As I have reported prior, the inventory of available homes currently on the market in Nevada County is in decline, which is causing many homes to receive multiple offers. Whether you're anticipating competition when you bid or not, you should be pre-approved for a mortgage before you write an offer. When in competition, being pre-approved will make a big difference, particularly if everyone else who is offering is pre-approved as well. It also lets you know what you can afford. And, it puts you in a good bargaining position with the seller.
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You should expect you will have to negotiate. Many of today's sellers are selling for less than they paid. Even though the market has improved a bit, sellers may be disappointed with the current market value of their home. Be prepared to negotiate, not just the initial price, but after inspections are completed as well, especially if items come up you hadn't anticipated. Many Properties in and around Nevada County have had work done without permits, so look closely.
Include realistic contingency time frames in your purchase contract for loan and appraisal approval if you're applying for a mortgage. The recent uptick in the market means that lenders are suddenly overwhelmed with paperwork.
In mid-April, buyers in Nevada County, who were seeking approval for a loan were told they could close a transaction in 21 days. Not only could they not close in 21 days, it took more than 21 days for loan approval due to lender backlog. You will need time.
In conclusion, If you know you will be looking at homes for purchase this summer get pre-approved for a loan, be prepared to negotiate, check all permits and leave ample time to close the transaction.
Scott Hopper - Realtor, 530.477.2277