Bo Lee - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Commonwealth Real Estate



Posted by Bo Lee on 1/20/2019

Shopping for a home is a long, arduous process. When you finally find one that you love, think you can afford, and spend the time to formulate an offer, it can be crushing when your offer is rejected.

However, getting rejected is simply part of the process. If youíve ever applied to college, you might be familiar with this process. You send out applications that you poured your heart and soul into. Sometimes to get accepted, other times you donít.

Making an offer on a home comes with one big advantage over those college applications, however--the opportunity to negotiate. As long as the house is still on the market after your offer is rejected, youíre still in the game.

In this article, weíre going to talk you through what to do when your offer is rejected so you can reformulate your plan and make the best decision as to moving forward.

1. Donít sweat it

One of the most common fallacies we fall into as humans is to think the outcome is worse than it really is. First, remember that there are most likely other houses out there that are as good if not better than the one you are bidding on, even if theyíre not for sale at this moment.

Next, consider the rejection as simply part of the negotiation process. Most people are turned off by rejection. However, you can learn a lot when a seller says no. In many cases, you can take what you learned and return to the drawing board to come up with a better offer.

Donít spend too much time scrutinizing the sellerís decision. Ninety-nine percent of the time their decision isnít personal. You simply havenít met the pricing or contractual requirements that they and their agent have decided on.

2. Reconsider your offer

Now itís time to start thinking about a second offer. If the seller didnít respond with a counteroffer it can mean one of two things. First, they might be considering other buyers who have gotten closer to their requirements. Alternatively, your offer may have been too low or have had too many contingencies for them to consider.

Regardless, a flat-out rejection usually means changes need to be made before following up.

3. Making a new offer

This is your chance to take what you learned and apply it to your new offer. Make sure you meet the following prerequisites before sending out your next offer:

  • Double check your financing. Understand your spending limits, both on paper and in terms of what youíre comfortable spending.

  • Check comparable houses. If houses in the neighborhood are selling for more than they were when the house was previously listed, the seller might be compensating for that change.

  • Make sure youíre pre-approved. Your offer will be taken more seriously if you have the bankís approval.

  • Remove unnecessary contingencies. Itís a sellerís market. Having a complicated contract will make sellers less likely to consider your offer.

4. Move on with confidence

Sometimes you just canít make it up to the sellerís price point. Other times the seller just canít come to terms with a reasonable price for their home. Regardless, donít waste too much time negotiating and renegotiating. Take what you learned from this experience and use it toward the next house negotiation--it will be here sooner than you think!





Posted by Bo Lee on 1/13/2019

In a high competition market, you may be tempted to do whatever you can to entice the seller to accept your offer. Buyers write offer letters, provide large down payments, or waive the inspection. Sometimes, this strategy includes removing contingencies from your contract. 


Beware. Removing contingencies can easily become a nightmare for you as a buyer. Certain contingencies should be kept no matter how much you think you should waive them for enticement. 


The Home Inspection Contingency


This contingency is basically universally recommended by realtors everywhere. This contingency allows you to get a licensed home inspector who will check the property. The inspection typically should be done about 7 days from the time you sign the purchase agreement for the home. 


Following the inspection, you as the buyer can request that the seller make certain repairs. The seller can either make the repairs or provide a counter offer. If youíre not satisfied or cannot reach an agreement, you can back out of the deal and still get your money back. 


Without this contingency, youíll never know whatís wrong with the home until you move in it. Itís a huge risk to take to move into a home without understanding all of its moving parts. Is the roof stable? Has the basement flooded? Will the appliances last? There are plenty of questions that you might have about a home that can be answered simply through an inspection. 


Financing Contingency


This is an important contingency. Your offer on the property will depend on being able to get the financing you need to purchase the home. With this protection in place, in the event that you canít get a loan, youíll get your deposit on the home back. Be sure that the clause specifies the number of days that would be recommended by your lender to have the mortgage approved.   


Appraisal Contingency


This could be the most important contingency of all. This protection could possibly save you thousands of dollars of a headache. Once an offer is accepted on a home, youíre far from done. The lender will typically order an appraisal. If the appraisal comes in lower than the offer you made on the home and agreed to pay, you may have some problems. 


The lender will only lend you what the house is worth. If the appraisal comes in lower, youíll need to make up for tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket. Make sure you have an appraisal contingency included in your contracts!  


As you buy a home, remember how important contingencies can be in the process.            




Categories: Buying a Home  


Posted by Bo Lee on 1/6/2019

Selling a home takes patience. Especially when youíre balancing your time between settling into your new home, and keeping up with your work and family life. So, when youíve finally gotten to the point of accepting an offer on your home, youíll probably breathe a sigh of relief--and you should!  However, there are still a few more things that will need to happen and a couple of things to consider before closing the deal on your home sale.

Contingencies on the purchase contract

A purchase contract typically includes contingency clauses that are designed to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller. These clauses mean that the contract is contingent upon the actions being completed before it can be legally valid.

There are three main contingencies that will likely be included in the purchase contract before closing--inspection, financing, and appraisal.

Inspection contingency

The inspection contingency allows the buyer to have the home inspected by a professional before closing (the time should be specified within the contract, but the inspection should usually occur no more than two weeks after you accept the offer). A home inspection lets the buyer know what to expect in terms of repairs that the home needs now or will need in the near future.

