Home Buyers Top 10 Strategy
Investing in today’s Denver real estate market is all about research, patience, and timing. The Denver Post tends to summarize the national scene while mentioning Denver with a broad brush description of macro trends. In fact, there are many markets, sub markets and niche communities, supporting the trends or creating their own.
Amidst the deluge of information, facts must be sorted out, candidates for investment evaluated carefully, and wise choices made. Strategy is everything and the team approach is the only one that works, including:
1. Research Agents: Interview several agents until you find the right combination of market specific knowledge, negotiating savvy, and overall chemistry to make the creative process thorough, grounded, and profitable. Given the size of your investment, why shouldn’t this be fun? While in the buying process, be sure your agent will not “sell” you a house, but act as a professional consultant to help you find a wise investment you will cherish
2. Compare Lenders:Like surgical teams, agents have a full compliment of allied professionals, each the best in their craft. From their referrals, compare, get “Pre Approved”, not just pre-qualified, and complete your financial strategy before shopping properties. Become a virtual cash Buyer with your loan Pre Approved, subject only to a purchase contract and appraisal.
3. Window Shopping: Leave your check book at home and gather research. If you have a home to sell, the “What If Buying” process must be thorough before the “For Sale” sign goes in your front yard. Trust that there is a world of intangible off line information available via your Agent.
4. Writing Project: Make three lists, “Needs” and “Wants”, describing the criteria for your investment as well as “Why Move”, your motivations for the entire adventure. Not a dissertation, but brief to the point. This will help your project be more rational than emotional, and give you a reliable road map, a compass built just for you.
5. Choose Locations Wisely: Generally, no matter what the price, forget properties on busy streets, those exposed to noise pollution and nearby large power lines, homes with no basements, as well as neighborhoods with high proportions of rental properties.
6. Know Your Game Plan: It will change. As you research and compare properties, new information will lead to refining your game plan in ways unforeseen at the outset. Make sure to allow enough time for the process to unfold so that you’ll continue to enjoy your new home as long as possible.
7. Transition Strategy: Selling, then buying, or buying first? Timing and the contract language to integrate transactions are all vitally important. Make certain your agent is very experienced in the scenarios that vary tremendously, depending on your factors and the buyers or sellers of the properties involved.
8. Educate yourself first, then your intuition will begin to develop. Your real estate agent should supply you with comparative trends, sold homes, under contract homes pending closing, area foreclosure activity and much more. Some buyers like to check out the neighborhood through their own network, and maybe meet the neighbors before making a final decision. It’s amazing what can be learned right across the street.
9. Avoid dysfunctional properties. That’s actually an appraiser’s term for unusual homes or those in need of major repairs, structural or otherwise. Many bank owned, foreclosure or short sale homes beg this question since they have been on market for many months or in some cases, years.
10. Timing is so important, usually lost in the worn out real estate conversation about “location”. All items on the Home Buyers Top 10 Strategy are intangible, except maybe #9.