Mortgages: Pre-Qualification vs Pre-Approval? What is the Difference?

Mortgages: Pre-Qualification vs Pre-Approval? What is the Difference?

So which is better and which should you get… pre-qualification or pre-approval?  What do they mean and what is the difference?  You often hear the two terms thrown around when talking mortgages and financials so let’s break them down.

First just know these two terms can be interchangeable to some loan officers and lenders so be sure to ask for clarification.

Pre-Qualification is considered to be the easier of the two and involves less information.  Let me explain.  First in this scenario you provide your limited information to either a loan officer or even a website and almost immediately you get a response.  Either yes you are pre-qualified and for how much or declined.  However please know that there was no verification involved and this is the key difference.  You could have lied to a computer or loan officer and based on your information they make a decision.  When you get a letter from the lender with a pre-qualification it usually is not taken as seriously due to the lack of verification.

Pre-approval on the other hand is the same except there is actual verification.  Now instead of just entering your income you will need to provide proof of your income such as bank statement, tax returns and pay check stubs.  If you have assets those will need to be verified as well as your employment.  As you can see this takes more effort however due to the verification it carries more weight in comparison to a pre-qualification.

So what does this actually mean to you when you start shopping?  A pre-qualification will have a bit less meaning than a pre-approval to a seller who receives your offer.  Knowing there has been some verification involved will make the seller more confident in a pre-approval as opposed to a pre-qualification.

Now do you want to take it up a notch and be fully approved?  This is even more verification and even involves the lender’s underwriter.  Just know at this type of approval you are fully approved meaning everything is verified and all questions the lender may have to give you a loan have been satisfied.  At that point the only thing between you and a loan is finding a home.  You can read more about fully lender credit approval here.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

How Long Does It Take To Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage?

How Long Does It Take To Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage?

How long does it take to get pre-approved?  Getting pre-approved can be done in a few hours if not a day but it is all about being prepared.  Being prepared with all the documentation and information in hand will expedite the process for you and the loan officer.

Be sure to have all your information ready so there are no delays.  Some of the items you will need are your tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, 401K statements, ID, and any other important financial documentation you plan on having the lender take in to consideration. 

Having those documents and information in hand will make the process much smoother.  Just know the loan officer will gather the information and make a determination as long as there are no issues.  Some will even go as far as verifying your income if there is something in question.  However most lenders will get it done the same day.  

Keep in mind the pre-approval is different than a pre-qualification.  Pre-qualification generally involves no verification so it is usually instantaneous.  Pre-approval usually means there is a form of verification, which makes it take longer to do but has so much more meaning behind it.  A seller is going to take a person who is pre-approved much more serious than one who is just pre-qualified.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Are You Ready To Buy A Home?

Are You Ready To Buy A Home?

Are you ready to buy a home?  You have always heard buying a home is a good investment and a wise thing to do but is it right for you?  Even if you want to buy a home are you necessarily ready to buy?

Buying a home, in my opinion, is a great thing generally in a person personal life but also financial.  However I will be the first to state it is not for everyone, you much be financially ready and prepared to maintain it once you own it. 

How confident do you feel in your current job, career field and your marketability to be employed?  This is something you much ask yourself because if you are not confident in either of these then you may think twice before purchasing.  When you purchase you are committing to a long term loan, so being prepared to pay that over the long term is important, having confidence in your job which is your income source is extremely important.

Have you saved up money for a down payment, closing costs, moving expenses, and possible maintenance issues?  All these are important to keep in mind, as you want to not only be able to buy the home but also maintain it for the long term.  Remember there is no maintenance person you can call anymore you would know be in charge of that.  Also find out how much money you will need to bring to closing if you were to buy a home and have that ready.  Remember you can do down payment assistance programs and get gifts funds from family but it is best to figure that out ahead of time instead of at the last minute.

