How to BUY a HOUSE in Pleasanton California the RIGHT way – AVOID these MISTAKES at all cost

Warren Oberholser
Warren Oberholser
Published on December 14, 2020

Are you considering purchasing a home in Pleasanton? If so, then please read my BLOG. It can save you time and money and it’s all coming up!

Hi, I’m Warren Oberholser. I’m a realtor in the East Bay Tri-Valley area in Northern California. My goal is to help both buyers and sellers get maximum results for one of their biggest investments, their home.

Are you frustrated with the homebuying process?

As I said in the beginning, if you’re thinking about purchasing a home in Pleasanton, or you’ve already made a few attempts to purchase one, and you keep getting beaten out by other buyers, then this video is going to be just right for you. 2020 has been one of the most aggressive seller’s market we’ve experienced in some time. Now there are a few reasons why.

Low inventory

Number one, low inventory.

Low interest rates

Number two, low-interest rates.

COVID-19 environment may have increased consumer’s demand to buy a home

Number three, possibly given our current COVID 19 environment has just increased the consumer’s demand to buy a home.

Pleasanton has a strong seller’s market

So Pleasanton like so many other cities is no exception. It too has a strong seller’s market. Now, there’s a few other reasons why Pleasanton has such a strong sellers market. The city Pleasanton has an amazing community and neighborhood parks, plenty of walking and hiking trails. They have great schools (Pleasanton Unified School District). Pleasanton is a super friendly community with its street Pleasanton Downtown Association. and all its public events.

To learn more about Pleasanton please watch my videos- Pleasanton neighborhood tour: Vintage Hills, Vintage Heights, Vintage Hills II, Foxborough Estates. Town of Pleasanton: Top 5 reason to move to Pleasanton, 17 items you need to know before moving to Pleasanton Pleasanton’s Parks and walking trails: Kottinger parks, Tawny park, Vintage Hills Park and community parks

Therefore, in order to avoid mistakes so we can increase your chance greatly on purchasing the home of your choice in Pleasanton, we need to address the following. Be prepared, have a buyer strategy, execute your plan.

Be prepared

Number one, Be prepared. This is the perfect one to start off with. So how will you pay for your property? Are you going to finance it or pay in cash?

Most buyers finance their property. If you are going to finance it, you need to determine what kind of loan you’re going to use. There are a variety of loan products out there from VA, FHA, and conventional mortgages. In order to find what loan product best suits your needs, you’ll need to have a good loan agent sit down with you and show you all the options. The right loan can be a key factor in swaying a seller to accept your offer, especially in a multiple offer situation. The loan agent also needs to participate when you submit your offer. They should reach out to the listing agent after your offer has been submitted to introduce themselves and to answer any questions the agent may have. This communication can help the listing agent better assess the validity and strength of your offer. Now, if you’re cash, you need to show proof of funds.

Consider all types of properties, even ones that need repairs

Number two, Buying strategy. In a strong seller’s market, you need to have a few scenarios or plans regarding what type of home you’ll accept to purchase. Most home buyers, whether they’re first time or have purchased a few homes in the past, they want a home that’s in good order. This only makes sense. However, if a home looks amazing and appears to be in great condition, it usually will get a lot of interest from other buyers. So as you can imagine, this attention will result into multiple offers or possibly a bidding war. So if this is the case, make sure you’re prepared to play. In this market, a property that has a lot of attention may sell for 10 to 15% over the asking price. In addition to paying more than the asking price, to stay competitive, you may have to release contingencies upfront, such as the investigation contingency.

And if you’re financing, it could be the appraisal or loan contingency. A contingency period in a buyer’s purchase agreement is a safeguard or protection clause for the buyer’s deposit. It gives the buyer time to investigate or inspect a property and if necessary submit a repair request to the seller. If the property is to be financed, it gives the bank time to appraise the property’s value and approve your loan. If you release these contingencies up front, you give up these safeguards. So if you don’t want to compete with aggressive buyers, you may want a plan that looks for the opposite type of property. This could be a property that’s had deferred maintenance. It may be referred to as a fixer-upper or a handyman special in the MLS. They typically are priced below the current market to attract attention. So your competition isn’t the regular home buyer, it’s actually going to be an investor.

