For the record - most real estate agents want to work with home sellers. This is because when you have a home listed for sale, it generates revenue from the sign, the internet exposure within the MLS and real estate syndication websites and in other venues as well.
One real estate listing can equate to many different referral streams including those obtained during open houses being held.
Most agents spend a ton of money on advertising to real estate sellers. There are websites that charge fee's stating they have "figured it out" and have a computer algorithm (program) that they have developed that can estimate at the point when a homeowner is going to start to contemplate selling. They then sell that "information" to the real estate agents willing to pay for it.
Then there is the strategy that I have pertaining to my real estate business. I love home sellers, but home buyers also have a super great place in my heart.
Home sellers have bought a home at least once.
First time home buyers have never bought a home, condo or town-home. They are flying blind and there are a lot of predators that are waiting in the wings to take full advantage of their naivety.
Personally, I am sure that is what attracted me from a young age growing up in a small town in New Mexico to want to be an LAPD police officer. To protect those who could not protect themselves. To be the first line of defense between those who needed defending on the streets of Los Angeles. That is my "why" and now that I'm a full-time Realtor and have been serving my home buyers since 1998, I'm able to put it into words.
About Santa Clarita real estate buyers agents
First time home buyers that are working with my real estate team know first hand how we have positioned ourselves as the local Santa Clarita real estate experts. They know how we take it slowly and explain the parts of the process that are most dynamic and dangerous. We get those bits of information to them at first, then break down the rest of the home buying processes so they are best protected.
The philosophy that I have developed over the past 20 years, since 1998, is simple. Make sure the home buyer has all the information to make their best decisions. Don't leave anything out and rely on the full disclosure process. If you know of anything, it needs to be known by the home buyer so it can be included in their decision-making process.
Referral oriented we are. A real estate agent can have a ton of real estate listings. To also be the representative of the home buyer with a home they personally have listed for sale is not very common or appreciated by today's real estate home seller.
Maybe in years past the home buyer had an advantage when going directly to the home seller's agent to inquire and purchase the home they have listed for sale.
Today in Santa Clarita Valley that is not the case nor is that what most home sellers want. How can a real estate agent be on both sides of a transaction and give 100% to each party? The best they will be able to do is give 50% to each side. How can you be ensured they are not giving anyone's "bottom line" pertaining to how much they will allow the home to be sold for (seller) and how much they can afford (buyer).
Every time I post about "double ending" a transaction, I get pretty strong push back. When that happens I ask why "double ending" is illegal in several states plus Canada?
Having your own real estate agent as a home buyer is critical, even when you are buying a new construction home from a new home builder's agent.
The new home agents are within the new home communities and they are wonderful. However, the new home builder has built in a commission for the agent who brings their buyer into the new home community to purchase new housing. They know, even with all of their advertising, that agents have a lot of past clients and are on the forefront related to real estate advertising. They don't want to turn away their shareholders and investors. The price is palatable compared with the monies generated by building and selling new homes.
Offering when buying Santa Clarita real estate
There are several things to have discussed between yourself and your Santa Clarita buyer's agent. You are going to want them to have a look at your loan. What type is it? Who is the lender? What are the terms? How much is the downpayment required? How is the lender's availability? How much are closing costs going to be? What is the interest rate you are being promised? Is the lender local? Has the lender's outfit been heard of or are they a boutique type lender?
The lender should be available when you find the home you want, in order to give you a fresh pre-approval letter.
At the point you are looking at homes, as a Santa Clarita home buyer, you should already have a 'blanket' pre-approval letter from a lender. You should have given that lender all of the documentation necessary to be truly pre-approved. I say "truly" because there are many lenders that give telephonic approvals, yes - even today!
In order to do your home buying event justice, you need to be fully approved through the lender's automated computer and approval system and also by their underwriter.
That is how you can compete in this current housing market within the Santa Clarita Valley as a real estate buyer. First-time buyer or any home buyer needs to have the "full approval".
Proper Vetting of Santa Clarita real estate
With the full lender approval, the home buyer can start looking at homes for sale. They will have to be vetted by your Santa Clarita real estate buyer's agent.
The buyer's agent you are working with needs to ask several questions more about the homes they are showing you and those that you are requesting to view.
The home buyer's loan program
Are the homes going to conform with the type of loan that the home buyer is going to obtain? example - if the home buyer is using a 100% financing USDA loan, the home is going to have to be a certain type and located within a certain area in order for that home to qualify for that type of loan program.
Is the home up to spec related to the loan program that the Santa Clarita home buyer is using? "Up to spec" is an example of how the home's condition is. example - if the home buyer is using a Veterans Administration Loan, the home has to have the appliances in place, the home cannot have an exposed slab (carpet or flooring must exist) and the home needs to be habitable. If these don't exist on the homes that your buyer's agent is going to show you, then an offer may be accepted, but the loan will be denied after you have to spend money on an appraiser to find out something your Santa Clarita Buyers Agent should have known.
