I’m looking for a real estate agent in South Orange County!

by Robert Mack on June 3, 2009

in Irvine Real Estate

Client Question –

Hello,
I’m looking for a real estate agent in South Orange County.  I have been researching real estate websites and I have some examples of condos I like.  I have recently been pre-approved for a loan at Wells Fargo.  I would really like to get a place this year.

What I am looking for:
At least a 2 bed 2 bath condo / town home / house etc.  With a garage and some sort of back yard or patio.  I am able to spend between $200,000 and $300,000 w/ 20% down.

Cities I want to live in:
-Newport / South West Costa Mesa
-Irvine / Tustin Ranch
I love outdoor communities and I especially love the ocean.  This is my biggest dilemma…. I’m torn between Newport and Irvine because one community is newer, and the other is closer to the ocean.

I have never bought a home before so I have some questions:
First of all, is this something you can help me with?  Second, should I be looking at private party sales, short sales, or foreclosures, etc?

I appreciate any help, and look forward to talking with you.
Thank You

Answer –

Hello R.,

I can definitely help you find the right home and help you negotiate the most aggressive price and terms.  80% of all of my clients are first time home buyers and that is my main focus during this market of opportunity.  I’m sure that you are aware that prices are much more affordable and interest rates are historically low.  In addition there are some great tax advantages that you have the opportunity to take advantage of if you qualify.

Based on your search criteria that you mentioned to me, I will run a search a set you up with your own website to allow you to access all of your opportunities.  You will have the link in your inbox shortly.  If you do not see the link, please check your junk folder and set my email to safe to ensure you will receive all updates.  This website will allow you to search through all of your options, and save homes as a favorite, a possibility, and even remove homes that you are just not interested in.  In addition, this website is directly connected to the MLS, which means that you will see new homes that hit the market that meet your criteria, the minute that they are listed.  If homes are reduced in price, you will also be notified.  It is a great way to know the exact inventory and will help you stay on top of the market.

At this point you are one step ahead since you have already spoken with Wells Fargo regarding getting pre-approved.  My goal is to help you find the right home at the right price and also ensure that you get qualified with the right financing program with the most competitive rates.  Because of this, I would recommend that you speak with a different lender to get a second opinion.  Although many of the lenders programs overlap, each different lender may have something different to offer you and help you secure financing at a more aggressive rate.  If you would like me to refer a great lender to you from Bank of America, please let me know and I will send that information to you.  As you know there is no obligation to use either lender, it is really just for you to know that you are working with the best lender in the end.  Either way you choose to go, is okay with me as long as you feel comfortable.

Finding the right home is definitely a learning process for you as you look at more homes.  The great news is that you have a specific type of home and area you are looking in, and I know that you mentioned that you were torn between Irvine (Newer area) and Newport (closer to the ocean).  As you look through more homes, your specific criteria will become more and more apparent to you and you will feel more comfortable narrowing down the search cities that would work best for you.

There are 3 types of sales that we are experiencing in our current market place….

Standard resale homes – This is where you are actually negotiating with a real life seller who has equity in the home that they are selling.  This is a very popular type of sale and very attractive to buyers because if a buyer submits an offer on a standard resale home, they will receive a definite answer within the week.  A main drawback with these types of sales is that in many instances, most home sellers have still not made the complete adjustment to the market and in many cases they will over price their home to net the most amount of money off the sale of their home.  What we do know about these types of sales is that the more overpriced the home is the less motivated the seller actually is.

Foreclosure – This type of sale is the most popular right now.  In this case you are negotiating with the bank who owns the property through a deed in foreclosure.  Similar to the standard resale home, you will also receive a definite answer to an offer within a week or so.  The bank has already approved the list price and will accept any offer at or above list price in most cases.  The purchase price of these homes are still negotiable, however the reason why these homes sell very quickly and in most cases above list price is because the banks usually list the home at 5-30% below market to obtain multiple offers on the property.  This way they can choose the highest and best offer.  Many buyers associate foreclosure to great deal, and therefore, most buyers right now are looking for only foreclosures.  There is stiff competition and to get an offer accepted, we must be quick, prepared, and present a strong offer to the bank.  If a bank owned home is listed on the market for over 10 days, it is most likely overpriced and it will just stay on the market until they get realistic(because most banks want list price or above).  This type of sale is also referred to as a Bank Owned, Bank Repo, and REO.

Short Sales – this type of sale is probably the most UN-popular with buyers in our current market place.  A short sale is when the sale of the home will result in an amount which is less than what is actually owed on the home.  With this type of sale, the home seller works with the bank to get them all of there information such as paycheck stubs, tax returns, bank statements, etc.  The bank will first decide whether or not they qualify to do a short sale.  If they do qualify, they wait for an offer.  The problem is that if an offer is submitted, it will take the bank roughly 2-6 months to come back with a response.  This happens because they are so backed up and understaffed and many people have to review the overall net/loss to them.  In many cases, the buyer who has an offer on the home normally backs out before the bank even comes back with an answer because other better opportunities pop up.  We can talk about the advantages and disadvantages of this type of sale over the phone as it can be complicated.  This type of sale is also referred to as Notice of Default (N.O.D.) or Pre-foreclosure.

The first two types of sales are the most popular for one reason.  You will receive a response from the seller within a week.  Most buyers now are looking for the right home and when they find it, they don’t want to wait up to 6 months to hear back from the seller.  You will also learn more about the different types of sales as you look at more homes.  It is really a hands on experience.

I make myself available as much as I can to help you with your needs, goals, questions or concerns.  I am always available via email or you can call me directly with any other questions you have.  In addition, I will gladly arrange showing and tours of homes that you are interested and simply request at least 12-14 hours notice so that I can make sure that I have the time slot open and can have enough time to arrange it with the home seller.

In the meantime, please keep an eye out for the link that I will set up for you.  Once you have the chance to look through a few homes, we can plan the next step accordingly.

I’ll talk to you soon!

All the best,

Robert Mack
Century 21 Professionals
(949)209-7309 Cell
(949)262-2764 Fax
robertmack10@gmail.com <—- NEW EMAIL (please update your address book)

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