Investors usually pay less than average home buyer and purchase with cash

It’s been my experience that an investor will usually pay less than what a typical home buyer will pay, mainly because they expect to flip the property in a short period of time so they can make a profit. If you want to purchase this type of property and you’re going to finance it, you’ll need to pay higher than the investor. Most investors purchase in cash, and they release all their contingencies up front. And most sellers will take cash over financing. You’ll also want to make sure that you do have your contingencies in place, especially your investigation. This way you have an idea of what the repairs will cost you. Another type of property to go after is the one that’s been sitting on the MLS for more than 60 days. This is a property that’s either overpriced, has some strange or unique features or is in a less than desirable location. There can also be some history on the property that may deter buyers. The property may have had damage in the past, such as fire or flood. Even if it’s been repaired, a buyer may feel the property has bad luck.

Another issue if there’s been a past history of fire or flood, and even if it’s been repaired, is the homeowner’s insurance may be at a premium. I’m not saying buy a property just because it’s available. It’s possible what others won’t accept may be fine with you. Now, if a property has been on the market for a while and we call that seasoned, it’s been there for a bit, you do have a better chance of negotiating with the seller on both price and terms. If the property is going to need repairs, you may be able to negotiate from the seller a credit for those. If you purchase a property that’s below market rate, it’s possible you may be able to get a loan that factors in repairs. Again, be open to everything and explore all your options.

Execute your plan

Number three, Execute your plan. Okay, so you know how you’ll buy your house. You’ve developed a plan or strategy of what type or types of homes that you’re interested in purchasing, so you now need to execute your plan and buy your home. To do this, you’ll need to have a good home search feed set up on what we call an auto drip campaign. This means whenever a house comes on the market, you’ll see it immediately. Now, if you’re interested in a home that’s been sitting on the market for a while, possibly a year, you need to make sure that’s included in your MLS search feed as well. So you’ll need to have a separate property search set up that includes past properties or properties that have been sitting there for a while, not just the ones that come on the market recently. With this information, you need to set up showings with your agent to tour the property.

Once you’ve narrowed down to the property you’re interested in, you need to prepare your offer. Big part of offer preparation is communicating with the listing agent. It is paramount that your agent reaches out to the listing agent to inquire what the seller is looking for. Questions a buyer agent may ask a listing agent are, does the seller want rent back, a fast close, no repair requests, et cetera. Now these are typical questions you would ask a new listing, not something that’s been seasoned on the market for a while. So in the event the property has been sitting on the market, the buyer may ask questions like, hey, why hasn’t it sold? Believe it or not, a listing agent will be more than happy to tell that agent what’s been going on. The reason why is if there is an issue on the property and it was determined from an inspection, they have to disclose it and they want to. This way they don’t get into contract again and the buyer finds out through the information then, and then they decide to cancel the contract.

Good communication is key

It’s a waste of everybody’s time. Good communication between the buyer’s agent and the listing agent is important for another reason, it allows the listing agent to share with their client, which is the seller, what the reality is of their property. In other words, how much is it really worth? What will the market pay? One last thing on this discussion. Most sellers, when they’re ready to sell, they want to sell their property. Yeah, they want top dollar. But if there’s something going on that has to be addressed, it’s either the seller pays for it upfront. In other words, does the repair, or they’re going to have to offer some kind of incentive to the buyer so they then can handle it, which could be a credit, a price reduction, or it may be both.

As you can see, there’s a lot of organization and steps to follow when purchasing a home.

To help you out with this, please get my free home buyers guide. You’ll find a link for it below.

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I hope you enjoy this article. Please email me any questions you may have. [email protected]


About Warren Oberholser

Hello…I work with both buyers and sellers in the Tri-Valley area of Northern California. The Tri-Valley is comprised of 6 cities: Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon, Danville, and Alamo. To better understand what each city has to offer, I have created a Pros and Cons video and BLOG for each – (Pros & Cons for Pleasanton, Pros & Cons for Livermore, Pros & Cons for Dublin, Pros & Cons for San Ramon, Pros & Cons for Danville and Pros & Cons for Alamo). If you are thinking about purchasing or selling a home, please reach out to me by text, phone, or email. If it is convenient, I can schedule a Zoom chat so we can discuss your home goals. Wishing you all the best on your home journey. Cheers!

Warren Oberholser

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