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Three Ways Buyers Choose Homes

Yes, buyers fall in love with homes but they have three criteria for selecting the one they ultimately buy – price, condition, and location. Play these up to get your home sold quickly and for the best terms.

Make the price attractive: Don’t price your home where you think it should be but instead, price it close to or slightly below market value. This strategy gives buyers the opportunity to compete for your home, and it could possibly sell above list price.

Make the condition move-in ready: Keep in mind that many buyers are stretching their financial limits to afford your home. Buyer’s pet peeves are usually easy items to fix, but you don’t want your house to be disregarded because you failed to paint, mow, replace the carpet, fix leaky faucets, etc. Your goal is to make buyers feel like they don’t have to do anything but move in.

Make the most of your location: You can’t do much about your home’s location but you can make your home more attractive with lovely landscaping, fences to block out ugly views and sounds, and an outdoor entertaining area. If your home is on a busy street, point out the easy access to amenities, like walking to the grocery store.

If these three criteria aren’t in alignment, definitely don’t want to overprice. People expect to pay more for a great location next to schools, transportation, shopping and restaurants but if you overprice, they will scrutinize the location and the condition more closely.


About Property Taxes

Depending on the area where you live, your new home is subject to annual property taxation by your local appraisal district to pay for schools, infrastructure, and other public needs. But what you may not realize is that the rate you pay may be wildly different from the rate your neighbors pay.

If you just purchased your home, your assessment for the following year is likely to be much higher than it is now, so you can’t count on paying the same amount in escrow that you’re paying now.

According to, property taxes are assessed by:

  • Most recent assessed value or sales price of the home.
  • Value of comparable homes in the area.
  • Improvements that enlarged or added value to the home.
  • Exemptions for which the home or homeowner qualifies, such as homestead or senior status.
  • Applicable property tax rate set by the local taxing authority.

Appraisal districts use what’s known as a mill levy or millage rate. One mill represents one tenth of one cent, so for every $1,000 of assessed property value, one mill would be equal to one dollar. The mill levy is then multiplied by the assessed value of your property. Other factors that impact your levy include how often your taxing authority reassesses your property, how often it can raise rates, and by what percentage. Plus, the appraisal district can raise rates based on market trends as well as a drive-by appraisal.

Learn what tax rates are in your area at sites such as and


Buyers Need Their Own Real Estate Agent

Buying a first home is a complex process, and it’s particularly challenging in a seller’s market when homes sell quickly and often over list price. In this type of market, it’s common to lose out on a home as others outbid you. Your Berkshire Hathaway Home Services network professional can set you up for success by sharing what’s working and not working for buyers navigating a seller’s market.

Many first-time buyers don’t realize how important getting representation is, whether they hire their own agent or use the seller’s agent. Hiring an agent affords buyers a fiduciary duty on the part of the real estate professional to protect interests of his or her client. When buyers purchase a home using the seller’s agent, the seller’s agent owes fiduciary duty to the seller, but also has a duty to be fair to the buyer.

The first thing an agent will do is get you financially prepared to make a successful offer. He or she will give you the names of some good mortgage bankers so you can get prequalified for a mortgage. In fast markets, you may need at least 10 percent down to be competitive.

Your agent will help you find the best value, neighborhood, and quality for your budget and requirements, as well as assist you through the search process, comparable homes sold, making an offer, inspection, repair, and appraisal processes.


Making A Purchase Offer In A Fast Market

You’re ready to make an offer on the home of your dreams. This is the home you want for the next five to ten years but the speed of the marketplace means lots of competition from other buyers. So how do you make the one offer the seller will accept?

First, your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional will pull up a competitive market analysis (CMA) to show you what homes are selling for within a reasonable radius of the home you want. They’ll have similar sizes, features and amenities. If the seller’s home is reasonably priced, offer asking price or close to it.

To show the seller you’re serious, include a copy of your lender’s pre-approval letter, along with a cover letter summarizing your strengths as a buyer, including your creditworthiness and why you want this home. Include a copy of the CMA to show how you arrived at your offer price.

Nothing shows a seller you’re serious more than cash. The larger the down payment you have, the better, because sellers don’t want to waste time on buyers who may not get their loans approved. Sellers won’t accept contingencies like waiting for your present home to sell.

Your real estate professional will help you draft the offer with a price, estimated closing date and terms, and earnest money (a guarantee that you’ll perform as a buyer in good faith.) Once you and the seller have agreed to terms, you’re on your way to owning a home!

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CalBRE#: 02006080
540 S. Lake Ave. Pasadena, CA 91101
©2017 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Information not verified or guaranteed. If your property is currently listed with a Broker, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal Housing Opportunity. 

About the author

Loren Anderson


Originally from Ohio, Loren brings his Midwestern values to every interaction. He values integrity, trust and mutual respect when dealing with both clients and agents. He understands that every client he works with deserves only his best and that anything less is unacceptable. If you are looking for an expert advisor in the San Gabriel Valley and surrounding area that treats you more like a friend than a client, contact Loren Anderson today… Always striving to be Your Friend in Real Estate.

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