By way of introduction, I’m Dick Selzer and I’ve been in Real Estate in the Ukiah Valley since the 1970s. After more than 35 years in the industry, I thought I’d share a few facts and opinions about buying, selling, renting, and leasing property. I hope you find the information useful.
The question most often asked of Real Estate agents anytime they’re out and about is, “How’s the market?” So that’s the question I’ll be answering in all kinds of ways.
Right now, the market is in transition. Housing prices have pretty much bottomed out and are just starting to go up, but rates remain incredibly low and there’s not much for sale. So, while this is a great time to buy, two obstacles are in the way: finding a property that meets your needs and getting qualified for a loan.
So, how can you overcome those obstacles? I’d recommend finding a Real Estate agent you trust and can relate to. Here’s why: it’s in their best interest to help you meet your goals, and they know a lot about Real Estate.
If you commit to one agent, and it doesn’t have to be one of mine, that agent will commit to you. (If they won’t, find a new one.) Once you’ve got a good agent, here’s what you can expect.
- They’ll carefully listen to your needs and actively look for properties that meet those needs, so you won’t waste your time looking at houses, land, or commercial properties that don’t work for you.
- They’ll arrange to get you pre-qualified for a loan so you’re ready when the right property becomes available.
- They’ll stay up-to-date on the latest market information (like inventory and mortgage rates), so they can make recommendations to save you money or share opportunities that you might not have been aware of.
- They’ll work in a manner that’s consistent with your lifestyle. Let your agent know how and when you like to communicate (phone call, text, email, mornings, evenings, etc.), and they’ll work with you so you get information the way you want it.
So now you’ve got an agent and the first thing they recommend is getting pre-qualified. Huh?
There are basically two levels of loan qualification – “pre-qualified” and “pre-approved.” Pre-qualified consists of sitting down with an agent and doing some simple calculations to figure out how much house you can afford. To become “pre-approved” for a loan means working with your agent to find a loan broker who will review all your assets, liabilities, tax returns, W-2s, credit history, and any other relevant financial information to begin the process of applying for a loan.