Tag Archives: offer

Team Marti’s Top 10 Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Team Marti's Top 10 Tips for First-Time HomebuyersA seller’s market can be a tough place for first-time homebuyers to purchase their first home, but don’t despair. It is certainly doable. Educate yourself on what’s needed to succeed in a seller’s market and work with an experienced Realtor who will give you world-class, 24/7 service. Here are our top 10 tips for first-time homebuyers. Good luck!

  1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage. We recommend doing this before you begin shopping a home, so you know how much home you can afford and what type of credit you have, which will ultimately impact your loan terms, including the interest rates.
  2. Begin your home search online to get an idea of what’s available. Check out Realtor.com, Zillow, Northwest MLS or your favorite Realtor’s website.
  3. Work with a Realtor early on in your process. A talented Realtor can help guide you through what can be a very complex process, and offer advice specific to your situation. Get recommendations from friends and colleagues, and be sure to check out the referrals online before you meet with them. Read their online reviews and testimonials and their LinkedIn profile to see how long they’ve been selling real estate. You might also interview a couple of different agents to see who might be a good fit for you.
  4. Know the difference between your wants and needs in a first home. List all the features you want in a home and categorize them as ‘must haves,’ ‘should haves,’ and ‘absolute wish list.’ Learn more here.
  5. Check out the neighborhood and schools. The features of your home will be very important to you, but the neighborhood where you want to buy should also play a factor. Are there similar homes in the neighborhood? Are they well maintained? What amenities are nearby (e.g., parks, restaurants, shopping)? If you have a school-age child, or will be starting a family, what schools will your child attend? Visit the neighborhood at different times of day, if possible.
  6. Attend open houses. This is a great way to tour homes on the market to see what’s available. Keep in mind though that in a HOT real estate market like this one, a new listing may receive multiple offers the day of the open house. If you fall in love with a house you are touring, you’ll want to act on it right away.
  7. Write a winning offer. In a seller’s market, you need to bring your best offer to the table with as few contingencies as possible. Work with your Realtor to offer a fair but attractive price.
  8. Understand that your offer might get rejected. Competition is tough these days, so you may not get the first home you put an offer in on. Be patient. It will happen.
  9. Be prepared to cover closing costs. In a seller’s market, the seller tends to have control, so prepare to cover your own closing costs which will be on top of your down payment. Here are some additional guidelines.
  10. Don’t expect any home to be perfect. Sure, you have your heart set on a dream home with all of the desired features, but that is unrealistic. Realtor.com suggests you focus on three main factors: price, size and location. If you get all three, great, but getting two is more likely.

Good luck, and let us know if Team Marti can help!

[Sources: Inman, Realtor.com and CNN Money]

Honest Advice for First-Time Homebuyers in a Sellers’ Market

Honest Advice for First-Time Homebuyers in a Sellers' Market


With home inventory so low, homes are selling quickly and above the asking price, in many cases. Here is some sound advice to help first-time homebuyers purchase a home in this sellers’ market:

  1. Get pre-approved from a mortgage lender. Whether you go through a traditional bank or a mortgage broker, first-time homebuyers should get pre-approved before shopping for a home. This will show sellers that their lenders have run a credit check, verified income and have tentatively agreed to lend the buyers money to buy a home. Pre-approval also typically means that the homebuyers know how much home they can afford. Learn more about pre-qualification and pre-approval here.
  2. Buy a home with a conventional mortgage. This will make homebuyers more attractive to sellers than someone who is getting financed through a VA or FHA loan, for example, because those home loan programs sometimes have greater restrictions.
  3. Put down a large down payment. While low down payment programs like VA and FHA home loans exist so buyers can buy a home with less money down, you will be more attractive to a mortgage lender and home seller with a larger down payment. This will also save you in mortgage interest over the life of your mortgage loan.
  4. Come to the table prepared to cover closing costs. When sellers have multiple buyers to choose from, they are more likely to select a homebuyer that is not going to ask the seller to share in closing costs.
  5. Require fewer contingencies when making an offer. When a seller has to wait for you to sell your home, or when other contingencies exist, a homebuyer becomes less attractive. Sellers want to sell their homes for as much money as possible, and as quickly as is possible. When contingencies exist, they could potentially hold up the selling process.
  6. Make an offer above asking price. Homes on the market now are selling within days. To buy one of those homes, homebuyers often have to offer more than the asking price to get their offer seriously considered. Of course, how much a buyer can offer is going to be based on their budget and down payment, but in this market, they should be prepared to go above the asking price.

This market is particularly challenging for first-time homebuyers. If you are in the market to buy a home now, consult with an experienced Realtor – like me – who can help you improve your chances of finding a home and getting your offer accepted. We can help you understand your options and improve your chances of having your offer accepted.



Home Sales at Highest Pace in 10 Years

Home buyers: If you want to buy a home now, the demand is strong, so you’ll have to differentiate yourself from other buyers to make your offer stand out. Ideally, you’ll get pre-approved so you know how much you can afford to spend – and how much you can offer on your dream home.

