Few things are more frustrating in life than a real estate deal gone bad. Here are some of the most important things I’ve learned that Big Bear real estate buyers and sellers can focus on in order to ensure a successful real estate transaction.
Or maybe I should say, “the lack thereof.” A real estate transaction has a lot of moving parts : buyers, sellers, buyer’s agent, seller’s agent, escrow co, title co, lender, appraiser, home inspector, termite inspector and more.
The opportunity for problems and challenges to come up is elevated. But it is the amount of communication between all parties that causes some deals to go South while others successfully close. This is listed first because, ultimately, it is the key issue in nearly every deal that falls apart. Be sure to use an agent who is a good communicator.
Keeping your emotions in check –
This is one of the most difficult things for all of the parties involved. Inherently, there are problems that come up in every real estate deal. And just like in life, it’s how you deal with these problems that makes the difference. Keeping a cool head, communicating clearly in good faith, and keeping the ultimate goal in mind are some good ways I know of to help keep your emotions in check.
Real estate agents – Just because a real estate agent has a license to sell in the state of CA does not mean they should practice all over the State! The number one benefit of a real estate agent is their local knowledge. And that is not something you can gain by looking at the computer for a few hours, days, weeks. There is no comparison between an agent working the local Big Bear market 6-7 days vs. someone who comes up every now and then on vacation and might dabble in a few real estate deals here and there. So, when the stuff hits the fan in your Big Bear real estate deal, you want to make sure you have a local who knows the area, customs, and how to get things done.
Appraisers – This one comes up a lot. Nearly 2/3rds of the home sales in Big Bear are to buyers with a loan involved. And nearly every one of these loans will require an appraiser. Just like with real estate agents, you want someone who knows the local market conditions, along with the ins and outs of the neighborhood. Just because they may be able to access the information, it does not give an out-of-area appraiser the knowledge to comprehend it. What makes this property better than that one? Or, why is this neighborhood inferior to this one? These are crucial questions that many out-of-area appraisers just don’t understand. Many times, this throws a wrench into the deal as low appraisers become commonplace. While the real estate agents often end up having to try to clean this mess up, buyers & sellers ultimately are the ones who suffer, through price cuts, having to come out of pocket for another appraisal or more money down (buyer), or a reduced selling price (seller).
Lenders – There are plenty of good lenders or mortgage brokers out there, but be sure to use one who is familiar with the Big Bear area and has done transactions here before. It goes back to things being a little different in each area. Getting a loan in San Diego or Orange County may be different than a loan for a second home in Big Bear.
Escrow/Title Co. – I think you are getting the point now. Do you want someone who knows the local area and customs of how to get properties closed or not? If not, just be ready for some bumps along the way.
Inspectors – This should go without saying, you want someone familiar with Big Bear homes doing your property inspection.
Unqualified buyers –
Getting a loan is tough these days. It’s not impossible, but you’ve got to have a 20% downpayment most of the time for a second home, and there are a lot of hoops to jump through. It can be pretty frustrating to all parties to get 2-3 weeks into an escrow only to find out the buyers cannot get a loan due to qualifications. Again, this is why it is important to use a lender familiar with the Big Bear area and types of financing that are available for second homes or investment properties.
Lack of disclosure –
By law, property sellers in CA are required to disclose any material facts that may affect the desirability of the property. By not disclosing something that may ultimately deter the buyer from purchasing the property, it can come back and bite sellers later – either from a lost transaction or even a lawsuit should the deal close.
Outside parties –
We’ve all got that relative or friend who seems to know everything about everything. If you get them involved in your real estate deal and they really have no stake in it, you are asking for issues. Keep it as simple as you can by listening to the professionals and experts who do this job for a living.
Part time agents –
Buying a home in Big Bear is one of the largest purchases some people make. It just makes sense to trust that responsibility to someone who is full time in the business, and stays current on the local market conditions, laws, and paperwork/contracts.
There are always going to be issues and challenges when buying a home in Big Bear. But, by being aware of what you can control, you are taking an active role in making the process a little bit easier :-).