Many people think that buying a house in the East Bay, historically a market with limited inventory, can be difficult and frustrating. Stories of buyers spending months looking for properties and making more than 10 offers before having a bid accepted are common. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t need to be this way. My clients have their first offer accepted more than 80% of the time, and I have never had a buyer make more than 3 offers before getting into contract on a home.
A key part of the Megan Micco Method is proper targeting. By working closely with you to understand your budget and home criteria, I guide each buyer to only place offers on homes that they are likely to win. By using public data, my extensive personal network, and years of local experience, I provide insight into likely selling prices. I also help buyers understand how current interest rates and other property specific financial factors might impact their long-term cash flow. This helps my buyers make informed decisions, present the most competitive offers, and get into contract quickly to begin building wealth and avoid the pain of being out bid on the perfect home.
My multi-step process is outlined below, but don’t hesitate to schedule a free consultation with me for a more detailed overview.
1. DETERMINE YOUR NEEDS
Before beginning your housing search, the first thing to do is list the criteria you want to meet for a new home. Cost, location, size, walkability, schools, and other factors should be considered and articulated before you start your home search. Working with a qualified agent to help you think through your long-term financial and family objectives will help you narrow your search and increase the chances of winning the home of your dreams while reaching your life goals.
2. GET YOUR FINANCING PRE-APPROVED
You don’t want to wait to find a property that you are interested in purchasing before getting your financing in order. It may take several days to assemble all of the necessary income and tax documentation for a pre-approval letter. You’ll likely want to shop for the lowest interest rate loan which can also take some time. Finally, a qualified mortgage broker can help you strategize on the best approach to finance your purchase given your long-term financial goals.
3. BEGIN YOUR SEARCH
Having thought through your home needs it will be easier to engage in a targeted search for the right property in the right location at the right price. Modern technology allows you to set-up a listing search and receive alerts when properties that meet your criteria hit the market. Also, an amazing agent will network with other local agents to identify off-market listings that will give you a leg up on other buyers in the market.
4. REVIEW REPORTS
When you’ve narrowed in on a property that meets most of your needs (it’s unlikely you can find a home that checks every box), you’ll want to review any reports on the health of the property. Disclosures include information on the physical condition of the house as well as information on environmental site considerations, special tax assessments, and statutory advisories. A comprehensive home and pest inspection can help uncover things that might cause problems down the road such as pests, roof replacement, foundation issues, dry rot, and flooding.
5. DEVELOP YOUR OFFER
Work with your agent to determine the optimal offer package including price, contingencies, escrow periods, rent-backs, personal letter to the seller, or any other details that will move your offer to the top of the stack. An experienced agent can increase the odds of your offer being accepted. If you follow their advice you won’t be in the position of coming in second for very long!
6. SUBMIT YOUR OFFER
Once you have your offer prepared, it’s time to submit it to the listing agent. In times of economic uncertainty sellers may accept incoming offers on a rolling basis which means you need to be prepared to make decisions very quickly. This is another reason to make sure your financing is in place before you begin to actively search for a property. This can be an emotional and scary time given the magnitude of the investment, but if you have an agent you trust, you’ll be just fine.
7. THE ESCROW PERIOD
Once you have made your offer and provided your initial deposit, the title company will begin the paperwork to transfer title from the seller to the buyer. Your agent will be working quietly in the background with your lender and the escrow company during this time, but you can expect regular updates to keep you informed on the process and to avoid any glitches. Now is the time to be patient while the administrative process takes place. Don’t worry – you’ll soon be in your new home!
8. MOVE INTO YOUR NEW HOME!
This is it! You have had your offer accepted, cleared escrow, and are now ready to move in. Make sure you don’t jump the gun and schedule movers prior to the escrow close date. Giving yourself a little buffer will reduce your stress and allow you to really settle in once the transaction is completed. Enjoy the housewarming present from your agent and feel the warm glow of accomplishment that comes with owning your own home.