8 Factors a New Real Estate Buyer Should Know

If you’re new to the playing field of real estate, buying a property might be an experience that could turn out to be a bit too confusing for you. As it is, it’s nothing like buying your favorite snack at a convenience store; it’s not just you giving cash in exchange for a house. There are many terms and conditions that you still need to understand fully before anything else. If you’re a new buyer – or a relatively new one – and wanting to lessen the cost on a property you desire, here’s what you ought to know:

Price

Of course, the seller wants the highest price they can get while the buyer wants the smallest price they can get. Buyers and sellers try to negotiate the best price possible for them. The thing is that that “magic price” is obviously going to be different for both parties.

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There’s nothing else to do than for both of parties to meet halfway.

Buyers don’t want to overpay or price themselves out of a resale in the future; while sellers want to make sure the deal makes sense and fits well in their financial plan. If you want to get the best initial price, you should have an idea of the pricing, then take into account the market situation, and other factors that might affect the price.

Closing costs

One thing that many new prospects in the real estate market take for granted is the closing costs. Closing costs are fees associated at the closing of a real estate transaction. The closing point is when the title of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer. Closing costs are incurred by either the buyer or seller.

Buyers have to pay prepaid closing costs for their mortgage. This payment is for the money that the mortgage lender holds in escrow, for items like taxes and insurance. Usually, a buyer may ask a seller to pay a flat amount toward their closing costs, or up to a percentage for what’s an allowable contribution for the lender. Sometimes this can be up to 3% of what’s included in the mortgage.

What you can expect is that if a buyer asks the seller to make a concession on their behalf, they’re likely going to have to pay a higher asking price.

Closing date

Due dates and closing dates affect the monthly cash flow from the buyer to the seller. Also, sellers almost always negotiate for the best case scenario for themselves, like upping up the speed of when the money will be remitted to them. This might be a small factor, but something that you should still be mindful of.

The money involved in real estate is not that liquid in terms of free use or being able to be used in other engagements. Initially, the cash involved is further used in any remaining project development activities (i.e. documentation, final aesthetic touches and labor costs). In this regard, the closing date serves as a benchmark for both parties’ next steps.

Financing Contingencies

Financing Contingencies are clauses in a real estate contract that stipulate various conditions that must be met by the buyer and the seller for a sale to go through. For example, many buyers write into the contract that being able to close on the sale of their own home is a condition of the offer to purchase the new home. That way, if the sale of their own residence falls through, they are not obligated to go through with the purchase of the new property.

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If you’re a buyer competing with all cash offers, you need to figure out if they can drop the financing contingency. This can help shorten the closing time line. Buyers can do this by having their mortgage fully approved prior to making an offer. As such, the pre-approval shows that their finances are in order and they can afford the property.

Sale Leaseback

A leaseback is an arrangement where the seller of an asset leases back the same asset from the purchaser. In a leaseback arrangement, the specifics of the arrangement are made immediately after the sale of the asset, with the amount of the payments and the time period specified. Essentially, the seller of the asset becomes the lessee and the purchaser becomes the lessor in this arrangement.

Fortunately, a leaseback is neither debt nor equity. In fact, a sale leaseback is more like a hybrid debt product. The buyer does not increase its debt load but gains access to capital through the sale of assets. This is much like the corporate real estate version of a pawn shop transaction. The company goes to the pawn shop and in exchange for a valuable asset, receives a certain amount of cash. The only difference is that there is no expectation for the company to buy back the asset.

Additional Repairs

It is also often very helpful if you pay attention to the physical details of a property when buying a home, especially when there are things that need to be repaired. When a home is out-of-date with appliances that don’t work – cracked ceilings or pool foundations, for example – a buyer can ask for a lower price because of the cost to bring the home back to current standards. These factors can net you essential discounts.

This is why there are advertisements like “Need help selling my houses and I’m embarrassed. Get a cash offer.” In this case, professional realtors help those who want to sell subpar assets and are not confident enough because of some issues with their properties. Whether you are seller or a buyer, keep in mind that this type of unit tends to go for a lower price.

Furniture and Appliances

The previous homeowner’s personal property, such as chandeliers, window treatments and cabinets, should be part of the deal. Whatever is excluded needs to be stated when the contract is finalized. Sometimes, having furniture also grants you functionality that you didn’t know you needed, and can make you make the most out of your money.

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Meanwhile, the appliances should also be taken into account. The stove, dishwasher, microwave and any built-in appliances may come with the property. Again, these things should be included in the contract.

Home Inspections

There are many benefits to having a home inspection before you purchase a house. According to home inspectors, homes are sometimes not particularly well cared for by homeowners, who are slow to fix leaky faucets, replace heating or A/C filters, or clunky furnaces.

If properties with homeowners living in it can be uncared for, imagine what condition a foreclosed home can hide. For example, mold can grow if the water hasn’t been turned off, which renders the environment moist. If the home is boarded up and there is no ventilation for weeks or months, black mold can grow fairly quickly.

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Because of the importance of a proper home inspection, you should make the purchase of the home contingent on your approval of a home inspector’s report. When making a written offer for the home, simply make the home inspection a condition of the purchase. If your home inspection comes back clean, you can proceed with the sale with confidence. However, if the report is negative, you can reduce your offer, make the seller pay for any repairs, or even back out of the contract altogether.

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