Thinking Strategically in Today’s Real Estate Market

How To Think Strategically as a Buyer in Today’s Market

The game of chess can provide incredible lessons to apply to all aspects of life, including the homebuying process. Chess requires you to plan and think about your strategy from the very beginning of the game.

The homebuying process, like chess, requires strategy and planning. Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your plan is as strong as possible when you begin your home search.

Pre-Approval: the Best Opening Play To Make as a Homebuyer

It’s important to have a great opening play when you’re buying a home. And the best move you can make when you begin your home search is getting pre-approved by a lender. You’ve probably already heard this is an important step, but what exactly is pre-approval and what benefits does it provide you?

As Freddie Mac puts it:

“The pre-approval letter from your lender tells you the maximum amount you are qualified to borrow. Getting a pre-approval letter is not a loan guarantee, it simply states how much your lender is willing to lend you. . . .”

And while determining how much you can afford at the start of your search is critical, the pre-approval letter also serves another important purpose. Freddie Mac also notes:

“This pre-approval allows you to look for a home with greater confidence and demonstrates to the seller that you are a serious buyer.”

In the game of chess, a strong opening move signals to your opponent that you’re a serious competitor. As a homebuyer, your pre-approval letter signals to the seller that you’re a serious, interested buyer.

Homebuying: It’s a Team Game, Not a Single-Player Experience

Every step you take to create your strategy as a buyer is important in today’s market. Why? Mortgage rates are still low, but increasing. Prices are going up. There’s a limited supply of homes for sale. These are just a few key variables in today’s market you need to be prepared for.

That means leaning on expert guidance as you plan every move is more important than ever. Have a team of professionals – like your trusted real estate agent and a loan officer – every step of the way to make sure you make the right moves.

Bottom Line

Getting a pre-approval letter isn’t just good strategy, it can be game-changing. It allows you a full understanding of what you can afford, and it signals to sellers that you’re serious. I work with some incredible mortgage officers who we can trust through and through to guide you every step of the way. Give a call/text 508-930-5259 or reach out through the contact form today and let’s connect to get you on right path to homeownership.

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
Keller Williams Elite
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 

Appraisals and Inspections – What you need to know

Knowledge Is Power When It Comes to Appraisals and Inspections

Buyers in today’s market often have questions about the importance of getting a home appraisal and an inspection. That’s because high buyer demand and low housing supply are driving intense competition and leading some buyers to consider waiving those contingencies to stand out in the crowded market.

But is that the best move? Buying a home is one of the most important transactions in your lifetime, and it’s critical to keep your best interests in mind. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect from the appraisal and the inspection, and why each one can potentially save you a lot of time, money, and headaches down the road.

Home Appraisal

The home appraisal is a critical step for securing a mortgage on your home. As Home Light explains:

Knowledge Is Power When It Comes to Appraisals and Inspections | MyKCM

“. . . lenders typically require an appraisal to ensure that your loan-to-value ratio falls within their underwriting guidelines. Mortgages are secured loans where the lender uses your home as collateral in case you default on the agreed-upon payments.”

Put simply: when you apply for a mortgage, an unbiased appraisal – typically required by your lender – is the best way to verify the value of the home. That appraisal ensures the lender doesn’t loan you more than what the home is worth.

When buyers are competing like they are today, bidding wars and market conditions can push prices up. A buyer’s contract price may end up higher than the value of the home – this is known as an appraisal gap. In today’s market, it’s common for the seller to ask the buyer to make up the difference when an appraisal gap occurs. That means, as a buyer, you may need to be prepared to bring extra money to the table if you really want the home.

Home Inspection

Like the appraisal, the inspection is important because it gives an impartial evaluation of the home. While the appraisal determines the current value of the home, the inspection determines the current condition of the home. As the American Society of Home Inspectors puts it:

“Home inspections are the opportunity to discover major defects that were not apparent at a buyer’s showing. . . . Your home inspection is to help you make an informed decision about the house, including its condition.”

If there are any concerns during the inspection – an aging roof, a malfunctioning HVAC system, or any other questionable items – you have the option to discuss and negotiate any potential issues with the seller. Your real estate advisor can help you navigate this process and negotiate what, if any, repairs need to be made before the sale is finalized.

Keep in mind – home inspections are critical because they can shed light on challenges you may face as the new homeowner. Without an inspection, serious, sometimes costly issues could come as a surprise later on.

Bottom Line

Both the appraisal and the inspection are important steps in the homebuying process. They protect your best interests as a buyer by providing unbiased information about the home’s value and condition. Let’s connect so you have an expert guiding you throughout the entire process.

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 


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Happily serving my clients throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod & the Islands.

Bidding Wars – Buyers be Ready!

Are you ready to enter on this real estate market?

I have been on the listing side and the buyers’ side of multiple offer situations countless times and believe me, neither are fun.   My recent listing at 53 Turnstone Dr in Attleboro had 40 showing requests in less than 24 hours of being on the market.  One day of showings produced 15 offers from ready and willing buyers by 11:00am the next morning.

It took hours to go through each offer individually as we evaluated the:

  • offer price
  • dates 
  • deposits
  • contingencies
  • personal letters to the seller
  • escalation clauses
  • and mortgage pre-approval and pre-qualification letters.

When sellers review offers, know that the highest offer price does not always “win”.   All of the terms of the offer and buyers’ qualifications must be considered both when writing up a contract as a buyer and when reviewing an offer contract as a seller.

Want to know the three best ways to position yourself as a strong, sought after buyer amidst a sea of buyers and very few listings?

 1. Work with a full-time, experienced, and respected agent who will have the knowledge and reputation to present an offer and “you” in a way that the sellers and sellers’ agent will take seriously.  You want the sellers’ side to feel confident that you are the right buyer.

Buyers need to be prepared

2.  Get pre-approved now!  Do not wait until you find a home to contact a mortgage officer.  Experienced listing agents know the difference between a pre-approval that has been vetted with buyer documentation and a pre-qualification letter that is just based on a phone conversation with a lender.  Good listing agents will always call mortgage officers to make sure the buyers are solid.  It is always in your best interest to use a full time, experienced, and respected mortgage officer and company as well.  Let me know if I can send you some names!!

3.  If you own a home and your home purchase is going to be contingent upon it selling, you need to list your home NOW.  In almost all cases, sellers will move your offer to the bottom of the pile as soon as they see a “contingent upon the sale of buyer’s house”.  Some will consider you if you have a signed P&S on your home, but some will still see that as a risk since they have to worry about you as a buyer and your buyer.  As a back up plan, it may be worth checking with your mortgage officer to see if could purchase your next home without selling your current one first.  If a down-payment is tied up in the equity of your current home, a cash-out refinance may be an option for you.  (FYI – a refinance must be completed before listing your current home or moving forward on a loan application for a new home.)  Best plan… contact your mortgage officer and a contact qualified experienced real estate agent. 

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jen McMorran, Realtor Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA & RI Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
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Serving clients throughout Massachusetts & Rhode Island. Boston – Attleboro – Providence and the communities in between.