There is one question your REALTOR should ask you that most do not. Truth is most REALTORs don’t care enough to ask. They just want you to hurry up and buy the house so they can get their commission. If your REALTOR is really looking out for your best interest at the onset of the search your REALTOR should ask you “How long do you plan to live in this home?”. The main reason for this is to protect you down the line when it’s time to sell the home. If the answer to this question is 3-5 years or less, the number one objective of your REALTOR should be to get you a smoking deal on a house. That way when it does come time to sell you stand a better chance of actually having equity in the home. If you pay top dollar for a home you plan to sell in 3 years, even if real estate prices rise, it’s unlikely that you will owe less than what you will net after REALTOR fees and closing costs. An unscrupulous REALTOR may not care. They hope you will call them when it’s time to sell and they get their commission if you make money or take a bath on the property. This problem is compounded when you put the minimum down payment required which is 3.5% for most FHA loans. Even if you put more money down, if you still pay top dollar you are just taking a bath at the beginning of the equation instead of at the end.
More so on New Homes…
I always do what my clients want in the end, but if the answer to this question is less than 5 years I council my clients against looking at brand new homes in new home communities. The reason for this is, new home communities take a lot longer to start building equity. As long as the builder is still building new homes in that community the price is going to stay lower. If you buy at the beginning of the life of the new home community it may be 5 years or more before the builder builds the last home in that community. As long as new homes are available, your pre-owned home is not going to appreciate, or gain value. Think about it, if you pay 200,000 for that new home 3 years down the line you want to sell, the same builder is selling new homes for 215,000 (building material inflation). If you list your pre-owned home for more than 215,000 no one is going to be very interested in buying your 3 year old home for more, when they can get a brand new home, often customized to their tastes for less. If you list for less, let’s say 205,000 you probably owe more than what you would net after selling fees. Also, now buyers have a choice save 10 grand and get a 3 year old house or spend just a little bit more and get a brand new one customized to their likes, most are going to spend the extra few bucks as it really only makes about 30/mo difference in their monthly payments.
What should you do if you really want a new home, but plan to sell soon?
First, try to buy in a community that is almost full. Sure you may not have as much choice when it comes to lot choice, and in some cases your plan choices may be limited by the builders master plan. You may have fewer choices on which communities match this criteria, but the community will start to rise in value significantly almost as soon as the builder has finished the last house in the community. A good REALTOR can help you find these neighborhoods and builder choices.
Second, be sure you have a REALTOR who will really do their homework and get you the best deal possible on that new home. Your REALTOR should be able to research and see exactly what other have paid for in that community and make sure you pay less, or at least the same. Many buyers believe they can score a better deal from a new home builder if they just buy from the staff at the builders model home, this is simply not the case. Remember, that is the builder’s staff and it’s their job to make the most money possible for the builder, it’s your REALTOR’s job to get the best deal possible for you. Also, with most home builders the commission to the REALTOR comes from the builders marketing budget, not necessarily the sales price of the home.
Third, pick a REALTOR that offers a rebate from their commissions to you. Genius Realty offers all buyers who purchase a new home up to a $5,000 rebate from our commissions. Genius Realty works hard to get you the best possible deal and then we add to that our rebate. This puts you in the best possible position to actually have equity in your new home when you go to sell it.
How to get the best deal on pre-owned homes…
Check out foreclosures. Foreclosures are a great way to get a good home at a steep discount. If someone is going to take a bath on a property, wouldn’t you rather it be the seller than you as the buyer. Unfortunately often people who buy a home and then go through a life change or a challenging experience lose the home to foreclosure. The bank takes the home back, but they are not going to live in it, They want to get it off their books as quickly as possible and to do this they list it under market value.
If you are not in a hurry to move into a new home, have your REALTOR send you a list of short sales in your area. Short sales are when the seller owes more to the bank than what the property is worth. This could occur because of a recent down turn in the housing prices, or it could be because they fell behind on their payments. Once and owner is late making their payments the bank starts to add on fees and penalties. If the home owner continues to be late on their payments the fees and penalties plus what they owe on the home often add up to more than what the property can be sold for. The seller then can go to the bank and ask them to take less than what they owe. All offers must go to the bank for approval which takes some time, so if you are looking at a short sale allow several weeks to hear back from the bank if your offer is accepted. Short sales are often a good way to get a deal on a home and often sell for less than market value.
Genius Realty – San Antonio is an experienced real estate agency that can help you search for your perfect home in San Antonio, TX and the nearby cities like New Braunfels, Bulverde, Shertz, Live Oak, Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, Canyon Lake, Terrel Hills, Garden Ridge, Seguin, Boerne, Castle Hills, and Stone Oak and Sonterra. Genius Realty keeps a compiled list of all new homes, foreclosures and short sales in the San Antonio housing market. If you are looking to make a move we urge you to call 210-436-4877 and get a Real Estate Genius working for you today.