Buyer Beware



In today’s world of technology and just ever-changing techniques, buyers need to be aware of what is happening as they start the home-buying process. Here are just a few points to make note of and may want to discuss with your agent.

Video Surveillance

Sellers have to ability to set up video cameras in their house to watch as you look at the property. Every state is different, but many have laws in place against audio. This means they can watch but not hear what you say. Don’t be fooled though. Many sellers are great lip readers. The best advice I have on this is to not discuss money and offers inside the property under consideration. You may want to check with your state to see what their laws are in regards to this topic.

Wire Fraud

Wire fraud is ever present in our digital world. Unfortunately, hackers find their way into emails and have misguided buyers on the transferring of their funds. Always contact your attorney personally to get wiring instructions in person or over the phone, unless they advise you otherwise. You can generally use the option of a bank check. Every attorney has their own policies in place so you will want to refer to them for guidance.

Multiple Offers

When the market leans toward the favor of sellers, we have seen many multiple offer situations. We assume the highest offer is always the best. This is not necessarily true. The seller’s situation will play a large part in how they look at an offer. If they need to sell quickly or have a delayed closing, the date may be more important to them than the dollar. If they have been burned by a failed contract, the amount of due diligence money (also known as option money) may be important to them. The amount of time requested for due diligence or option may be a factor. The more a buyer is willing to risk sometimes means more to a seller. Your agent can ask the listing agent some questions to get a better idea of the seller’s situation before making an offer.

Using a Reputable Lender

Lenders are able to give pre-qualification letters that are conditional. Ask your lender what the conditions are and what is needed to reach loan commitment status. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. There are some lenders who can do things others can, but it usually has a price tag attached. The loan that seems to be harder to qualify may have higher interest rates, closing fees, etc. It may be what you need, and choose to refinance later. Ask a lot of questions so you know exactly what you are getting and paying for. Not all lenders are equal. Your buying power has a lot to do with your credit score and liquid assets. Also remember, just because one lender turns you down doesn't mean another one can't help. Ask your agent for referrals to lenders who have programs that fit your situation.

Final Walk Through

A final walk-through is important to ensure you are getting what you paid for. Most agents today tend to encourage this, but if your agent doesn’t, you may want to request it. The importance of this is because if anything happens overnight to the house, you can request the seller to take care of it before closing.

For example, if a storm comes up and does damage, sellers damage something when they move out, and any other potential hazards that could cause damage. Closing constitutes acceptance. A final walk-through can give a buyer peace of mind that everything is as it should be as you go to the closing table.

Be aware of what is happening in the process with everyone involved. This means being proactive with your agent, lender, inspectors, attorneys, etc. We are here to guide you, but it’s important for you to talk to all parties involved and ask questions. Communication is key to making a smoother transaction.


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