Strong Offer
If everything goes according to plan, you are pre-approved for a loan and we have found you the home of your dreams. Now it’s time to write the offer. Time is of the essence and the clock is ticking loudly. If you’ve taken my advice and we have found a home for you on a Tuesday, we need to do everything we can to get the seller to accept your offer before the weekend open houses. That means we need to submit your offer right away, today! (Since you’ve already met with a loan officer and assembled all of the documents you’ll need to write an offer in Step 2 we’re good to go)
In today’s competitive marketplace the stronger your offer is the more likely it is a seller will accept it right away. Purchase price is obviously a big factor in the strength of your offer, but the highest offer is not always the offer that gets accepted. Other factors that can improve the strength of your offer are a higher down payment, a shorter escrow period, shorter contingency periods, etc. I will work with you to package the strongest possible offer and work hard to get it accepted. So far this year every offer I have submitted for a client has been accepted by the seller, so let me help you get the job done.
Send me an email or give me a call today and we will get the process started. I look forward to working with you!