Top Three home buyer tips you can share with anyone wanting to buy a home

Buying a home can be complicated. Starting off with who you should use to do so? Should you use the agent whose name appears on the sign in front of the home you are interested in? Maybe at one point in the past most would have. Heck, they at least have one person who trusts them.

Connor Macivor santa clarita home expertsMaybe you'd venture into doing the same thing?

Our advice for real estate buyers is always the same. Get your own agent. They are free for you. They don't cost you a dime to use their services and they are able to go at it with the seller's agent. 

They can do this for you. They can be on your side 100%. They are able to make sure that you are being treated in the best way possible.

Plus, an experienced Santa Clarita realtor is going to be able to point out things that you will miss. Things that are not observable by the untrained eye. 

I have seen things which were, at least in my mind, a deal killer. This is where I observe some items or items that I know the seller is not going to be able to remediate. Some of these sellers are getting bad advice from their agents - never let that be you if you are a real estate agent.

Understand this, if you are being told that you are to not fix anything pertaining to a health and safety item relevant to your home that you have listed for sale, think about it.

If it's a real health and safety item, it may need to be fixed before you can sell your home to a different party. Once something is discovered, it has to be disclosed.

If you have a home buyer that has hired investigators and inspectors, who pointed out there is some sort of issue, that the seller should be giving attention to, it has to be disclosed to other buyers. 

Even if the home seller does not want to fix it, thinking that the home buyer is not going to continue with what their agent seems to think is a home buyer bluff.

I have seen numerous transactions and home sales stop because of bad advice between a real estate agent and their home buyer or home seller.

For the agents who are reading this, here is my advice. Forget about your commission. Don't even think about it. Just focus on your home buyer and or home seller. 

PDF for the Top Three Tips you can share to any home buyer you know

Connor Macivor (00:00):

Good for everybody. Connor MacIvor heard is every bad day, red day. I wanted to reach out to everyone out there and start with something rather simple and real estate, but it can get complicated just because of all the misinformation that's out there in the world pertaining to how to buy a house and it's not going to make much difference. This is evergreen content. It's going to live in less. There start to be new avenues for search online, but realistically it would seem that everything's pretty much tapped out as far as listings, as far as the multiple listing service. As far as the board, as far as the boards of realtors, there was a time when the information, the data housed at the board of realtors was protected, but that was pre-internet, so post-internet it started happening slowly. You had AOL homes, I don't know.

Connor Macivor (01:02):

Remember that. Remember that America online. That was an interesting transition. Then you had Yahoo real estate. Then you had these other websites, these search websites that we're posting up the local listings, and then you had get involved, which is the overall authority over realtors and real estate agents, the ones that are members of that particular trade group, and there are rules and there's a code of ethics and there's an enforcement mechanism there. So step one, make sure who you're working with is a realtor. Now, not just any realtor, a realtor in good standing about that, and you'll see that if you simply look up their license or ask them per fruit per, per fruit for proof that they are in fact a realtor in good standing. Now, a lot of people, just to back up a second, a lot of people take that word realtor and they add an additional syllable making it real litter.

Connor Macivor (02:15):

That's incorrect. It's real turf realtor, realtor, realtor. That's it. That's how it is. So anyway, you can ask them about that. You can look it up online. You can see if you can look up their license, which should be accessible very simply. I do have an online resource. If you want to go there, Paris nine one forward slash license, Paris nine one forward slash license and you'll have that search engine so you can look up at least state of California real estate licensees. And then after that, you're going to either contact the local board, the local board of realtors here in the Santa Clarita Valley, greater Los Angeles. Well, there's a couple, but the main ones going to be Southland regional of realtors. Check that one out. And the other one for Los Angeles is going to be claw and that's the combined Los Angeles, West sideboard of realtors.

Connor Macivor (03:13):

Anyway, ask where your agent's a member of and then you'll be able to do that research. Most agents are going to be all right. The brokers aren't going to allow, agents that have issues with their licensing have been sanctioned to a point where they have their license removed. They're not going to allow these agents to continue in the business so you don't have to panic if you're contacting an agent to try to set up some kind of a, Hey, I need your help. I'm trying to buy a house trying to sell a house, and they pawn you off to another agent. That could be a sign. That could definitely be a sign that in fact something wrong with their license. So that's good to know. All right, so once we've established that, looking back to where are those homes for sale are being posted. Again, back in the beginning, the boards were freaking out, but they still came.