How is your credit and is it good enough to qualify for a loan?  There are loan programs for people with all sorts of credit scores so your chances are good but you still want to know where you stand.  I always strongly recommend to speak with a loan officer to gauge where you stand and inform you of your options.  If you don’t qualify then find out why and get a plan in place to get you qualified in the future.  Credit is very important so knowing where you stand is important to determining if you are ready to buy a home.

All these items are more financial, how about personal?  Will you want to stay in a particular area for a long time or do you want to move away in the near future.  Remember buying is for the long term so take that in to account. 

Being ready to buy a home is all different to everyone especially with the personal side of the equation.  I can help you with the financial side but I feel the personal side is very important as well. 

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Home Buying Tip: Advantages Of Shopping For A Home During A Holiday

Home Buying Tip: Advantages Of Shopping For A Home During A Holiday

If you are like many buyers you are finding the lack of inventory and high buyer demand to be your number one problem.  A big tip I give to my buying clients is to keep shopping for a home even during a holiday.  Let me explain.

Buyer demand is at all time highs while inventory is at all time lows, these two forces create a buying frenzy.  Often you will hear about multiple offers on homes and it can get tough to compete with every home having multiple offers.  From my experience I have noticed that around holidays such as Forth of July I tend to see demand drop temporarily.  My experience has been that many folks tend to have plans, take a break and all of a sudden there is significantly less traffic of buyers.  I say to use this to your advantage.

I certainly do not mean to ignore the holiday or not celebrate it, but instead make time to continue viewing homes.  You will find less multiple offer situations and your odds of having your offer accepted will be much better.  This could be your opportunity to have your offer accepted and maybe it won’t have to be as aggressive of an offer.  Either way if you are shopping for a home don’t let holidays be a day off, instead get out there and you will find your odds will be much better!

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Advantages Of Getting Full Credit Approval

Advantages Of Getting Full Credit Approval

What is the advantage of getting full credit approval?  First let’s break down the types of lender approvals so we know where we stand.  Remember first there is a qualification or even referred to as pre-qualification.  In this case a buyer is pre-qualified for a mortgage by having given their information and determined to be able to qualify for a mortgage.  However please note there is no verification if the information given was actually true, so this type holds very little weight and I do not recommend it.

Next is the pre-approval or approval of a mortgage, in this case the same happens but there is verification of the information provided.  So the income is verified with pay check stubs, tax returns and even banks statements, so this is the preferred way to be approved for a loan.

Full credit approval however is the ultimate form and has really become more popular as the market has become more competitive.  In this case the approval goes as far as fully approving the buyer by the lender’s full underwriting standards.  In this case the buyer is not only review and verified by a loan officer but also the lender’s underwriter, which is the ultimate decision maker.  

Keep in mind this takes up time, the lender’s resources and fills the lender’s pipeline with other buyers who may already have a house under contract.  This is something big the lender’s are doing and it s an enormous help to a buyer when it comes to competing for a home in a multiple offer situation.  The only thing missing from the lender actually giving you a loan is the contract on a home.

So how is this stronger?  You are fully approved, meaning you almost hold as much weight as a cash buyer!!!  You are guaranteed as far as your credit approval is concerned.  That is big, and getting this done is recognized when it comes to making your offer because now the seller doesn’t have to worry if you will not qualify down the road.  The reality is you are ready and approved so your offer holds weight and they are more likely to take your offer over others just for that reason.

Getting fully credit approved takes time and the lender’s resources, so when you have a lender willing to do this realize how important it is.  This means that not only are they serious but they know what it takes to help you win those multiple offer situations.  If you have the opportunity this is the best route to take, it will put you ahead of the rest of the buyers and get you in a home that much fast.  When I tell people how to win in multiple offer situations this is my number one suggestion!

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

5 Things You Need To Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage

5 Things You Need To Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage

Applying for a mortgage is pretty easy but what do you need to apply?  I will discuss the basic five items you generally need to apply for a loan.

