Here are the top things that I’ve learned during the real estate process as a first time home buyer, hopefully one of these can help clear the air for fellow first time buyers.
Don’t waste your time with “fake” offers. When we first started we would offer 40-50k above listing price but not waive appraisal or provide any appraisal gap guarantee. Sellers have smartened up these days and will avoid offers that they know will 99% of the time force a renegotiation. Do your comp research. A stronger offer is to waive or provide an appraisal gap, but offer something your actually willing to pay out of pocket if it appraises low.
For example, a home listed for 300k. An offer of 320k, waive appraisal or provide 5-10k gap coverage is a stronger offer in my opinion than an offer of 390k, but does not waive any appraisal or provide gap coverage.
Don’t pay attention to what interest rate your friend or cousin got. Half the time lenders will say they are giving you a great interest rate, but you are actually paying for that interest rate up front. These days you can calculate the exact interest rate you want, per the exact amount of money you want to spend in closing costs.
Have your relator actually talk to the sellers agent to see what they actually want in their offers. You could be waiving contingencies and creating more risk for no reason.
Stop worrying about minor things. If the house needs new paint, windows, carpet, etc then just deal with it. Anything move in ready now a days is almost impossible to get as a typical first time home buyer.
If you are absolutely struggling to win bids for single family homes, I suggest trying condos. Much less competitive.
Hope any of these small things helped.