Connor Macivor (04:05):

They gave in them, they cried uncle because Zillow was built. Truly it was built. These other syndication websites, basically became too big to fail and instead of the real estate agent controlling that

the listing, the listing agent, you go to, you come to me, you say, Connor, I want your help. I want you to sell my house. Great. Once I hit publish into the MLS, after I've entered all the information, once I hit publish with your permission, of course, your listing goes everywhere. It gets syndicated on all of the syndication real estate websites and it's there for everybody to see lots of real estate websites out there and if you search, there's over a couple of hundred places where that listing is going to propagate online. So realistically finding the listing isn't a problem. However, running into trouble, trying to find the listing may be an issue because you have a lot of entities out there and know this, you have a lot of entities out there that are actually not being complete with you when it comes to what listings they have access to.

Connor Macivor (05:19):

And in some cases, they might bend the truth a little bit to get you to give up your personal information. Remember just a second ago where I told you that the real estate data and those listings were once protected behind the board of realtors wall controlled by those listing agents. Well, the syndication websites have basically been able to monetize something that was only monetized by the listing agent and maybe a few good buyer's agents out in the world. The listing agent had control over that listing where it went. Typically the sign in the yard was enough. Maybe some door knocking of the neighbors stating, Hey, we have

Connor with HONOR (05:58):

this listing comes on the market. They might have a brother, an uncle or a friend that's been looking to move into their neighborhood, so on and so forth. That was great. They would call the listing agent, make it happen. Now the system is completely different where a lot of the proponents of representing buyer and seller in a single transaction by the same agent, they are starting to become the minority, not the majority. A lot of people believe that you should have your own agent representing your own interests 100% of the time. And this includes new housing because if you don't have your own agent when you're walking into new housing and if they don't put your name down and you innocently sign in on an iPad, you've just given up your right to have your agent represent you and the new home buying process. So that agent is what representing the seller who's the builder and you Canada Outlaws that practice is known as the dual agency and a few other States too as well. Time will probably reveal that more and more states will jump on that bandwagon because a lot of people view it as a major conflict of interest. It's up to you to decide. California, it's still illegal.

Connor with HONOR (07:12):

You have to go with your conscience back to online searching. When you enter your information through any of these syndication websites because you've seen, Oh my gosh, excuse the windshield wipers in the background. Oh my gosh, this is, this is a listing I haven't seen anywhere else, but in order for me to get access to it because it may be a bank-owned property or foreclosure property or something unique in order for me to get access, the website says, Hey, Connor, give up your personal information. I'll let you see it. I'll let you see these foreclosure listings. I'll let you see these bank repossessions. I'll let you in. They use all the trigger words that people love. Oh my gosh, I'm going to get a great deal. I'm the only one that's going to see it. I can't wait, and you give it up and you get there and it's really alike, wow, man.

Connor with HONOR (08:04):

Not a big deal, not nothing fancy and it could just be fluff. It could be a list of foreclosures that may behave notice of defaults filed. It could be a list of foreclosures that had sold in the past. It could be things like that, especially in this market and it has, it is market-specific. We haven't seen an out of control foreclosure market since after the last fall of the real estate cycle in 2007 and it just doesn't exist right now. We have a healthy market where the majority of the listings for sale are standard sales and 1% of the cases or less and that's usually the way that it works. We see foreclosures and bank-owned properties being listed one out of a hundred or less and that's where we are currently in Santa Clarita Valley, greater Los Angeles. If you go to Santa Clarita, home Santa Clarita, home scroll down to the bottom and you'll see a tab that you can click on that says foreclosures that will have every single foreclosure listing and Southern California currently active on the market for sale. You can also get there by going to Santa Clarita, home forward slash foreclosures and you say, well, Connor, when I go on your website, it's requesting my personal information. Absolutely. That's what I'm in the business of doing. I'm here to represent buyers and sellers of real estate and I would hope you see the value in what I add and understand by giving up any of your information on Santa Clarita, home I'm the only one seeing who you are and your email address and I don't hound or push or pressure. All I do is

Connor with HONOR (09:55):
represent, so when you're ready, you reach out to me and we'll take it from there.

