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Expert Tips for Navigating the Real Estate Market

My mission at Ultimate Realty Real Estate is to be your best resource for real estate advice. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, I can answer any questions you might have about real estate. Subscribe to this blog to get the latest news on local market trends and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

6 Tips for Buying in a Seller’s Market

Buying a home in a seller’s market is tough. With a few tips from us, you should be in much better shape.

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The real estate market often fluctuates, so planning for mistakes in advance is smart. It’s tough to predict whether the market will favor buyers or sellers when it’s your turn to buy.

If it’s a seller’s market like the one we are seeing right now, buyers can get what they want. However, they need to bring their A-game and be decisive in order to do so. Here are six common mistakes we see in a seller’s market like this and how you can avoid them:

1. Not making your best offer up front. The motivation to buy for as little money as possible is deeply ingrained in us. When buyers see a high list price, they naturally wonder if they can get a better deal. Offering less than asking price is a reasonable strategy in a buyer’s market, but it doesn’t work quite as well when there is a shortage of inventory. In fact, it doesn’t work at all. Competition is fierce, so come in with a strong opening offer if you really want to get the home.

2. Overanalyzing the purchase price. This is ill-advised because the longer you take to make an offer, the higher the risk of losing the home you want. Once you’ve determined the type of home you want, the location you desire, and the right price range, don’t wait to make an offer. Be prepared to move quickly by having your finances in order and being pre-approved.

3. Work with an experienced agent. A lot of people make the mistake of not doing this, and it costs them. If you have a seasoned agent on your side, they will give you a better chance of getting the home you want. In Texas, sellers pay the commissions for their agent as well as yours, so it costs you nothing out-of-pocket to have an experienced professional advising you on the best course of action to take.

Low offers won’t do a thing for you in this market.
4. Not being pre-approved. This is a common problem. With the market moving so fast, you’re going to lose out on a lot of great homes if you’re not pre-approved. Without that letter in hand, most agents and sellers won’t even entertain your offer.

5. Not being prepared for a bidding war. No buyers want to be involved in bidding wars, but they are inevitable in this kind of market. Start your search below your maximum budget so you have room to up your offer.

6. Not learning from your mistakes. It’s easy to get frustrated by repeatedly declined offers. Learn from prior offers and transactions so you can move into your dream home.

If you have any questions for us or you’re interested in buying or selling a home in San Antonio, give us a call or send  us an email. We would love to hear from you.

5 Easily Forgettable Tasks to Complete Before Moving

Moving to a new city is a complex process. Here are a few tips to make it a little simpler.

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Moving to a new town can be difficult. There are just so many different things to keep track of that it can get confusing. There are probably even a few things that you’ll completely forget about until the moving truck is all packed up and ready to go. Here is a list of five things you might not have thought about, but you should definitely complete before you leave:

1. Banks. Check to see if your bank has a branch in your new city. If they don’t, you may need to find a new one.

2. Medical needs. If you can, have your doctor call in your prescriptions to a pharmacy in your new town. Keep your old doctor’s number handy in case you need to contact them to forward any paperwork in the future. If you’re keeping your health insurance plan, look for doctors in your new area that accept your insurance. If you need to switch providers or update your plan, try to do it before moving.

3. Things to transfer. Transfer memberships from local organizations, gyms, associations, and clubs. Be aware that you may have to pay an early termination fee on some of those. Factor that into your moving costs.

4. Raid the kitchen. About a month before moving day, start using up frozen or canned goods so you don’t have to let anything go to waste. Donate any unopened, non-perishable food to a local food pantry.

Don’t let the food in the freezer go to waste!
5. Check the car. Give it a tuneup to avoid a breakdown on the way to your new home. If you have a trusty mechanic, ask that they refer you to another one near your new home. Pack a first aid kit just to be safe.

These are just a few of the things that you should do before you move. If you have any questions or want any more tips, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you.

What Will Happen If Rates Go Up?

Our market is doing great right now. We expect that to continue throughout 2017, even if interest rates go up.

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Over the past few months, there has been a lot of buzz about potential interest rate increases. First, they were predicted to go up last September. That didn’t happen, but they did go up in December. Nobody knows if or by how much rates will go up next time, but we do know that they will still be historically low.

It is widely expected that the Federal Reserve will increase rates in 2017. Even if they go up by 1% or 2%, it won’t affect our market much. There are three reasons why:

1. Mortgage rates often move independently of the Fed rate.

A small increase in rates won’t affect our market much.
2. Any increase in rates will be small. Whether they go up by 0.25% or 0.5%, they will still be historically low.

3. A shortage of inventory. With a limited supply of homes out there, the Fed will keep the health of the real estate market in mind before taking any action.

In short, the market is doing great right now and it’s likely to stay that way for the rest of the year, regardless of what happens with interest rates.

If you have any questions for me or want to take advantage of current market conditions, give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you.