Thursday, July 23, 2020 / by Vanessa Saunders
By Vanessa Saunders, MBA, MIMC , Broker Owner, Global Property Systems Real Estate.
The Hudson Valley real estate market has changed dramatically in the last four months. The effect of the coronavirus pandemic has put much of the business of buying and selling homes on hold. For buyers, it has tightened the mortgage market, restricted the inventory, and made traditional means of transactions meaningless. Right now, the competition for homes is hot in the Hudson Valley, and buyers need to prepare themselves.
Here are 6 ways home buyers can give themselves a competitive advantage in getting a house.
1. Select a good mortgage lender.
(Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, obtaining a mortgage may be a bit of a challenge. Lenders are dealing with demand and staffing issues.) Finding a mortgage lender involves more than just getting a good interest rate; you want to work with the best mortgage companies, staffed by professionals who will guide you through the process. Barry Goldenberg of Luxury Mortgage is a highly-recommended Global Property Systems mortgage lender on the Global Property team. If our clients need pre-qualification for a mortgage, he can get one out to them (often on the same day) with a simple phone call at (516) 398-9511 (Mobile Line).
Barry will discuss your finances and what kind of loan will suit your needs. You will also talk about what you can afford, what you need to put down, interest rates and closing costs. The goal is to arm you with a pre-approval and plan which will boost your chances of having your offer accepted by a seller. While you are in no way tied to use Barry moving forward, it's recommended that you chat to a couple, if not more loan officers prior to deciding whom to use.
2. Make lists.
Stop and think of the things you need, things you want, and what you must have in a house - number of bedrooms, baths, finished basement, etc. Do you like to cook and need a full-on kitchen or will a tidy little galley kitchen do? Does your restored '64 Mustang need an attached garage? What kind of home do you need? Single family, or would you prefer less maintenance and rather look at condos or townhouses?
Research nearby schools, even if you don’t have kids, since they affect home value. Look at local safety and crime statistics. Map the nearest hospital, pharmacy, grocery store and other amenities you’ll use. Drive through the neighborhood on various days and at different times to check out traffic, noise and activity levels.
These lists will help keep you from being distracted as you shop. They will also help your Realtor immensely in finding the right properties to show you, so you don't waste precious time viewing "non-starters."
3. Don't Despair. The Highest Offer isn't necessarily the BEST offer.
By working closely with your loan officer, Global Property Systems Local Area Specialists provide you with the ammunition to place winning offers, negotiate, and get to the closing table where others fail. We have an amazing team of professionals to stand behind our buyers ensuring no stone is left un-turned, making compelling offers which stick. Even more importantly, we will ensure that your are informed as to whether your offer will appraise, the implications of what happens if it doesn't, and whether or not you are paying too much now, when a property (just like a new car leaving the dealer's lot) won't hold that value for long.
4. Use an attorney who specializes in real estate law.
There are a lot of different kinds of attorneys out there, and you need one who specializes in real estate. Some attorneys are used to having the luxury of time in serving their clients. In real estate, time is "of the essence." You need an attorney who can turn out legal documents and closing papers quickly and correctly if you plan on snapping up a desirable property. Our team has several real estate attorneys we can recommend, including Steve Landau in New City, NY. Steve can be reached at (845) 639-6031, Ext. 11. What we love most about Steve is his attention to detail and accessibility - so essential in times like this where speed is all important.
5. Hire a home inspector.
Inspectors are increasingly stretched thin as buyers want quick inspections to offer buyers speedy closings. That said, you need to have a qualified inspector you can trust evaluating one of the biggest investments of your life. We have a list of client recommended inspectors on our website, the link is at the end of this article.
6. Be ready for virtual everything.
The traditional real estate transaction has long been a highly antiquated process, relying on brick and mortar meetings for every aspect of it—from open houses, to faxing documents to get a mortgage, to then closing on the home with in-person closings, notaries and appraisals. Those days are gone, and buyers should be accustomed to taking virtual tours, and meeting the actors in a transaction via on Facetime and Zoom. You might even sign your documents digitally, have a video chat with a digital notary, and finalize your entire transaction entirely online. GPS and it's client approved vendors have been doing business digitally for years and are well prepared to put you at ease in doing so also.
Expect limited choices.
The supply of for-sale homes was already low prior to the corona virus outbreak, and over the past few months, the problem has only worsened. But our philosophy will always be, "Those who seek shall also find." It's a different and difficult world out there, but with a little patience and preparation, you can find your home. But don't despair if you can't seem to find the home of your dreams immediately, or get Pipped to the Post by competing buyers. The old adage, If it's not meant to be, it's for good reason, is likely true in this hot market where we are seeing ridiculous offers, well above realistic pricing. It's also good to know that a lot of of them fall through, and you may well end up in first position after all. All it takes is a little patience and having all your ducks in a row.
Don't start with Zilow anymore, those days are long gone! Their information is dated and therefore you end up chasing rainbows most of the time. As of today for example, several of our listings which are either Under Contract, or worse, Sold (weeks ago,) are still showing as Active on Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com etc. Our website www.SearchHomesInNY.com gets it's information direct from 6 MLS systems and is updated every 5 minutes!
That means when you are registered you will be notified with five minutes of a new listing matching your personal criteria hitting the market. You can rest assured that by working with
GPS you will be ready and prepared to view the property online or in person FAST, and make an offer digitally there and then! No waiting. Your GPS Local Area Specialist will already have all the information you need to make a fast decision with the confidence that it's a smart decision, not a rash decision.
Interested in buying or selling a home the Mid-Hudson valley? Get a head start and search all seven Mid-Hudson Valley counties (Rockland, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester) for homes on the market by using our free search site at www.SearchHomesInNY.com. For our list of client certified vendors mentioned above click here.