Last week’s tips on selling a home was such a hit we decided to write an article on home buying tips to help buyers.

Top 10 Tips For Buying a Home in Today's SW Florida Real Estate Market

  1. Shop in Your Price Range– One of the more frustrating things a buyer can do is shop in the wrong price range.  If you shop in a higher range than you can afford, the homes in your range won’t seem as acceptable and will feel like a let-down
  2. Get Pre-Qualified– You’ll be competing with other buyers for the best homes on the market.  By being pre-qualified you appear more like a cash buyer than someone who has not even spoken with the bank yet
  3. Home Inspection– We recommend home inspections as the inspector may point out items that are covered under the purchase contract, as well as helpful hints on maintaining your home.  Home inspectors are very helpful in educating you on what you’re buying and best maintenance practices going forward
  4. Survey– Banks don’t always require one and title companies don’t always offer insurance in certain cases when a survey wasn’t done.  It’s best to provide that survey to the title company and let them insure the property with the full survey
  5. Competition With Other Buyers– Remember, the best properties go quickly in any market.  Rarely do we hear a buyer say they want to look at the worst homes on the market.  Because you’ll be competing with other buyers for the best properties, you’ll want to put your best foot forward with your offer. As a buyer, you don’t always hold all the cards.  For instance, you may be a finance buyer competing against cash buyers.  The seller may wonder if your bank will appraise the home at the contract price.  They may wonder if your bank will close on time, if at all
  6. Escrow Deposit– Putting a larger escrow deposit down shows you’re serious.  This is a helpful technique when competing against other buyers.  It usually amazes a seller when a cash buyer won’t put much in escrow.  If they won’t put it in escrow, will they ever come through at closing?
  7. Price– Research the market and determine if the property is priced correctly.  If it is, offer accordingly or you could wake up to see a Sold sign on the home and the seller didn’t take your offer.  Always ask yourself, “If I wake up tomorrow and see the property is sold to someone else, how will I feel?”
  8. Terms– Remember if you’re asking a seller to pay buyer closing costs, it essentially reduces your offer.  Another buyer may offer the same amount as you without asking seller to pay closing costs and you’ll lose out.  Many buyers increase their offer to cover seller paying buyers closing costs, if the property is priced correctly to begin with
  9. Out Clauses– Only use out clauses if you need to, and remember they do weaken your offer.  If a buyer can cancel a contract the seller will wonder why they should take the property off the market for you versus waiting for a more serious buyer
  10. Title– Be sure to look at title policy, especially if it is a foreclosure.  Ask the title company what policy covers and what it does not.  Look at the title exceptions page carefully.  Consider hiring a real estate attorney to review your policy if you have any questions whatsoever.  Eliminating mistakes now can save you lots of time and money later

There is no substitute for working with a good Realtor. Full time Realtors not only know the area, they also assist you with many of the pitfalls you may encounter.  If you need assistance, feel free to call our office at 239-489-4042 and ask for a buyer specialist.



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