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Email: Five Things You Must Know Before You Buy Any Home June 13th, 2016 | Posted in General Real Estate, Other Interests, Real Estate

A prepared buyer is a welcomed buyer! Walter has many layers of ready-worthiness for his buyers.  This email prepares them for what they’ll need to be competitive in today’s market.


To:     Name

RE:     Five Things You Must Know Before You Buy Any Home

  1. Do not get pre-qualified!

Do you want to get the best house you can for the least amount of money?  Then make sure you are in the strongest negotiating position possible.  Price is only one bargaining chip in the negotiations, and not necessarily the most important one.  Often other terms are critical to a seller, such as the strength of the buyer or the length of escrow.  Remember, surety of close may be more important to a seller than money.

Some agents recommend that buyers get “pre-qualified” by a lender.  This means that you spend some time with a lender who asks you a few questions.  Based on the answers, the lender pronounces you “pre-qualified” and issues a certificate that you can show to a seller.  Sellers may be aware that such certificates are worthless, and here is why: none of the information has been verified and unknown problems often surface.  Some of the problems I have seen include recorded judgments, unpaid child support payments, glitches on the credit report due to any number of reasons both accurate and inaccurate, down payments that have not been in the clients’ bank account long enough, and hundreds of other non-disclosed challenges.

The way to make a strong offer today is to get “pre-approved” with our team lender.  This happens after all the information has been checked and verified.  You are actually approved for the loan and the only remaining item is the appraisal on the property.  This process takes longer, but we help our clients through every step.  It is a very powerful tool that we recommend to our clients to supply our “negotiation arsenal.”

  1. Sell first, then buy.

If you have a house to sell, sell it before selecting a house to buy!  We have not seen many contingent sales work in the last 30 years, unless it is with a new home builder who has other houses to sell and can afford to put one on a contingency.

Let us look into the future for a moment.  We found the perfect house for you.  Now, I have to make an offer to the seller.  You want the seller to reduce the price and wait until you sell your home.  The seller thinks, “Why?”  He continues to think that he might pass up a buyer who does not have a home to sell while he is waiting for you; however, he agrees to do the contingency on a full price offer only.  So, you will end up paying more for the house than you should have only because of a contingency.  Now you have to sell your existing house in a hurry; otherwise, you might lose your dream home!  To sell quickly, you might take an offer that is lower than if you had more time.  The bottom line is that buying before selling might cost you tens of thousands of dollars.  We always recommend that you sell first, then buy.

If you are concerned that there is not a house on the market for you, then I will give you a list so you can go on a “window shopping” trip.  You can identify possible houses and locations.  You will know more about the market than most real estate agents, and you can also feel more confident after you put your home up for sale.

Another tactic is to make your sale “subject to seller finding suitable housing.”  Adding this phrase to the listing means when you do find a buyer, you will have some time to find the new place.  If you do not find anything to your liking, you do not have to sell your present home.

  1. Play the Game

Before house-hunting, make a list of ten things you want in a new place.  Make a list of the items you do not want.  You can use these lists as a scorecard to rate each property that you visit.  The one with the biggest score wins!  This helps avoid confusion and keeps things in perspective when you are comparing dozens of homes.  I will be showing you properties that no one else has seen, and sometimes you will have to make fast decisions.

When you are house-hunting, keep in mind the difference between “skin” and “bones.”  The “bones” are things that cannot be changed such as location, view, lot size, area noise, school district, and floor plan.  The “skin” represents easily changed surface finishes like carpet, wallpaper, color, and window coverings.  Buy the house with good “bones,” because the “skin” can always be changed to match your tastes.  We always recommend that you imagine each house as if it were vacant.  Consider each house on its underlying merits, not the seller’s decorating skills.  I will be there to help.

  1. Do not be pushed into any home purchase.

Your agent should show you everything available that meets your requirements.  Do not make a decision on a house until you feel that you have seen enough to choose the best option.  Go to the Multiple Listing Service with your agent to make certain you are getting a COMPLETE list of homes for sale and not just the home that the agent wants to show you.  And do not stop there.  At Sanford Systems, we have ten additional sources of “secret properties” to show you too.

In hot markets, agents advise their clients to make an offer on the spot if they like the home.  That is good advice.  If you hesitate, there is always a chance of the home being sold before you get your offer to the seller.  If you really like a house, Sanford Systems will get a written offer to make sure you have the proper clauses.

Remember to check the school districts, too.  Information is available on every school including class size, percentage of students who go on to college, SAT/ACT scores, etc.  You can get this information from Sanford Systems.

  1. Stop calling ads and responding to agents’ sites.

A word of caution: agents create ads solely to make the phone ring!  Many homes have some drawback that is not mentioned in the ad.  Liabilities like traffic noise, intrusive power lines, or litigation in the community are often left out.  Items that are not mentioned in the ad are often more important than items that are included.

For this reason, we want you to be very careful when reading ads.  Remember that the person writing the ad is representing the seller, not you.  The most important thing you can do is to have someone on your side, looking out for your best interests.  Your own agent will critique the property with an eye toward how well it meets your needs, how good the resale value is, and what drawbacks it might have.

Whether you decide to work with Sanford Systems or not, please choose an agent you feel comfortable with and enlist the services of that agent as a buyer’s broker.  Then you get all the rights, benefits, and privileges of a client, and you are no longer just a shopper.  Did you know that many homes are sold without a sign ever going up or an ad ever being put on the web?  These “great deals” go to those people who are committed to working with one agent.  When an agent searches for a great buy, who do you think he is going to call: someone who just called asking to “keep your eyes open” or the client for whom he has a legal obligation to work?  To get the best buy on a property, we always recommend that you hire your own agent and stay with him or her.

Call or email me.  The process is amazingly simple when you have great systems at work for you.


Walter Sanford

Sanford Systems


Walter Sanford’s Fast Lane Buyer Systems retails for $419, but this month, call us at 800.792.5837 to get your copy for just $50 plus shipping.


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