  1. Proof Of Income - You will need to prove your income to the lender, which can be done by providing bank statements, pay check stubs, and tax returns.  If you have other forms of non traditional income like a side business, alimony, child support or other misc. incomes you will want to have documentation of that income available.
  2. Proof Of Assets - 401K statements, bank statements, IRA’s, investments and other similar statements.
  3. Good Credit - The lender will pull your credit and review your credit report.  You can get a free copy of your credit report by going to this website.
  4. Employment Verification - Just realize you don’t have to do much other than give your employer’s information, the rest is handled by the lender.  
  5. ID - Have your ID ready, including your social security card as well.  Make sure your identification is up to date and not expired.

Those are the five things you will generally need to get pre-approved.  Have those items ready and by your side whenever you are ready to get pre-approved for a mortgage.  I hope you found this information usual and of value.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

5 Benefits Of Being Pre-Approved

5 Benefits Of Being Pre-Approved

By far the biggest mistake I see first time buyers make is not being pre-approved for a mortgage.  Often it is because they don’t know the steps or maybe are just wanting to see what the market is like.  Whatever the reason if you are serious about buying a home I strongly recommend you get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Here are 5 benefits of getting pre-approved:

  1. Loan Options - Knowing what type of options you have as far as loans are concerned is important.  This includes knowing how much your monthly payments are, down payment requirements and what type of terms to expect.
  2. Credit - Having your credit pulled and reviewed by a loan officer is very important.  This will give you an idea of where you stand on credit and possibly any issues as well that you can address.
  3. Budget - Knowing how much you can borrow is very important.  Don’t forget the lender will give you an amount, usually a maximum amount you can borrow, keep in mind what you want to borrow.  You may not feel comfortable maxing out your credit, this is a good time to figure out what you feel comfortable with as far as getting a loan.
  4. Creditability - If you are pre-approved for a mortgage the sellers and listing agents will actually take your seriously.  What good is an offer if you are not approved for a loan?  So be sure to get pre-approved, it will go a long way.
  5. Start Viewing Homes - This gives you the ability to actually start looking at homes with confidence.  Many sellers and listing agents won’t let you view a home if you are not approved.  Having that approval on hand will let them know you are serious buyer.

Getting pre-approved has it’s advantages, something you can do easily and get so much benefit as well.  Be sure to take the time to do this step as it will pay off greatly when you decide to start your home buying process.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Beware: Wire Fraud In Real Estate Transactions

Beware: Wire Fraud In Real Estate Transactions

Wire fraud is the single biggest issue in real estate transactions right now.  The problem unfortunately is the result of the identity theft issue that has been around for a while.  I will explain how the problem works and give you tips to protect yourself as well.

Wire fraud essentially is when funds from a wire a directed to another account who the send did not actually anticipate to send to.  For example a real estate transaction we would all agree has lots of money being exchanged.  The buyer has to bring in their down payment, seller will receive proceeds and the mortgage company has to send the loan amount as well.  This large amount of money changing hands can lead to problems if you are not careful.

What happens is a third person outside of the transaction will pose as the seller or title company.  They will then direct the title company to wire proceeds to their account when in reality they are not involved.  As a buyer you might see fictitious wiring instructions as to where to send your down payment.  In both these situations the person poses as an entity they are not in hopes that the person sending the money does not notice.  Once those funds are sent there is not getting them back, and by the time you notice the money is gone.

So what can you do to protect yourself from being a victim.  First it starts by protecting your own computer and email.  These thieves want to have access so they can pose as you and make their emails much more easier to believe.  Next have a clear line of communication with who ever is giving you wiring instructions or you are giving them wiring instructions.  This means if you are the buyer it is best to call the title company directly or even visit them in person to verify the wiring instructions.  If you are a seller doe the same, the last thing you want to do is be out of your hard earned proceeds.

Just realize this is a big issue that is getting more sophisticated every day and posses a big problem.  As a real estate agent I am very aware and work with other title companies who take this problem seriously.  Everyone involved knows the threat and takes it very seriously.  They are not offended or surprised when you call or visit them just to verify some information, it has become very common and we welcome it.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

 

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Why Homes Don't Sell In A Hot Market

Why Homes Don't Sell In A Hot Market

If you haven’t heard it is a very hot market, but why are you still seeing homes not sell?  Is it the house that has too many issues?  Location?  Condition in bad shape?  Pricing?  It is a combination of all those but lets take a closer look.

