You know spring is nearing when the weather warms up, plants sprout, and grass begins to get its green back. There’s one other clue that spring’s coming and that’s the many “For sale” signs springing up at DFW homes.
People tend to put up their houses for sale or go house hunting for new homes during this time of the year. Typically, this is because they want all the paperwork done in time to move after the school year ends. If you plan to look at DFW homes, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind as Dallas / Fort Worth is a hot market.
- Take Steps Before Starting the Search
While you may have a real estate agent early on, don’t forget about the rest of your support team. This team consists of a lender, inspector, and real estate attorney. Avoid waiting until you find the right house to start the mortgage application.
Find the right lender to get pre-approval with a loan amount. Better yet, try to obtain full approval. It may not be possible. But if it is, take advantage as it will give you the upper hand in landing the house. And work with a local lender. They know the market best and the seller is more likely to trust a known local lender than an unknown one found on the Internet.
In case of a bidding war, you’ll want to send a personal letter to the owners. Be prepared by drafting a template that can be quickly tweaked and sent. A letter like this talks about how you like the house and why you want it.
- Study market values for DFW homes
When the housing market is up, the prices are also up. Educate yourself about market values for homes in the areas that interest you. Some areas may have more inflated prices than others. This is where it can be helpful to work with a real estate agent. They know the market best and can provide advice.
A major company moved its headquarters to DFW causing the prices of nearby homes to soar. Savvy shoppers sought homes in neighboring cities where homes sell for more affordable prices.
- Attend Open Houses
The Internet has made house hunting easy. You can read up on a DFW homebuilder and check their reviews. You can tour homes with virtual reality, videos, and photos. You can search for new homes and make a list of those that meet your requirements.
In a piping hot market like DFW’s, you want to move quickly. Homes don’t stay on the market for long. Nothing beats seeing a home in person. Online posts tend to show the best parts of the home and hide the weak spots.
A strong market usually means first offers are accepted. So you want to tour the home as soon as it’s listed. Some real estate websites can send you an alert when a home goes on the market that meets your needs.
- Add Clauses and Contingencies
If you wind up in a bidding war, you can do a couple of things to try to swing things in your favor. One way is to add an escalation clause to your bid. This could make all the difference in a competitive market. Should someone outbid you, the escalation clause tacks on more money to the bid.
For example, you bid $252,000 with an escalation clause of $5,000. Someone else bids $255,000. The escalation clause changes your bid to $260,000.
Another option is to review contingencies you’re willing to give up in the real estate contract. A contingency indicates that all included terms must be met or else the buyer or seller can exit the deal.
Talk with your real estate agent about the contingencies you’re willing to remove from the contract. It’s possible to have a pre-inspection done before making an offer. Then you would not need a pre-inspection contingency in the contract.
Mortgage rates have remained below 5 percent since 2011. However, they have been jumping up and down. Keep an eye on mortgage rates so you can tap in when they’re on the lower side in the 3 to low 4 percent range.
Many DFW homes are being built every day. Don’t let any part of the process pressure you into making a decision that you’re not comfortable making. Having an approved loan and a dream team supporting you will boost your chances of landing the home you want when relocating to DFW.