Connor with HONOR (10:01):

I'll probably send you an email or a video, a very personal video, G-rated personal video. I got to throw that in there and I'll probably say to you that saying, Hey, I'm Connor McGuyver with Santa Clarita home experts here at re max when you're ready to reach out and I'll be there to best protect and serve your real estate needs. So good. The first steps are these, know where you're searching. If you're looking herein Southern California, especially Santa Clarita Valley, Santa Clarita, home my system is connected to the same system that we use to search for homes for our clients. Now next step, step two, and this is a good one. After you team up with an agent, after you find that agent that you want to represent your new housing, then have the agent take you to new housing. If you go to new housing before, understand that having your own agent costs you nothing. The builder, Kaufman and Umbro toll brothers, Lenore, whomever it is, has a deal in place where at no cost to you at all without you giving up any of your rights to get discounts, closing costs, paid grants, all of those sorts of things. Without giving those up. You could have your own agent represent you in a new housing period. The same thing goes with resale. But that first house that you want to see, make sure that you contact your agent to take them out there to show it to you.

Connor with HONOR (11:45):

Something, where I would miss the mark if I didn't mention, would-be lenders and lending. So now you've chosen that consummate, real professional. Now you're ready to borrow money. See if you can borrow money to make this purchase. If you have a suitcase full of cash, well you need a season, so it's gotta be in the bank. So maybe that wouldn't work anymore. That's what we used to say. But besides that, if you have a dad or a mom or a friend or relative that's going to give you the money to buy a house, that's great. But a lot of us aren't in that situation. So we need to borrow money to finance the mortgage, to finance the house. That being the case, you're gonna need a lender. Lots of different lenders. If you work for the studios, you're going to have a credit

Connor Macivor (12:38):

union that you can go to. If you're a police officer for the Los Angeles police department, you have a credit union there. If you're a sheriff, have a particular place, they usually go off. You're a fireman, a city fireman. Again, they also have a credit union that you can go to and apply for a home loan. The other entities out there, you've seen them driving around, bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi Bank, our bank, chase, all of these places you can go apply for a loan as well. The problem is some of those cases is constructability communication. It's a little bit rusty. Some of those entities don't allow their staff, these loan people to reach out on their own time. They don't allow these loan people to email after hours.

Connor with HONOR (13:31):

They're on holidays and they don't allow their employees cause there's no compensation in them in their business model to actually reach out during holidays and other times to answer your question and they don't give out cell phones or mobile phones, that's easy. You should ask that question. Are you available after hours on weekends, during holidays? If they say yes, then ask, how does that work? Well, you call my office, you leave a message. I review my messages every six hours on a Saturday and every 12 hours on a holiday. Folks, that answer doesn't work. If they're going to get back to you if their next available moment that that's the answer that works and because this, there are lenders out there that in order to compete for your business, they make themselves available. I would tell you, I will tell you that I find one of those lenders.

Connor with HONOR (14:27):

A lot of the time your best option is going to be a mortgage broker. In fact, you can save money by going to a mortgage broker. This is why they pull on many sources of money, so either they can lend you money themselves because there is a quote-unquote direct lender. Most mortgage brokers are that. Or they can also borrow money from 200 or more other sources. It's always 200 right? 200 or more other sources of money and a lot of times there are great deals going on with a lot of these entities that are willing to take on your mortgage and get you a home mortgage and because they're out there a number and they're all competing for your business, then more than likely you're going to get your best deal there. The only way to know for sure and instead of saying, you know, I swear on the Bible, the only way to know for sure is this. Make sure you get a couple of opinions just like you would if you went to a doctor. You're talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars, a lot of medical procedures are a lot less than that and you're still going to go get a second opinion. I would still get a second opinion as it relates to to

Connor with HONOR (15:46):

real estate. Therefore, when you start your process, ask for that good faith estimate. Ask for the document that shows the interest rate that you've been promised and what that payment's going to look like at a certain price point. You say, well, we asked the lender that and they said, this is only an estimate. Okay fine, don't have a house in NFI yet. Or the lender says you know what? Sorry, I can't provide that for you because you don't have a house that you want to purchase yet. So then at that point what you want to say is, okay Jack, let's make one up. If you've qualified, if you've been qualified at $500,000 let's see what that looks like and if the area you're buying in happens in the house as you like for example, and by this time your agent should have done some recon and should have explained to you how it works.