Now more than ever I am seeing homes continue to be over priced and that is a result of a seller expecting a high demand for their home.  The seller will often build in the premium and expect to get it.  The reality is it doesn’t alway work that way, the market may not agree and stay away.  Over pricing tends to happen all the time but this can be risky and often leads to sitting on the market much longer than normal.

Another common reason I am seeing is the condition of the property, homes that sell fast right now are in move in or turn key condition.  Properties that are in bad shape and their price does not reflect it tend to sit longer.  In other words if the home is in bad shape but the seller is still asking full price like homes that are in perfect move in condition, that home will tend to sit on the market longer.

Other factors I see is location and needed repairs.  Location is always important and even a gorgeous home located in a bad location will sit on the market even when it is hot.  Excessive repairs tends to cause an issue as well for not selling quickly.  Remember not every buyer is willing to do some repairs.  Keep in mind some banks have their limits on property condition and if those limits are exceeded they won’t finance it at all which really alienates many buyers.  Once you get rid of buyers with financing you are left with cash buyers and those buyers want a discount.

Remember price the property correctly given the condition and location.  Don’t add a premium as that will scare buyers away who are in tune with the market.  Also look at properties that have been on the market as an opportunity to possibly go in with a realistic offer and win the home.  This is really where having a real estate agent like me help your properly price the home so this doesn’t happen to your home when you list it. 

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Location! Location! Location!

Location! Location! Location!

You hear it all the time but what does it actually mean?  Location! Location! Location!  Let me explain from a  real estate agent’s perspective.

Location is by far the most important quality when buying a home.  Location determines many things from what school district it is zoned to and how far it is from work. 

The reality is homes can be changed both in the inside and out.  Sometimes those changes can be easy and cheap while others are a bit more expensive but none the less those options exist.  Location however is something that can not be changed, that land isn’t moving anytime soon so it is very important.

Buyers want to be in a certain school district which is another important factor, however remember this is determined by location.  Also how far or close they will be from work, shopping, church and family come in to play as well.  Location cannot be changed and see it tends to be the most important factor.

Let’s look at two extreme examples, both involve your dream home.  In your mind think of what your dream home looks like but don’t put it anywhere just yet.  Let’s start by putting it right next to a landfill, busy intersection, gas station and even busy shopping center.  Still like it?  Now lets move that home to back up to the beach in a quiet neighborhood.  Now how do you like it?

While that example is extreme the home was the same yet we had to responses, no I don’t like it and yes I love it.  Same house but different location.  Location is very important and you should keep that in mind, not just for when you buy but also when you sell as it will be important to the next buyers as well.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Interest Rates In Perspective

Interest Rates In Perspective

Mortgage interest rates continue to go up and for many buyers this worries them but I wanted to take a moment to put mortgage interest rates in perspective.  Rates are important and yes an increase in a rate can make it more expensive to borrow money.  However we are still seeing low rates despite the increases when compared to the last couple of decades.

Currently as of June 2018 a mortgage interest rates are hovering around the high 4.75% range and up.  Remember rates change several times even in one day and the terms affect your rate.  Someone putting more money down and financing for 10 years could have a lower rate than someone putting 3% down over 30 years.  Terms matter but for the sake of keeping all things equal we will focus on minimum down payments and a 30 year mortgage.

If we look back just five to eight years we will see rates have been in a fantasy land.  The rates hit all time lows in the three percent range which is behind ridiculous when you take a step back.  With that kind of rate you are not far from borrowing money for free.

September 11, 2001 changed our nation and it had a negative affect on our economy.  As  a result rates were lowered to get our economy up and going again which lasted for twelve plus years.  The second major issue was the recession in the 2008 time period and several years afterward which also kept the rates low.  Since then the economy has gained strength and as a result you are starting to see those rates increase.

