Rates are low, the market is hot, and the opportunities are limited — That’s the California real estate market summed up in one preppie yet a concise sentence. Lean, mean, and to the point, said Ali Safavi. The truth is that the California real estate market is one of the fiercest and most competitive arenas in the States. It’s a tough industry that makes the Olympics look childish and pedestrian by comparison. Why? Because, according to statistics handed out yearly by the California Association of REALTORS, homes and properties are quickly being sold. The market is in such a fever pitch that most are being sold above the asking price — unleashing rabid negotiations that look more like back alley brawls than anything else. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that potential buyers are out on their luck if they are in the market for a new home or a great business investment.
Tips to make a killing as a Buyer in the California Real estate market
Here are some proven tricks, curated by California real-estate guru, Ali Safavi, that will help you out when it comes to closing a deal and getting ahead of the pack. Getting first pick, prime spot, first in line for your dream property.
Get your mortgage before even hitting the street
The truth is that over 70% of homes listed in California get multiple offers at once. It really is a seller’s market. If you want to have a fighting chance at getting first picking and actually winning a negotiation you have to enter the fracas with a pre-approved mortgage loan. You’ll need this bargaining chip even before you enter the real-estate office and start hatching out numbers. With a pre-approved loan, you can start negotiating with a viable offer right out the gate — which makes you a prime candidate and an actual competitor. In many cases, top pick. A pre-approved loan gives you first pickings of what the market has at hand.
Keep your eyes peel
Homes are flying off the shelf and what’s even more impressive is that most properties, in the California area, only remain listed for an average of 13 days. It’s a market where if you snooze you lose. So it’s important to always be on the warpath. Checking listings, badgering your agent, automatic your daily updates, and hitting the market constantly is key in the California real-estate arena. You have to be on top of everything if you truly want a property in the area, said Ali Safavi.
There’s always a deal
Some things, no matter the region, are universal — they translate perfectly from one neighborhood to the other. There are some human habits that, whether you were born with a silver spoon or a wooden one, that haunt all of us. Sometimes we’re really bad with money. What does this mean in the California market? That not everyone selling their property has the higher ground. Every so often a homeowner has to sell out of necessity, to settle debts, or simply because they are strapped for cash and need an influx fast. This makes them desperate and willing to take whatever is put on the table just as long as the contracts are signed in a jiffy. Keep that in mind. Do your research and understand what opportunity is staring at you from across the table.
Get an Agent
Unlike other markets, California is a fast-paced elitist one that doesn’t exactly welcome outsiders. It’s incredibly easy to fall behind and find yourself with zero to no opportunity of closing a deal. The more you understand this, the sooner you can actually get cracking on making a dent in it. That’s why you must get an agent ASAP. One that is in the “know” and an established face within the industry and area. They’ll not only know the lingo and who’s ear to twist, but they’ll also get first crack at some of the better homes and properties.
The sooner you tie your wagon to a real estate agent, the faster you can start to narrow your search and get a handle on the whole process.
Understand the jargon
Loans, budgets, interests rates, contracts, asbestos, lead paint, building codes, etc. There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to closing a deal in California. Enough that it might seem a bit overwhelming. It’s incredibly important to come to the negotiation with your big boy or big girl pants on — prepared to speak the jargon and understand the culture. Whether you’re doing your own research or getting an agent to help you out it’s important to come prepared. Arm yourself with knowledge, particularly about some of the more important issues you’re liable to face during your search.
One of the biggest myths is that an agent’s commission is set in stone. Every agent charges the same no matter what. That’s a bit misleading. Yes, there is a rule of thumb, but no actual law that states an exact percentage. It’s important to fix a percentage point with your age right off the bat.
Forget about UBER
Today, most people believe their cell phones have the answer to life’s most pertinent questions. They are used to getting everything on demand and skipping the middleman altogether. Open an app and call up a ride, buy an airline ticket, get a new phone, score some food. Thanks to the advent of Zillow and other property-centric software, some buyers believe that buying a home is as easy as calling up a pizza. Pick one of the sites and schedule a meeting. The truth couldn’t be much different.
First-time buyers new to an area need an advocate. The listing agent that represents that home they want to buy has a fiduciary responsibility to not only negotiate the best price but the best terms for the sellers — they have no sympathy for buyers. If they can fleece you, they will. Why? It’s part of that fiduciary clause, they have a moral obligation to skin you alive for their client. Period. Excellent buyer agents understand this and will do everything in their power to protect you from hardball tactics. They’re part of the community and speak the same language as the seller’s representative.
Another key fact to consider is that in many cases, due to how many queries these sites send to the listings agent is that there’s a high degree of probability that your message will be lost among the so many.
The more you understand this, the sooner you can actually get cracking on making a dent in it. That’s why you must get an agent ASAP. One that is in the “know” and an established face within the industry and area. They’ll not only know the lingo and who’s ear to twist, but they’ll also get first crack at some of the better homes and properties. The sooner you tie your wagon to a real estate agent, the faster you can start to narrow your search and get a handle on the whole process.
Why trust an agent
A local agent can make the difference between sealing a deal and wasting your money. It’s that simple. It’s important to understand that not all agents are the same, and yes, even in California, we have a couple of bad eggs. There are always scammers, there are always agents that do the bare minimum — and there are agents that go way above their job description. Check referrals. Talk to the community. Get an idea one who you’re getting in bed with, said Ali Safavi.