Regarding "Eager to Buy? Join the Club" by Karen Nikos, Aug. 18: Here's why they are turning down her offers--and I'd also like to give some suggestions for making a better offer next time:
* 10% down. It's more difficult to get loans with such a low down payment. She should raise her down payment to between 20% and 25%. If she had asked the sellers who refused her what offers they accepted, they probably had a larger down.
The larger the down, the more likely the loan will fund and close.
* She's a first-time buyer. Again, there's a greater chance of the loan being denied, especially with the 10% down.
The seller wants a stronger deal that's more likely to close on time. The seller's agent wants the same, so he or she can get paid.
* Those pre-approval letters aren't worth anything, though she should still keep handing them out for the heck of it.
The lenders write those so the buyer may use them for the loan, but those letters don't mean a loan will be approved.
There's more to getting a loan than credit score and present income. There are other factors such as how long you've been at your present job and salary, profession, employer, whether you're a first-time buyer, and whether you are a single person living on one salary.
* Make the offer extremely attractive. Give the sellers all the terms they want with respect to escrow company, title company, term of escrow, quick inspections and approvals. Offer to pay for more costs.
The market is tight now, so make a strong initial offer. Sellers also don't want to negotiate back and forth, because they know there may be more back and forth in escrow.
The writer is a real estate broker and appraiser.
I don't know many agents who would work with a buyer when she's already working with three others. Another problem I see is resorting to different out-of-area (sometimes out-of-state) lenders. If I were a seller reviewing 10 offers ... all things being equal ... I would go with the local lender. Why? Because local lenders generally work with appraisers who know the area.
I don't want to experience an eleventh-hour problem with a lender who doesn't know the difference between Adams Hill and the West Adams Historic District.
The writer is a real estate agent.