Home sellers: If you’re a seller, demand for available homes for sale is strong, and you’re in the driver’s seat. You’ll likely get your asking price, or perhaps more, and your home may sell faster than it would in a “normal” real estate market.

Have questions? Team Marti can help! Contact Team Marti today.

5 Tips for Making a Successful Offer

Realtor Marti Reeder celebrates 10 years in the business and other accolades.in theRight now real estate inventory in King County is low. That means that there are fewer homes on the market than there are buyers, making it a seller’s market. It also means homes for sale will sell more quickly, at higher prices, and some will receive multiple offers.

That’s a good thing for sellers, but it creates a bit more work for homebuyers. You’ll want to have a good Realtor (like me!) to consult with and to handle the negotiations, but here are 4 tips to follow to improve your offer’s chances of getting accepted!

  1. Understand how much you can afford to spend. Before you start your home search, you want to get pre-approved for a mortgage to know that you can get financing and to identify that sweet spot in terms of your budget. You want to know that figure going into negotiations.
  2. Act quickly. Because it is a seller’s market, competition for the few homes on the market is stiff. The national average inventory of homes is currently 4.7 months; it is 6 months in a normal market. In other words, buyer demand has outpaced the supply, so when you find a home you want and can afford, make your offer quickly.
  3. Make an attractive offer. Your Realtor will help you come up with a price that’s fair and that will increase your chances of having your offer selected. Factors that will go into determining that dollar amount will include the sale of similar homes in the area, the condition of the home and what you can afford.
  4. Make your offer stand out. In addition to making a solid offer, consider writing a letter to the seller to let them know why their home is a perfect fit for you and your family. We know of a recent Kent sale where a family did just that, and it swayed the home seller into choosing their offer over others because she felt that particularly family deserved to have a home like hers.
  5. Be ready to negotiate. Often times, the seller will issue a counteroffer in terms of price or perhaps the timing of the closing date. Be prepared in advance so you know what your best offer is and what contract terms you are willing to negotiate.

Working with an experienced Realtor is your best chance for selecting the right home and for making an offer that has a good chance of success. Have questions? Please contact us. Team Marti is standing by to help.


4 Ways Emotions Can Interfere with House Hunting

4 Ways Emotions Interfere with House HuntingBuying a home is an exciting, emotional and stressful project. Whether you have purchased a home before or are preparing to buy your first home, you don’t want to let your emotions make the decision for you. The following are pitfalls that can be costly:

1.  Love at first sight. Don’t fall in love with the first house you see and determine to buy it no matter what. You could end up overpaying for the property. Also, after the sale, you may discover costly repairs that will negate any profit from a future sale. Shop around. Compare.

2.  Always looking for a better deal. These buyers are just the opposite of the love-at-first-sight crowd. They think there is always a better deal out there than the one they just saw, or they hope the price will drop on some of the homes they like. Though this is possible, it is highly unlikely, especially in a seller’s market where the inventory of homes is lower than usual. If you pass up a good deal because you think the owner might drop the price later, you are giving another buyer the chance to snatch it up first. If a home has all you want, is in the right neighborhood, and is priced well, buy it before it’s gone.

3.  Paying too much for the perfect home. There is no such thing as a perfect home, though sometimes buyers think they may have found one. When this happens, the buyer acts on their emotions because they will do anything to get that house. When you buy a home, you always need to know you can resell it without losing any money. Unfortunately, when people find what they believe is the perfect home, they will often bid high to ensure their offer is accepted and in the process may overextend themselves financially.

4.  Unrealistic offers. The opposite of the overpayer is the low bidder. There is a big difference between negotiating a price with a seller and offering an unrealistically low price. Discuss this with your agent before you wind up alienating the seller and possibly the chance to buy the property. Making a realistic bid that is good for you and the seller is the answer to getting the property you want.

Shopping with your emotions rarely yields a good deal. Instead, listen to your Realtor’s suggestions, view several homes, and then make your decision based on a variety of factors, not just your emotions. Once you have selected your home, don’t look back. Enjoy it, make improvements and make it your own, knowing you made a sound decision you’ll be happy with for years to come.

Happy House Hunting!


Testimonial: Superb from start to finish!

Marti was superb from start to finish!

“I can’t recommend Marti highly enough. My wife and I recently purchased a new home and she was superb from start to finish. When we were in the ‘looking’ phase, Marti was very flexible and went looking at homes anytime we asked.

Once we put an offer down on a home, she kept us well informed and was outstanding when negotiating with the seller. She worked hand in hand with our loan officer to make sure nothing fell through the cracks. I met Marti through our involvement in the Chamber of Commerce. She has a great reputation in the community and my personal experience is that she’s every bit as good as her reputation!”

~ Scott K., Septmber 2010, LinkedIn