Homes with Home Owners Associations
What about the home and the HOA? Some real estate listings have Home Owners Associations. HOA's. These are in place and some are really awesome for those who live within their communities. Some HOA's have pools, walking paths, parks, and wonderfully outfitted greenbelts throughout the homes that make up their association.
However, some Home Owners Associations have a high dollar amount that needs to be paid each month. For a home buyer that is at the top of the approval limit, a $200.00 a month HOA will push them over to a point where they won't be able to get financing. The Santa Clarita home buyer's agent needs to know this and has to apply this knowledge and experience accordingly.
Loan application for Santa Clarita communities
Also, some of the homes, at least in the condo and town-home type, will not be approved for certain lending types. If the home buyer is FHA or VA, Federal Housing Administration or Veterans Administration borrowers, the Santa Clarita buyer's agent is going to have to be selective on what townhomes and condos they are going to show their clients.
Not steering, that is illegal, but some of the condo and townhomes are not approved to allow for those types of loans to be approved.
Most times it's not about the financial wherewithal for the communities association. It comes down to "owner occupancy" numbers. How many of the units are owner-occupied? If that number is at a certain level then one of the VA or FHA loan programs won't be allowed. Some of the communities have not renewed or attempted to renew their VA or FHA approval status. This is another reason why the buyer's agent you select needs to be on top of what is approved and what is not before you have your time wasted.
Property tax - special assessments - mello roos
As the Top Santa Clarita buyer's agent, this one hits home quite often. There are some great homes in the SCV cities. Some of those homes have mello roos taxes that are in place.
This can equate to hundreds of dollars a month in extra property taxes needing to be paid by the homeowner.
In some cases, these Mello Roos are close to being paid off. They are small amounts and are not shocking to the conscious. However, a good home buyer's agent will keep a home buyer informed as to how much, how often and when they will supposedly terminate and if they can increase.
When I am running homes and properties for my home buyers, I make sure that they know how much the tax bills are and if they contain any special assessments or CFD's in the form of Mello Roos Taxex.
Property taxes are typically paid twice per year. If you have a particular type of loan, like VA or FHA, they are going to be part of a monthly payment that will also pay your mortgage and will also pay your home insurance. If the mello roos taxes is an additional 1.25%, on top of the normal Los Angeles County Property Tax amount of approximately 1.25% - that's like paying double property taxes and in a $500,000.00 dollar home, can be as much if not more than $500.00 a month, as a simple example.
Knowing is half the battle - making the offer
After all of this has been explained and after you have started to view homes with your Santa Clarita home buyer's agent, you will find a home, condo or townhome you like and want to buy.
Having a Santa Clarita buyer's agent that knows the market and what other offers are being accepted by experience and knowledge, they will be able to write yours for you.
One of the most important things in the current Santa Clarita housing market is only sending a single email with all of the documentation necessary to accompany the offer.
The home sellers have these offers presented to them by their agents. They need to have everything to make their best decisions. There are cases when a Santa Clarita homeowner will not move forward with an offer that does not include fico scores and choose one that does if everything else is the same.
That is why it's so important to ensure that your agent has everything necessary to accompany the offer. And also so important for you to choose a real estate buyers agent who is going to give you this information so that you are not left out in the cold.
When all the i's are dotted and t's crossed, a home seller can have your offer presented by their agent without having their agent needing to compile, organize and structure the offer package they received on your behalf.
All files are also labeled clearly so the receiving agent and their seller knows that is inside. If it's a pre-approval letter - then the file's title should be "pre-approval for Tanya and Sunny". If the file is the love letter that we ask most of our clients to put together, then the title of that file should be "Love Letter for home sellers from Tanya and Sunny".
Santa Clarita real estate not so simple apparently
It seems simple, maybe that is why other agents have a hard time getting their home buyers offer's accepted. Maybe that is the problem. They are too busy being busy and not focusing on educating their home buyers and home sellers as to best practices and performances in real estate and housing.
I will tell you that I have been representing home buyers since 1998 in the Santa Clarita Valley. I have sat with thousands of home buyers, first-timers and veteran types. All of which have walked away with new information that has kept me and my team at their top of mind when it comes to others speaking about wanting to hire a top realtor to help them with their real estate needs.
That is why we don't pay into those syndication websites and why we love being referral based realtors. If our clients don't love us then we are not doing our job.
When you are ready to Buy a Santa Clarita home, I will be there for you. Call me and we will set up an appoint to help you Buy Santa Clarita real estate in our offices at 25129 The Old Road, Santa Clarita CA, 91381. I have the bottom right - if you are in the law enforcement profession, then I have the lower 4/1 corner of that building.
If you are going to drop in to learn more about how we can help you with your next or first Santa Clarita real estate purchase, call me for an appointment and don't stand outside of my window, it's scary for me :) - Talk soon and thank you for reading and sharing this Home Buyer's article.