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Buying a home in Boca. When do we need a real estate appraisal?

We got this great question from someone we met recently at a networking function.

We’re going to buy a condo in Boca. When do we need a real estate appraisal? 

Here’s the low-down!

If you are a buyer getting a mortgage, your lender is going to require an appraisal. The lender will order the appraisal.

Either the listing agent, or the buyer’s agent (or both, but at the very least one) needs to meet the appraiser at the property for the appraisal appointment. It’s important that someone knowledgeable be there to answer questions and point out the features.

If the appraiser is open to it, the Realtor can also talk about comps (comparable sales) and help the appraiser understand the current market area. Some appraisers come from out of area, so that last item is rather important.

Based upon the appraisal results, we will help you to know if your offer or your price needs to be changed or adjusted.

If you’re a buyer paying cash, you are not required to have an appraisal, but you can choose to get an appraisal. Why would you want to do that? To protect yourself on the value of the home. Realtors of the All About Florida Homes Team pride ourselves on the fact that we do in-depth competitive market analyses. So you can feel confident that you are getting a good value, and you don’t necessarily need an appraisal – but you’re still welcome to get one. Some of our clients do, and we support that decision.

We work with our cash buyers to help you determine if getting an appraisal is right for you. When the answer is yes, we walk you through each step of the process.

For our sellers, there are times when we recommend doing an appraisal for a listing. Perhaps the homes’s area or market may indicate a lot of variance between recent sold properties. Or, it might be new construction in an area where there isn’t a lot of new construction. In cases such as those, we may recommend an appraisal to avoid surprises. But whether you’re selling or buying, this is a strategic decision, and we would sit down and work together to come up with our plan based on your individual needs and situation.

Questions? Call us – Amy and Noreen, All About Florida Homes, Keller Williams Realty –  at (561) 571-2289. We’d love an opportunity to discuss your home selling or home buying goals.

And, we have some great resources here for you, too! If you’re interested in buying – now or in the future – you can search listings here – and start to familiarize yourself with the buying process and the market.

If selling may be in your future – or you’re just curious about what your home is worth today – you can request a no-obligation home value assessment here. 

Or, contact us at (561) 571-2289 – or via amyandnoreen@allaboutfloridahomes.com – if we can provide you with any additional market data that will help inform your decisions! We are here to help!

Mortgage Pre-Approval – Is it Really Needed Before I Can Search for a Home?

We recently received this question from a friend of a past client:

Do I really need a pre-approval before I go out to look at homes?

Here’s the candid answer.

If you’re paying cash for a property, you don’t need a pre-approval, but you do need documentation showing that you have the money to buy the home. (This is called Proof of Funds.)

If you’re getting a mortgage, it’s a great idea to get a pre-approval letter before we go out to look for homes. Here’s why: 

First, you need to know “how much house” you can afford. You need to know what you can buy. It’s more than just the principal and interest of the mortgage that you need to consider. Lenders take taxes and HOA or condo dues into consideration, too. So there’s a bigger picture in addition to what monthly obligations you have today.

So, once we know how much you can afford or buy (and by the way – it doesn’t mean we’re going to spend up to that limit, that just gives us a range!), we go out and look at homes. If we’re out looking at homes and you don’t have a pre-approval and you fall in love with a home, you risk losing it. Any listing agent who understands his business is not going to take an offer from a buyer getting financing without a pre-approval from a lender. 

It’s also important to note that a pre-approval from one lender is not the same as a pre-approval from another lender – and experienced agents know this.

So, pre-approvals need to have some teeth behind them to be helpful. If they’ve run credit, they’ve seen tax returns, and it’s pretty far along in the process, it has more meaning to a listing agent, and he is more likely to advise sellers to accept your offer.

What we don’t want to happen is this:

You go out, we find the perfect home, you fall in love, and someone else swoops in to make an offer and get it under contract because you’re now working to get your pre-approval.