But let’s look at the early 2000’s, you were seeing rates in the six and seven percent range which was normal if not very good.  After September 11 is when you first start this plunge in interest rates.  The nineties were strong economic times for our country and our rates reflected that.  It wasn’t uncommon to see seven percent and up be a standard rate.  

How about the eighties?  This decade had its fair share of financial hits which are reflected by the fluctuation of rates at that time.  It is in the eighties that you saw double digit interest rates as high as eighteen percent!  How would that fly in today’s market, trying to buy a home with that type of interest rate.

I like to look back at history and remind ourselves of how lucky we really are to have such low rates.  Remember we didn’t even discuss the down payment requirements, those too are really low.  In the past a minimum of 20% or more of a down payment was not out of the ordinary.  So as you see the rates increase be sure to keep it all in perspective, it has been much worse and we are not even close to those times.  We are still living in a mortgage interest rate fantasyland in my opinion.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

How To Win In A Multiple Offer Situation

How To Win In A Multiple Offer Situation

You finally found the home you want to make an offer only to find out it has multiples offers… has this happened to you?  Tired of running in to this situation over and over?  Are you done with your offer not getting accepted for the tenth time?  Let me show you some tips of how to win in a multiple offer situation.

First and foremost let me just say that you can’t win them all, there is always someone who may be in a stronger financial position and more willing to give more for a property.  It could be a cash offer above asking price that wins the bid, but can you blame the seller?  A cash offer has no strings attached, is guaranteed and no appraisal issues to deal with either.  So just know those are out there and they can be tough to beat, but the tips I give you will get you very close if not better than their offers.

Remember sales price isn’t everything, this is a big myth that needs to go away thinking the sales price is the most important item.  In reality the sales price is just part of it but none the less it is important.  The most important item tends to be the seller’s bottom line, which is different the the sales price. 

Do your home work, as an agent I start by doing research to see where the property stands compared to the market.  This will help you determine a good price to offer whether it is at the asking sales price, lower or higher. 

Next work on all the details of the contract and make each one as strong as possible.  So how much down payment will you make, earnest money, are you fully credit approved, how much time to close and what about a lease back?  Will you be asking for the seller to pay any of your closing costs?  How about an option period, how much time do you need and what amount will you pay for this option?  Would you consider doing no option?  Which could mean no inspection?  Remember when I said the sales price is not everything?  This is what I mean, get these details as strong as possible and it will make your offer really stand out.

Consider writing a personal letter to the seller on why you want the home.  Be specific to the property, maybe it is the layout or the neighborhood or because you grew up on the same street.  Maybe you like the back yard or the remodeled kitchen the seller had done.  Find a way to make it personal about you but also about the seller’s home, this will help make your offer stand out.  Remember to many sellers this is their home and they want to see it go to a good owner who will take care of it like they did.

Remember to do some research and find out if the property is properly priced.  It is not all about the sales price, the details matter so make those as strong as possible.  Get personal by writing a personal letter to the seller on why they should pick your offer.  These tips should help make your offer stand out for sure.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

How Do Multiple Offers Work?

How Do Multiple Offers Work?

Multiple offers are becoming the norm in todays market but how do they work if you happen to find yourself in this situation?  Is there a protocol a seller or listing agent must follow?  Do you get to know how many and what terms the others offers are?  

Multiple offers are very common in this market and believe it or not there is no formal process a seller or agent must follow.  I will say there are popular trends I am seeing and I will cover those with you.  

What is a multiple offer situation?  The answer is simple, this happens when a seller receives more than one offer on their property.  It can be a total of two offers or twenty two offers.  It is common in todays market for an agent to predict when a property will have multiple offers and will actually make plans on how to handle that ahead of time.  For example it is common to see a home hit the market on a Thursday or Friday with deadline for offers by Sunday afternoon.