Connor with HONOR (16:52):

If some of those houses that you're interested in seem to have Mello Roos on average, that's a special assessment tax and that happens out here in Santa Clarita and other places as well. If it happens to have that, have that lender factor that in. If most of the houses in the price range in the neighborhood and in the cities that you're interested in, may have a homeowners association, have that lender, that fee every month have that lender include an average of what that would look like as well. Then they're going to be able to produce. And then also the same type. If you're looking at single-family residences, fees are going to be a little bit different when it comes to financing that versus condos versus townhomes. So then ask for single-family residences. So once you do that, they'll be able to produce for you a very accurate good faith estimate.

Connor with HONOR (17:42):

And that good faith estimate is, of course, going to be dependent on interest rates. Here we are about middle March 2020 here in Santa Clarita Valley. I'm Connor MacGyver and interest rates are going down and when you didn't think they could get below three, they're going below three. And the reason why that is is that the stock market's taken a beating and that makes the bond market more robust. Therefore, interest rates go down. So looking at the good faith estimate from one of the lenders I refer you to, plus a lender potentially that you'll have on your side will give you a good idea exactly what that payment's going to look like and where your best deal is going to come from. Now, if you're paying a little bit more for origination with a lender that's available after hours on weekends, during holidays, see what that number is and then find out why that's necessary.

Connor Macivor (18:34):

And I'll tell you why right now why that's necessary. He is this. If we have been out all day on Saturday and it's our seventh or eighth time looking at properties and maybe we've written some offers and lost out on some for whatever reason, but let's say we're out on a Saturday. Let's say you have a question regarding financing this home. Maybe it's everything you want and it's a little bit higher than you wanted to spend. But knowing that for every $10,000 finance, that's only a change in your payment or 40 or 50 bucks per month. And this house happens to be priced well at 10,000 over your highest ability, but you still want to at least get that number before you write the offer because you are interested in writing that offer. You contact your lender but they're not available till Monday and the property just came on the market.

Connor Macivor (19:33):

And again, you've been out looking so it's not some kind of a knee jerk reaction. Your real estate agent conduit into ho you know, Sam, you gotta move quickly on this one cause it's, you've seen the inventory, you've seen how long things last. You see how multiple offers happen when you're searching in that same sweet spot. Lot 40 of the other people out there looking for real estate. So you know you have to move quickly. Well, but the lender that you've chosen to work with isn't available until Monday. Maybe it's too much, maybe you can't qualify. Maybe you truly are at your max and there's no way the lender is going to be able to get $10,000 more. These are the reasons you have to have that lender available. And also if you're using a special loan type, a VA loan for the veterans out there, an FHA loan for the, well an FHA loan, which is three and a half percent down payment and you're buying a condo or a townhome, the complex has to be approved to allow those loans to work. And if that's the only way you can borrow money and if the website's down or just to know for sure, even though some of us have access to those databases, but the really is going

Connor with HONOR (20:48):

to be the one that needs to answer the question of whether or not this complex, this particular place happens to be VA or FHA approved. Well, if they're not available, it's going to be painful for you to wait until Monday, especially if it's a hot property. I'm Connor MacGyver. This has been from in the car. If everybody read to date, I'll talk to you soon. Thank you for listening. You're the best Santa Clarita home CALDRE 01238257. I hope you guys are great. Connor MCI, I ever check out Santa Clarita, home my a Cal Dre number to see if I actually have a license and I'm a real turn good standing. You'll find that in the about Tell a friend this has been just a long dissertation on the best beginnings of purchasing real estate in Santa Clarita. We'll talk to you soon. Connor MacGyver over and out.

The rub is this - the real estate market is going to continue to grow. We will be seeing things start to change but I'm certain that the real estate market is going to still continue to grow with very little recession impact. It may take longer for homes to sell for now, but that will all change in the coming months. 

Once the virus peaks and we have a vaccine - we will be good to go. The stock market may take as many days to recover as it did to fall. Don't panic - just be good to yourself, your family and each other. I'm Connor with HONOR MacIvor and I'm glad to be of service.