Bottom line: It’s a good idea to get the pre-approval up front.

If you don’t have a lender whom you trust and respect, we refer to people who we’ve worked with for years that we would recommend. 

If you have someone that you’re already comfortable with, we’d love to work with them as well. It’s a great idea for us all to get together on the phone or in person, help us understand that lender’s pre-approval process, and get the right documentation. This way, we make an offer, and we get it accepted.

If you’re interested in buying – now or in the future – you can search listings here – and start to familiarize yourself with the buying process and the market.

We would be happy to talk to you further about this subject and help you find (and secure!) just the right home for you and your family. Give us a call at (561) 571-2289 or email us at amyandnoreen@allaboutfloridahomes.com with questions or for assistance.

How do I make my offer stand out – and get the house under contract quickly?

Today we’re addressing a wonderful question we received from a social media follower who is planning to house hunt soon. She asked:

How do I make my offer stand out? How do I get the house under contract quickly?

I love this question. Of course, that is our job when we represent you, as the buyer. Finding the right home for you is only the beginning. Helping you make the right offer, getting it accepted with the right terms… and getting you to the closing table… those are the trickier parts – and the parts that we excel at, in all honesty!

So, how do we help you get that offer noticed, and accepted – in a difficult market for buyers?

1) We leverage our relationship with the listing agent. This makes a big difference. We’ve been doing this a long time in the same market, and we have a reputation and relationship with agents. They know we partner well with them to get the right deal for both parties… and to make the deal actually work – and it does make a difference.

Of course, we can help your offer stand out – based on many criteria, NOT simply based on an offer price. How?

2) With a deposit. The deposit tells a listing agent and a seller that you, the buyer, are serious about this. You’re willing to put money up, and that means you will see this through.

3) By offering a desirable closing timeframe. How quickly you can close may make a big difference to a seller, depending upon their situation.

4) By offering an inspection period that works for both sides. This means considering how long we want and need for inspections, and what the seller needs too.

 

There’s many factors of an offer – not just the dollar amount. We can work with you to write the proper offer to get this home that you want – at the right price – under the right terms.

So, we’d love the opportunity to sit down with you, help you find the right neighborhood, find the right home, get it under contract, and get you to the closing table – and then we have the opportunity to celebrate with you!

If you’re interested in buying – now or in the future – you can search listings here – and start to familiarize yourself with the buying process and the market.

Or, give us a call at (561) 571-2289 or email us at amyandnoreen@allaboutfloridahomes.com with questions or for assistance.

Mortgage FAQs: Video Series with one of our favorite experts!

Ann Griffith of Capital Mortgage Funding joined Amy and Noreen recently to discuss all things mortgages! The pendulum has finally swung, and the market is very different than it was ten years ago. If you’d like to know if you can qualify to buy – and what to expect from the process, watch on!

🎥 (If you find these helpful, please SUBSCRIBE to our channel while you’re there!)

In this video, Ann and Amy talk about how the mortgage market has finally normalized:

Next, Ann talks about something many of our buyers wonder about: What does the mortgage application process look like? (Ann consults the buyer to establish their goals. She helps them gather documents, and look at different types of loans might be a fit.) Watch to learn!

The next question: How much mortgage can I afford? … It’s important to determine in advance how much mortgage you can afford. Ann describes the process for coming to this number / her methods for helping buyers know.

Lastly, we are busting a myth! 🙂 We STILL often hear people ask: Do you still need 20% down to buy a home? (Spoiler alert: Not anymore! That’s old news. Today there are hundreds of great loan products on the market, and there is one that is a good fit for you.) Ann and her partner Ruby Teich help many of our clients find the right “mortgage fit.” Watch more here:

Thanks for watching! If you have questions about buying a home, our team is always here to offer you no-obligation advice!
Call us at (561) 571-2289.

If you’re interested in buying – now or in the future – you can search listings here – and start to familiarize yourself with the buying process and the market.