Listing agents will often first let all the agents know there are multiple offers and then set a deadline.  Setting a deadline does two things, first it sets a time so everyone knows when they need to have their offer in but also when they will know a response.  Remember buyers don’t want to be tied up in a bidding war when they could move on to another property.  Second it also creates a sense of urgency for new buyers looking at the home so they can move quick and create a stronger offer right from the start.  This market has made buyers put their best offer up front instead of just testing the seller with a weak offer.

Once the deadline passes the listing agent will gather them all, process them and put them in an easy to understand format to present to the seller.  The seller will review them, see which one works best for their situation and pick one.  This usually occurs the next day after the deadline and is rather quick, remember you don’t want buyers getting inpatient and removing their offers.

Those are just some of the basics of how multiple offers work in case you find yourself in this situation.  Be sure to check out my video about how to make your offer stand out in a multiple offer situation.  I give you tips on making a strong offer so you can increase your chance of getting that home you really want.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Home Warranties Explained

Home Warranties Explained

I often find home warranties to be confusing to consumers as to what they actually are and what they cover.  As a result I often feel home warranties get a bad reputation because of this confusion.  Let me know explain what a home warranty is, is not and some tips to help you when working with a home warranty company.

So what exactly is a home warranty?  The home warranty I am referring to is a third party company who charges a premium in which in return they agree to cover the specific home on certain common items.  So it is not the same as home insurance or a builders warranty.  Instead a home warranty will cover common household items such as your HVAC system, plumbing, electrical, pool pump, spa, garbage disposal, dishwasher, refrigerator and even your washer & dryer.  Now let me be clear there is a fine print to all those items and some companies include some of those items while others charge an extra fee to cover some items.

So the general idea is that for 12 months you will be covered on these items, the biggest being the HVAC system.  In our example the air conditioning goes out in the middle of summer, what do you do?  First call the home warranty company, tell them the issue & they will send out a contractor of theirs to take a look at the issue.  You will have a trade call or service call fee you will pay up front, usually $60 or $70.  Lets say the item is covered and the total repair bill is $450, then you are only out of pocket the service fee.

This service helps buyers of a home have a little bit more confidence and put their mind at ease knowing the risk is being shared with the home warranty company.  The main complaint I hear about home warranties happens when an item is not covered and that is where I can’t stress enough that you read the fine print on the coverages.  Too often consumers make an assumption an item is covered when in the fine print it would have disclosed it was not, this is very common.

So before you purchase a home warranty whether you are buying a home or just want the coverage for your home be sure to read the fine print.  Know what is covered, what is not, what their service fee is and what their response times are as well.  I find that being well informed about a product or service before hand can lead to a better experience with your home warranty company.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

My Thoughts: High Demand & Low Inventory Market

The current real estate market here in the North Texas area is hot just like many parts of the country and the result is a high buyer demand and a low home inventory.  What does that actually mean?  Is it in all markets?  What should a buyer or seller know going in to this market?

Let’s start with the basics and take a look at what the market is actually like.  While the news may say the real estate market is hot that is not the case everywhere.  Remember that there are many different markets within cities and like many those different markets based on price point vary.  So here in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area you are seeing a strong demand for homes under $250,000.  Move in to some of the suburbs like Lewisville and the trend continues as well.  However keep in mind that once you start going up in the price you begin to see more inventory on the market as well as lower buyer demand.

So the important topic to understand is where you will be looking, what does that market look like?  What is your price point, size of home, number of bedrooms, school district, etc… that is your market.  Let’s look at that specific market and then determine how the market looks, is it hot or not?  Remember not all markets are the same so be sure to focus on your specific market and adjust accordingly to make sure you are as realistic and competitive as possible.

Remember this market won’t last forever but in the mean time if you are looking to buy or sale be sure to get as educated as possible so you can make better decisions.  I make it a point when I meet with clients that we assess where the market is that they are looking in so that we have a clear picture.  A little bit of research goes a long way to help you get in to a home faster or if you are selling to get the best price possible in the least amount of time. 

