In a competitive market, it's all about the details of your terms you present in an offer on a desired property. They include but are not limited to all inspections, financial aspects, and closing time frame, to mention just some of the important details in an offer.
Asking your mortgage broker the following questions will help you create stronger terms related to the financial aspects.
1. What is the quickest time frame you could provide a commitment letter? That's the letter that says you will DEFINITELY get a loan with the mortgage company. Once you have this letter the mortgage contingency would officially be resolved. Ask if they can do 14 days or quicker.
2. What are the risks and/or benefits for offering to put down 20% while under contract? I recommend one larger deposit, instead of submitting a small good faith deposit with the initial offer contract and another deposit after you complete the attorney's review. As little as 5% may be fine, but in this market you'll need to make yourself stand out more. Putting more down, demonstrates commitment. Certainly speak with you real estate attorney as well for a comfort level.
3. If waving the appraisal, what really happens if it doesn't appraise? Could you dispute an unsatisfactory appraisal amount? If the bank won't give you the loan amount on your offer number could you still exit the contract WITH your deposit, if you waved the appraisal? This one is a fine line to walk, but any details to make your offer more attractive is purposeful.
4. Always get a pre-approval for the offer amount. It makes it harder to negotiate if you submit one that says you're approved for $1.5m, when you're only offering $1.2m for a house for example. They will then know you can afford more; the letter should be for the offer amount which is $1.2m in this particular example.
5. What is the quickest time frame you can close the loan? The average is usually 60, but quicker may sometimes be preferred. Builders often offer 2 weeks, so it's worth an ask to see how quick your mortgage broker can be.
Hope this information helps. Please feel free to reach out the me with any questions.
Best, Melanie Rosenbaum
CEO, The Rosenbaum Group with Compass RE NJ based in the Short Hills office.