Financing contingency

Since the vast majority of buyers will be purchasing their home through a loan, a financing contingency is included to allow the buyer time to secure their mortgage. Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved makes this process easier, but the buyer will still have to finalize and close on their mortgage before their financing is official.

This clause exists to protect the buyer in the event that their mortgage application is denied, ensuring that they arenít penalized.

Appraisal contingency

The third contingency most often found in purchase contracts is a home appraisal. The buyer will order an appraisal and then the appraiser will reach out to you to find a day to come and value your home.

If the home is then appraised at the amount agreed upon in your contract, this contingency is met. However, if the appraisal comes up lower than the purchase amount, the buyer can renegotiate the price.

Walkthrough and closing

Once the appraisal and inspection have been met and financing secured, the buyer will have a chance to do a final walkthrough of your home. The walkthrough usually occurs no more than two days prior to closing on the sale. A walkthrough allows the buyer view the home one last time to ensure that the condition of the home hasnít drastically changed since the home was inspected or appraised. So, make sure the buyer is aware of any changes you planned to make to the home before closing.

Now youíre ready to close on your home sale. Youíll receive a disclosure form to review (read it carefully!) and sign. Once closing is complete, ownership of the home is officially transferred to the buyer.

While the closing process does include several steps, itís important to be available and cooperative along the way to ensure a smooth sale and transition into your new home.





Posted by Bo Lee on 12/30/2018

When you think of buying or selling a house, the first thing that comes to mind may not be the legal aspects associated with the process. You may want to reconsider this rather boring part of the process as an important one. Hiring a lawyer can help both buyers and sellers to get through many hurdles that buying a home can present. 


The Contracts


There will be many negotiations and a lot of back and forth throughout the process of buying a home. Everything thatís involved with buying a home needs a contract for it to be legally binding. A real estate attorney will negotiate on your behalf and be sure that the contracts adhere to all state and local laws. The lawyer will also help you to address issues that may affect the future of the property such as botched inspections, liens against the home, and other items that could affect you as the home buyer. 


Title Search


Real estate attorneys will perform what is called a title search. This allows them to see if there are any outstanding liens or judgements against the house. This title search will also make sure that the seller has the right to actually sell the property thatís being sold. An attorney can do all of this much quicker than the average person since they have working relationships with title companies.


Transfer Of Property


If a property is being transferred through a corporation, trust, or partnership, things can get complicated. Itís good to have an attorney who is used to working with these complex situations and understands the legal boundaries within the state or municipality   that the property is in.


If You Choose Not To Have A Real Estate Attorney


Many times, a real estate attorney isnít required to buy a property. It is advisable to have one, however. Without an attorney you increase your chances of problems arising in the future. You run the risk of:


  • Being sued for failure to disclose information
  • An improper property transaction takes place
  • You could miss relevant facts about the property
  • Failing to file the correct documents at both the state an local levels
  • Deeds are not transferred
  • Building permits werenít correctly filed


The Takeaway


Having a real estate lawyer on your side is important due to the complex nature of property transactions. While some states require that an attorney be present throughout your property transaction, many states do not have this stipulation. You are smart to hire a competent real estate attorney to protect your own interests as either a buyer or a seller.





Posted by Bo Lee on 12/23/2018

Want to acquire the perfect home at the perfect price? You're not alone. As such, you'll likely need to allocate significant time and resources to your home search if you hope to transform your dream into a reality.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you navigate the real estate market so you can move closer to purchasing a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price.

Now, let's take a look at three tips so you can buy your ideal home at a price that matches or exceeds your expectations.

1. Establish Realistic Homebuying Goals

Although you may have lofty dreams of purchasing a deluxe house quickly, it may take some time to find a house that fulfills your needs.

Setting realistic expectations for a home search is ideal for property buyers. With realistic goals, you may be able to avoid disappointments and frustrations along the homebuying journey.

Evaluating the current real estate market often offers a great way to help you map out your homebuying plans. This will enable you to examine the prices of assorted homes, determine which houses you like and define a price range for your ideal house.

Also, it never hurts to look at the prices of recently sold houses, either. This will allow you to see how quickly residences are selling and determine whether you're about to enter a buyer's or seller's market.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

You know that you want to own a house, but how do you intend to pay for it? Ultimately, you may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage Ė something that can help you accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.

Meet with banks and credit unions to learn about all of the mortgage options that are available. Then, you can choose a mortgage that will help you avoid the temptation to overspend to acquire your ideal home.

When you consult with banks and credit unions, be sure to ask plenty of mortgage questions as well. That way, you can learn about the ins and outs of various mortgage options and select a mortgage that suits you perfectly.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a housing market expert who is happy to help you make your homeownership dreams come true.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about new residences as they become available and offer honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. He or she will even negotiate with property sellers on your behalf, ensuring you can get the best price on any home, in any real estate market.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert guidance throughout the homebuying journey. In addition, a real estate agent will respond to your homebuying concerns and questions, guaranteeing you can make informed decisions time and time again.

Ready to acquire your dream home at your dream price? Use these tips, and you should have no trouble purchasing a terrific house without breaking your budget.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips