Bonita Springs Home Buyer Tips
1.) Experienced real estate agents. The “order takers” are coming back into the real estate business because it is moving again. Choose an experienced real estate agent who wasn’t working in another field for the last seven years because they couldn’t cut it through the rough years when real estate skill and expertise mattered most.
2.) Money. Real estate buyers have no business breaching the threshold of a home without proof of funds or a mortgage prequalification in your hot little hands.
3.) Some Banks Are a Challenge to Work With. If you plan on financing your home purchase any real estate agent worth their salt will not let you use your bank from up north to finance your home. Period. It doesn’t matter how nice the lady at the bank is or how many years you’ve banked there. The mortgage underwriters don’t give a crap about loyalty and your loan probably will never fund. There are lenders who will actually underwrite the buyer BEFORE they find a house. How's that for a winning edge?
4.) Scoring a deal. This is not real estate as you know it. Offers often include and escalation clause tacked onto their offer price. If you’re shopping "entry level" priced real estate, you’re probably going to be lucky to actually get into the real estate market so get with the times.
5.) Placing an offer. Sometimes the offer price is actually OVER list price due to low inventory. You might need to feel the sting of defeat a few times before you get on that band wagon.
6.) Flood insurance is expensive, Period. You need to figure out how much flood insurance is before you write an offer on homes in significant flood zone (older homes near the river, canals or beach). It could be hundreds of dollars per month, on top of your mortgage and taxes.
7.) Distressed real estate. As of 2022 is non-existent in our active listings and we have no short sales. The “distressed real estate” real estate inventory opportunity was years ago.
8.) Multiple offers. When there are multiple offers on the home of your dreams you need to take it seriously when the listing agent calls for “your highest and best offer”. That means offer the best price and the best terms. They will not be countering you or even talking with you if you're not in the ballpark. Find out terms that will appeal to the seller, closing dates, lease back, post occupancy agreement, etc.
9.) Home Inspectors. There are several really good inspectors your agent can recommend. By good, it means they are experienced and know each neighborhood, the floor plans, chronic problems with particular home models and they have the best equipment like thermal imaging (to see faulty wiring and water intrusion). Please don’t pick a fly-by-night from the internet because they were fifty bucks cheaper. You get what you pay for. I’ve seen $50 cost someone $20,000 in the long run.
10.) New Construction. An experienced real estate agent can and will show you new product as well as resale real estate. There is no cost to you to have agent representation at a new home sales center. In spring of 2022 there is almost no new construction. They're "taking offers" on what does become available too. They mail real estate agents their new offering with a "suggested retail price" and an invitation for buyer to bring their highest and best.
11.) New doesn’t mean perfect. You still need a home inspection with new construction. Why not discover issues early before they cause significant damage? You’ll also be able to have defective items fixed under warranty by the developer if reported within the warranty period. The home inspection will pay for itself.
12.) Electronic Signatures. If your real estate agent isn’t using Docusign, Appfiles or some other program to have contracts signed electronically you will probably miss out on a deal because of printing, signing, scanning time delays. Time is of the essence in a fevered real estate market.
Frankly, there isn’t a reputable, experienced real estate agent in Bonita Springs, Florida who would refute any of the items on the list above. Regardless of whether you work with me or another local agent consider this list a best practices guide to Bonita Springs home buying this year. Arm yourself with the best real estate team possible and make sure you’re prepped and ready to place an offer on the home of your dreams. If you would like a recommendation for a mortgage broker to get started just call or text and I’ll shoot you the numbers. You can schedule a private strategy session here: Make an Appointment
Angela Griffith is a Florida Realtor® and buyer specialist in Bonita Spring, Estero, Fort Myers and most surrounding SWFL cities. Chris Griffith is a Bonita Springs Marketing Specialist and licensed since 1998.