Home buying tips for Portland residents in 2016
Home buying has been a real challenge in Portland, OR in the last few years with its super hot real estate market with limited inventories. There just aren’t enough homes on the market for the number of buyers who need to buy. To make things worse, there has been lots of cash buyers whose primary focus is to invest in real estate. You can’t usually beat cash buyers with an offer subject to financing. You end up bidding up the price way too high to win it or you can use other tactics that sometimes work: a love letter. What do I mean by a love letter? It’s a well written letter to the seller describing why the seller should accept your offer over others. Some sellers that are sympathetic and who want to help local residents find housing will allow financing buyers to start the transaction. It’s a risk to the seller to accept such deals because you don’t know how long the financing process will take. Some buyers go through FHA, and VA loans and these loans tend to take longer than a conventional loan from a private lender. I have seen loans that took two weeks for the lender to release funds and also loans that took four months!
It is absolutely imperative that you choose an amazing loan officer who can pretty much guarantee that you will have the funds in escrow in a near definite time. Experienced and hardworking loan officers will tell you it will take 2-3 weeks from the beginning. Some loan officers will leave you in a ditch and will take forever to process your financing. That will be the ultimate deal breaker so you must be smart with who you will work with to obtain a loan and disclose to seller who you are working with and how long the process will take. Keep the seller informed and assured that the money will be available when the loan officer says it will be. Moreover, you need to start the escrow process as soon as possible. An escrow is a third party agent that works for both buyer and seller in a fiduciary duty to carry out the terms of the contract and to disburse funds. When the buyer mentions he/she will start the escrow as soon as the offer is accepted by putting the earnest money in the account is a step towards showing how serious you are as a buyer. To win the bid as a financing buyer, you really need to up your game and show your readiness and willingness to go in on the deal and execute it as quickly and efficiently as possible. You will need a good buyer’s agent who is a hardworking person with super quick communication between everyone. Some real estate agents take half a day to respond to your emails and text messages. That’s a big no in today’s real estate market. Communication is really everything in this business. Your agent needs to respond to you within 10 minutes or respond quickly to say that he/she received the message and will get back to you in about 30 minutes as soon as he/she is done with other clients.