Things are starting to sprout up as the spring real estate market begins in the Richmond area! Before things get in full bloom, we wanted to share with you some of the insight we have seen as a result of The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (aka: Dodd-Frank). You can get a full refresher on our take on Dodd-Frank and its affects on Real Estate closing timelines and additional paperwork here. The intent of Dodd Frank is to protect borrowers from the lenders and to force lenders to disclose details more fully and closing and loan details far earlier. What does this mean and how is it playing out? Well, that’s what we are here to tell you about!
Plan to Flex: Dodd-Frank and “Know before you owe” means new forms of paperwork, and it also means longer closing times. The new regulation requires that the borrower has the closing statement a minimum of 3 days before closing with the hopes that buyers are better-informed and educated. The drawback, however, is that any “major” changes to the closing statement will then require an additional three days of waiting prior to closing. As you may imagine, if you are looking to close on your current home on one day and close on your new home later that afternoon or that next day, these new policies may affect your perfect plan! We have a few suggestions to help you plan on being flexible:
- Go Local: work with both local lenders and attorneys–we have found that this helps the process go more smoothly for everyone involved;
- Rent-Back: when selling, consider the possibility of a rent-back agreement for your current home until you can close and move into your new home, or arrange to load up your belongings into a truck for a night or two and plan to stay with a dear friend or fun family member;
- Hire for flexibility: find movers who are willing to flex with you and work with your potentially changing timeline;
- Plan for Change: in your contracts, lay out your need for flexibility with timing;
- Pre-Inspect: Before you list your home, consider doing a pre-inspection so you can make repairs before selling.
To be a Competitive Buyer in a Seller’s Market, you can read Kim’s full list of suggestions here, but the nuts and bolts of what you need to know are here:
- Go Pro: hire a professional to help you navigate the wild world of a spring seller’s market in Richmond;
- Talk Numbers: Talk to a lender on the front end so you have a clear idea of what you can afford and you are able to scoop up that home of your dreams as soon as you see it;
- Know the Market: Get a good feel for what homes are going for in the areas in which you are most interested so that you can recognize a well-priced home when you see one;
- Get your Foot in the Door: Go and start seeing houses and get into that house of your dreams as soon as you can–things are selling fast, and you want to be one of the first to see the house and make an offer.
Now that you have found the house of your dreams, are you worried about making an offer that will be accepted? Don’t be! This spring has been busy thus far and the market is competitive for buyers, but don’t worry: Kim is here to help! Kim will walk you through making an offer they can’t refuse--her top tips include:
- Start strong: Show that you are interested in the house, and make a strong initial offer;
- Be serious: Consider increasing your earnest money deposit to show your seller you are serious about their home;
- Let your money talk: Pay with cash or a conventional loan, if you can;
- Be Flexible: Allow your seller to rent back if needed and be willing to work with them on closing timelines;
- Warm up your wallet: If you have the cash, offer to help with some–or all–of the seller’s closing fees;
- Be Personal: Introduce yourself to the seller with a personal note about why you would love to live in their home.
Concerned about financing and wondering what’s best for you? To learn more about financing options, check out Kim’s post on finding the right financing here!
We are so excited to work with you and cannot wait to see what the spring market holds for you. As always, don’t hesitate to be in touch if we can help you think through this process or answer any questions you may have. Happy house hunting, and enjoy seeing the wonderful homes that our great city of Richmond has to offer!