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Buyer Personal Letter Tips

Buyer Personal Letter Tips

If you haven’t already heard demand for homes is through the roof in some markets and price points that many buyers are trying to find new ways to set themselves apart.  One way to do that is by writing a personal letter from the buyer to the seller to help put a face behind the offer.  I want to give you some tips to take in to consideration if you decide to prepare a letter yourself.

So what exactly is this personal letter?  The letter is basically a brief letter introducing the buyer & expressing to the seller why they really like the home and would really appreciate it if their offer was chosen.  The intention is to put a face behind an offer which otherwise would just be another offer in a stack of offers.

First realize these letters can be effective so please be sure to take your time drafting this letter.  If you were the seller what would you want to hear?  Maybe you will be living at the home as opposed to turning around and using it as a rental property, that would make the seller feel better about the future of the home and even neighborhood.

Second be sure to make it personal, not only about you but also the home.  Maybe start by describing your family and why this home really fits your needs.  Is it the neighborhood or the layout, maybe you have a personal connection.  Don’t be afraid to open up and make it personal as this is very effective.

Also be specific to a particular property, don’t draft one letter and use it on all offers.  You should mention the layout, colors, upgrades in the kitchen, the big tree in the back yard, or anything that is specific to that home.  The reason is to point out a positive feature and how you plan to enjoy it and appreciate it but also to not sound so generic either.  If you sound too generic it can really take away from it being personal and remember after all this is a personal letter.

Keep in mind these letters don’t always work but I find the majority of the time it does make a difference.  There are still those sellers which at the end of the day is all about the bottom line regardless of who buys it and what they love about it.  That should distract you from not trying it, you will be more successful trying this method than if you didn’t.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

One Story Vs Two Story: Pros and Cons

One Story Vs Two Story: Pros and Cons

Which is right for you a one story or a two story home?  Let’s talk about some of the pros and cons of each to see which may be for you.  I will also give you some insight on what I see with both types as far as demand and other things to consider.

One story homes appeal to many people for the lack of stairs, let’s face it we are not getting any younger.  The lack of stairs can make it more appealing with older buyers who see stairs as an issue as they age.  With no stairs one story homes can be more flexible with their square footage.  For this reason you will see smaller one story homes.

Two story homes offer more space and can accommodate large families.  Sometimes they can have an additional half bath as well due to the layout of the down stairs.  Since they have a smaller footprint on the lot this allows them to have a large backyard.  

Demand for a one story is stronger due to it having a larger appeal than a two story, this means a one story will be more expensive.  The positive is that you get more bang for you buck on a two story generally.  Keep in mind utilities like an electric bill on a two story may be higher due to more space to heat and cool.  Remember hot air rises so it will usually be warmer up stairs as compared to down stairs.

All these are items to take in to consideration but it all depends on your particular situation.  Remember demand is a big driver for home sales so don’t forget to think ahead for when you sell your home.  A one story will have a better resale generally so that may be better financially.  Also keep in mind we are in a hot market and everything is selling, however what happens when it cools, that hot two story may not be as hot as a one story.  

These are all things to take in to consideration and remember they vary by area and neighborhood.  If I can help answer any questions you may have please do not hesitate to contact me.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Sales Price Isn't Everything

Sales Price Isn't Everything

One mistake I often see from buyers making an offer is they only think about the sales price.  What sales price should they offer to get the home.  This is a big mistake as sales price you offer isn’t everything, instead there are many more variable to take in to consideration to make your offer more competitive.

The reality in a high demand low inventory market is the willingness for buyers to offer full price or over asking price.  The major issue with this that many buyers do not consider is the lender will want the property to appraise for the offered sales price.  The problem is many times it won’t so the seller has to consider other factors besides the sale price.

What factors am I referring too?  Well sales price isn’t everything and there are many other items to take in to consideration when putting an offer together.  For example will you be making a small down payment or large?  The smaller the down payment the higher the risk the appraisal will be an issue, so sellers like to see a higher down payment to avoid appraisal issues.  What about earnest money will you put the standard 1% or will you go higher to show you are serious?  Are you pre qualified, pre approved or fully approved for the mortgage already which is music to a seller’s ears.

