Birmingham Home Buying Tips

Buying a home in Birmingham, Alabama, or anywhere, can sometimes, unfortunately, be a stressful and even painful event!  We, the Birmingham Real Estate Pros ,have a few recommendations for home shopping that will help make your real estate shopping experience more enjoyable!

Buying a Home

Ok, so you want to buy a home.  Maybe you are a first time buyer?  Maybe a seasoned pro looking for some new tips?  Either way, we recommend incorporating the following steps into your home shopping plan.  

Shop Homes Online

The internet is arguably one of the greatest resources for home shoppers today.  Never before have people been able to sit in the comfort of their home and shop real estate with such speed!  Information is readily available to home shoppers online and searching the internet first can save valuable drive time later.  Today, internet home shoppers can view interior and exterior photos, get the listing price, get directions, view a street map, or in some instances, even view a satellite image of the home for sale without ever having to leave their living room!

Basically, we suggest that our clients find a real estate search on our website that they enjoy.  At Birmingham MLS Search, we have a variety of search applications to allow home shoppers to search for homes with the method they prefer most.  Since our site is updated daily, our information is current.  We recommend that our buyers visit the site as often as they like to view new listings or search different areas.  When they find a home they like, simply send us an information request.  Meanwhile, we gather data on requested listings and search comparable homes to find similar properties matching the search criteria and notify the buyers of other potential properties.

Get Pre-Approved

When shopping for real estate, I find that Buyers that have been pre-approved for their home loan have better negotiating power than those that have yet to qualify at the bank.  Not only that, being pre-approved for a mortgage saves time by eliminating properties for sale that are out of the target price range.  With current market conditions in Birmingham favorable to the pre-approved buyer, it is in your best interest to get pre-approved for a mortgage before writing an offer.  A note of caution, once you have your pre-approval, don't make any substantial purchases, change jobs, or deplete your savings.  Any change in the above can cause your pre-approval status to change!

Research Homes for Sale

Once you have found the right home, contact a real estate agent to represent you!  (If you are unfamiliar with Buyer's agency, read our article.  The is basically a free service to you as a buyer and you will benefit greatly by having a professional Realtor ® representing your best interest.)  Realtors ® have the experience to negotiate and navigate through any turbulence that you may experience.   A professional agent will be able to do your fact finding and present the research in a format that is easy to understand and intuitive.  If you want to go it alone, start with public records.

Write a Strong Offer

It's Buyer's Market conditions in Birmingham and as a home buyer, you need to take advantage of the situation.  When you are drafting an offer to purchase, write a strong offer.  Supply your pre-approval letter with the contract to let the sellers understand that if accepted, barring the unexpected, the contract can move forward and close. 

Be Prepared to Walk Away

It's a Buyer's Market folks.  If the home seller wants to sell their home, they will be ready to negotiate.  If, for example, they are delaying on providing you an answer to your offer, be prepared to walk away!   In some neighborhoods, it is as easy as walking across the street to find the same floorplan for sale.  So don't be held hostage by a home seller unwilling to negotiate!  I'm not suggesting that buyers should offer unrealistic or insulting purchase contracts, but if an offer is at fair market value and the seller is stalling on a response, walk away.  I use the three "W" theory.  Walk, Wait, Write.  Basically, walk away, wait two weeks, then if my clients are still interested,  we write another offer.  You will be surprised what an additional few weeks or months of mortgage payments, utilities, and other household expenses do to a seller's, and listing agent's, agreeability to a reasonable offer.

Putting it all together!

Basically, putting it all together, a successful home buying strategy should include:

  • Home Shopping Online
  • Getting Pre-Approved for a home loan
  • Researching the property with a professional Realtor ®

Once an acceptable home for sale is located:

  • Write a Strong Offer
  • Negotiate within fair market value
  • Be prepared to walk away

Lastly, home shopping and buying a home should be enjoyable and full or positive memories.  If you home buying experience is making your hair fall out, start with step one, shop online here at Birmingham MLS Search.  When you find a home you like, simply use the request information link.  One of our professional Realtors ® will be glad to assist you!