How about closing costs, are you asking the seller to help pay your closing costs?  Or will you pay your own?  Will you even offer to pay the seller’s closing costs or some?

All these and many more are ways to really make your offer be strong and as you notice they have nothing to do with the sales price.  Imagine this, you offer to pay full price but offer to pay $2,000 of the seller’s closing cost, don’t ask for a home warranty and even offer to give the seller a free 10 day lease back?  Now your offer is worth more than just full price, you can add another $2,000 savings in closing costs to the sellers bottom line plus another $450 since they won’t have to pay for a home warranty.  On top off all that they can stay for 10 days free and have time to move out without being in a rush, now you see what I many about sales price not being everything?

When making an offer don’t get too caught up in the sale price instead strongly consider every other section of the contract and find ways to make every section as strong a possible.  The key however is to know your limit up front and always make your strongest offer from the start because in this market there will be no second chance.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

How To Make An Offer

How To Make An Offer

You finally find the home you want but how do you go about making a formal offer?  Making an offer on a home for sale like anything takes proper research to make an informed decision or in this case an offer to purchase the home.

First and foremost I would recommend you work with a Realtor® as they will guide you through this process the correct way.  Start by looking up comparable homes that have sold in the same area to gauge where the market stands for this property.  You will want to make adjustments and figure out what the market activity is doing for similar homes… this will give you a good idea of where you should make an offer as far as sales price.

As you may know the sales price is just one of many pieces that go in to making a formal offer.  Most buyers just think of the sales price however there is so much more to it.

What type of financing will you be doing?  How much time will you need for credit approval?  Or are you already fully credit approved?  Will you be asking the seller to help pay for your closing costs?  How about a home warranty or do you feel confident without asking for the seller to pay for one?

Have you had a chance to review the seller’s disclosure or will you put that off until you are already under contract?  How about a survey, is there an existing survey or will a new one need to be purchased?  Who will pay for it?

How about an option period, how much will you be paying for that option?  Will it be for 10 days, 7 days, 5 days… or will you not have an option period?  Will you be doing an inspection or will you pass on that too?

All these and many more are all things to take in to consideration when putting together a formal offer on a home for sale.  As you can see the sales price is just one small piece in many factors that go in to making an offer.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

How To Make Your Offer Stand Out

How To Make Your Offer Stand Out

You finally found the home you want but only to find out it has multiple offers.  Or maybe you have been making offer after offer with no luck.  How can you make your offer stand out?  I will show you how you can make your offer stand out in a sea of multiple offers.

First you will need to be sure to have a Realtor® by your side to guide you through a strong offer.  Start by checking comparable properties to see if the price is appropriate.  Once you have a good idea of what the market is doing for similar properties set a price you want to offer.  Here is the key, this is only one factor in many other factors you should consider, remember it is not all about the sales price.

Next let’s break down every section of the contract and make it as strong as possible.  Now remember you won’t be able to go all out on everything as we all have our limits but definitely draw a line for each on what you are willing to do.  I say draw a line because you need to know ahead of time where you can afford or risk to go and where you can’t, you need to know this up front going in.

Will your offer be contingent?  How much earnest money will you be putting down?  What type of financing are you doing and are you qualified, pre-approved or fully approved?  How long of an option period will you be requesting?  10 days?  7 days?  5 days?  Or how about no option period?  Inspection or no inspection?

Will you be asking the seller to pay for a home warranty, or will you skip it all together?  Do you need help paying for your closing costs or not?  How about offering to pay some of the seller’s closing costs?

All these are items you should taken in to consideration and many more.  Either way be sure to make every single item as strong as possible, with every point you make stronger it only makes your offer stand out even more.  Just remember that in a strong demand market that we are in now you may not have a second chance to make your first offer your strongest.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome