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Real Estate Tips & Resources

Homebuyer Resources
How to Win a Real Estate Bidding War
You found it! The listing for your dream home. After months of searching, finally, here it is. The house has the perfect number of bedrooms, the right number of bathrooms, an enormous walk-in closet and so much storage space you’ll have to buy more stuff to fill it all. The backyard is to die for, and it’s also near a dog park. Restaurants and shops are nearby and the neighborhood elementary school is the best in the county. Best of all, you can actually swing the asking price. Score! There’s just one problem. If the home is in Denver, you will almost definitely have competition. To get their hands on the home they want, Denver homebuyers have been going toe-to-toe in heated bidding wars for the past year. According to one real estate agent's research in the spring of 2021, the majority of houses were expected to sell above list price. Sometimes far above. A bidding war happens when a seller gets multiple offers on a house or condo, and potential buyers must compete by submitting new offers to the seller. Learn more about what causes bidding wars, and the strategies you can use to win one. How to Spot A Real Estate Bidding War Low inventory and low interest rates have sent homebuyers on the prowl all over Denver. Even though the Denver real estate market has cooled down a little in the past few months, "cool" is all relative. Most sellers can still expect more than one offer on their house or condo. Denver home prices are still at record highs. The median selling price for a home in the Denver metro area was $545,000 in June, according to the Denver Metro Association of Realtors. Those prices are up six figures from early 2020. That means if anything comes on the market that seems even remotely affordable, expect a bidding war. If the house needs only a few repairs and improvements—expect a bidding war. If it’s near restaurants, coffee shops, bars and nightlife—expect a bidding war. A desirable property with a great location, nearby amenities, good schools, parks and rec, will tempt more buyers to compete, even going beyond the seller’s asking price. A bidding war can raise the price tag anywhere from a few thousand to more than $100,000 over listing price. How Does A Bidding War Work? So what happens in a bidding war? Once the seller gets all of the bids, if there are multiple offers to choose from, the seller can choose one or allow prospective buyers to submit new bids. The seller might be looking for the highest possible bid, or other terms like an earlier closing date, waived contingencies, or a more convenient financing option, like an all-cash offer—or all of the above. Many first-time buyers are surprised to learn that the highest offer isn't necessarily the automatic winner. The best thing to do before getting carried away by a bidding war is to work with your real estate agent to develop a solid plan. How Can You Win A Bidding War? Here are three strategies to consider for winning a bidding war. Strategy 1. Make an All-Cash Offer Did you know that you don’t always have to have the highest bid to win? Sounds crazy, but making an all-cash bid might be more attractive to the seller than other more complicated options. Partnering with Accept.inc. gives you the power to make a cash offer on a house even if you don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank. Once you're Cash Approved™, you’re ready to compete in a bidding war with the power of cash. The best part? When you buy a house with cash the Accept.inc way, you can still pay for the house over time, just like a regular mortgage. According to national statistics, a cash offer is four times more likely to win in a bidding war over an offer with a mortgage. And Accept.inc’s buyers save on average $13,000 in multi-offer situations, when compared to the highest offer. That means that even when the offer isn’t the highest, making a cash offer may give you a huge advantage and help you win a bidding war. Strategy 2: Include An Escalation Clause An escalation clause in a real estate contract states how much you would be willing to raise (or "escalate") your offer price in response to a higher, competing offer that the seller receives. The clause sets a specific amount above the competing offer you would be willing to pay, up to a maximum limit. Talk with your real estate agent about whether to use an escalation clause with your offer. Strategy 3: Adjust Your Offer Think of how to solve problems for the sellers and make their lives easier. Whether it’s offering the seller a quick closing or covering the cost of home improvements and repairs, anything you do to reduce risks, costs, and hassle for the seller could make your offer stand out as the most attractive option in a bidding war. Work with your real estate agent to choose the strategies that will fit your goals, financial resources, and the current state of the market. Your real estate agent can advise you about when to make your move, and when to play it cool. Get organized, be prepared, and stay informed! Start Bidding With the Power of Cash Ready to start with a big advantage when shopping for houses in Denver? Learn how to make a cash offer in Denver, with Accept.inc at your side.
Stella W | Dec 3, 2021
Homebuyer Resources
What's Better: Buying a House with Cash vs Mortgage?
If you've been looking at homebuying in the past few years, you know firsthand that great houses are getting snapped off the market in a matter of days, and sellers often have had multiple offers to choose from. Submitting the best offer in a seller's market can be challenging if you're stuck with traditional financing. And even in a buyer's market, you need to be leery of overpaying. But whether it’s a buyer’s market or seller’s market, there's one thing that can set your offer apart and be a win-win for both parties. The answer is: a cash offer. So, when can and should you consider buying with a mortgage vs cash? What are the differences between financed and cash offers? And is it possible to buy a house with cash and then secure a mortgage on the house afterwards? Here's what you need to know about the pros and cons of mortgages vs cash. Buying a house with a loan vs. cash Mortgages are the common way for Americans to pursue the American Dream of homeownership for a reason. For a long time now, they have been the only way for the vast majority of homeowners to be able to afford a house because most people can't afford to buy their first home with savings alone. A home loan allows them to make payments over time. Here are other reasons why mortgages are popular: When mortgage rates are low, like they are now, they are considered cheap money. The cost of borrowing is low compared to the benefits of owning a house faster. Buyers can build home equity without having to pay in full upfront.Spreading the cost of the home over 15 or 30 years into affordable monthly payments frees up money to budget elsewhere (including investing in other areas, like retirement plans or emergency funds). Making consistent payments on a real estate asset is a great way to build credit. There are tax-related benefits to a mortgage. So why wouldn't you want to buy a house with a mortgage? Some people want to avoid debt no matter what.Some people cannot qualify for a mortgage, for various reasons.But perhaps the biggest issue working against mortgages in the "cash vs. mortgage" debate is that 21% of deals that are delayed or fall through due to “issues related to obtaining financing,” according to the National Association of Realtors. Home sellers prefer cash offers because they're less likely to fall through. In other words, if your offer includes a financing contingency, your offer might be rejected if a competing offer doesn't. Cash offers are more attractive to sellers, but why? And what can you do if you don't have enough liquid to pay for a house with cash? Don’t take the pre-approval bait Many first-time homebuyers assume that their financing is secured if they get a pre-approval letter from their lender. But that's not usually the case. When taking the traditional mortgage route, you’ll provide a loan officer with some simple, surface-level documentation, including your credit report, proof of income and any assets or debts you may have. And...voila! In as little as 24 hours, you’ll receive a pre-approval letter stating you’ve qualified for a certain loan amount; BUT with one caveat — with a traditional lender, that letter is not a commitment that you’ll actually receive the loan. A pre-approval gets you in the door to make an offer, but the actual approval process — in traditional underwriting — doesn't begin until the house goes under contract and the underwriting process is initiated. For sellers, agreeing to an offer in this scenario is pretty risky, as a pre-approval doesn’t provide proof that you’ve secured the financing needed to purchase the home. Once your offer is accepted, a traditional mortgage lender will move you into underwriting. A lot can happen between the time you’re pre-approved and finally receiving the green light from your lender. An underwriter will perform a thorough assessment of your finances, and if you’re unable to meet certain requirements or your financial picture changes, your loan could be rejected. Keep in mind, this can happen mere days before you expect to sign the final paperwork — meaning both you and the seller have already invested in inspections, appraisals and more. Imagine thinking it’s a done deal? Your offer won. You were already envisioning yourself inside the home. And...poof! Just like that, everything falls apart. Even the seller and their real estate agent have to start back at square one when financing falls through. Why is a cash offer better than a mortgage? Everyone’s heard the saying, “cash is king.” But, when it comes to a real estate transaction, what the phrase really means is: cash equals certainty. Nothing makes an offer sizzle like proof of funds from day one. Where a pre-approval says, “There will probably be money in the bank a month from now,” proof of funds is actual money in the bank — showing the seller you have the cash to back up your offer. Sellers look for cash offers because they remove uncertainty from the equation. As a homebuyer in a hot real estate market, cash is the key to making your offer stand out from the crowd and winning your dream home. Plus, it puts more negotiation power in your hands. According to national statistics, a cash offer is four times more likely to win in a multiple offer situation over a traditional mortgage offer. What’s more, all-cash sales, which now account for 36% of the housing market, are highly attractive for both buyers and sellers because they speed up the closing timeline. What takes traditional mortgage lenders an average of 47 days to complete, can take 14 days or fewer with cash. But the big question remains: how does the average homebuyer afford to make an all-cash offer? And even if you had cash in the bank to put down 100% of the selling price, what about all those advantages to a mortgage we talked about earlier? It turns out that everyday homebuyers can buy a house with cash while still getting all the advantages of a mortgage. Here's how it's possible to make a cash offer with a mortgage Homebuyers now have the opportunity to secure the funds needed to make an all-cash offer on a home, backed by an Accept.inc mortgage. Accept.inc was founded on the belief that anyone who qualifies for a mortgage deserves an equal shot at winning — a belief that the best homes, school districts, and neighborhoods shouldn’t be reserved exclusively for buyers who have hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in their bank accounts. We take the traditional mortgage process and flip it on its head, performing all the underwriting upfront. Yes, you can get a pre-approval quickly to immediately begin the house hunt in earnest, but the magic begins right after with our Cash Approval process. Our Cash Approval can be completed in as little as 72 hours and provides borrowers with the ability to shop the market with both confidence and cash in their pocket. Knowing your home-buying power is guaranteed on day 1, not day 31, is a complete game-changer. And this isn't delayed financing, where a buyer still has to have all the cash up front to buy the home on their own. In that scenario, the buyer brings their own cash to the table, and then gets a loan against the home afterwards, with some risk and potentially less favorable rates. With an Accept.inc loan, you buy the house with our cash and pay it back over time through a mortgage. You no longer need to decide whether you should buy a house with cash or a mortgage. Now you can have your cake and eat it too. By becoming Cash Approved™, you’ll be able to submit an offer with 100% certainty that the cash will be available at closing AND you can pay back the borrowed funds over time just like a normal home loan. Getting started is easy, and it doesn’t require any additional costs or fees. We offer competitive rates and can improve your chances of scoring your perfect home by 4X. To get the ball rolling, simply begin the Cash Approval process with this simple form.
Kelly K. | Nov 23, 2021
Homebuyer Resources
What's Required to Make A Cash Offer in Real Estate
If you shopped for a home in 2020 or 2021 and felt like you were competing against a lot of cash offers, it wasn't your imagination. In 2020, a whopping 36% of home sales were paid in cash! What are the pros and cons of this approach? And how, exactly, do you make a cash offer in real estate? There are two ways a buyer can make a cash-only offer on a house. We're going to let you in on a little secret about how anyone who qualifies for a mortgage can also make an all-cash offer on their dream home. But first, let's start with the well-known way. Option 1: Have enough cash on-hand to pay for property outright Traditionally, the only way to make a cash offer on a house was to have cash in-hand. Those who could afford to do that in a high cost of living (HCOL) city fell into two camps. Individual buyers who had a lot of cash -- the exceptionally wealthy, those who inherited money or had a generous rich relative, or those who just sold their home and could roll the proceeds into a new home purchase. And then there are individual or corporate investors. Investors buy real estate in order to flip the property and turn a profit. Ever wonder about those signs on the side of the road that promise fast cash for your ugly house? Yeah, those are a subset of house flippers. Investors don't plan to live in the neighborhood and are motivated by making a big, and fast, profit. To bring sufficient cash to the table, these buyers may have their own investors backing the deal or group of deals. Or they may have cash from a recent sale or a cash-out refi from a previous investment property. Investors prefer the process of buying real estate with cash to be fast and streamlined: find a house that looks like it'll be profitable, make an offer (usually without a real estate agent), use a lawyer to finesse the contract, close the deal, wire the money to the seller, and start the flipping process. Let's put aside investors and their financing strategies and focus on the regular people who are trying to buy a home to live in and enjoy. Even if you can pay for a new home with cash upfront, should you? The disadvantage of paying cash for real estate is losing liquidity or tying up money that could be more productively invested. Today’s low-interest-rate environment means financing a home purchase is still a financially sound strategy. On the other hand, if you go the route of a traditional mortgage, you lose the bargaining power of a cash offer. After all, sellers prefer cash buyers because they aren't subject to the bank's financing and appraisal contingencies (and all the other reasons a traditional loan can fall through or drag out). Sounds like a dilemma. But there's a second option that solves this problem for those who have the cash but prefer the flexibility of a longer term home loan … an option that also gives a leg up to those who can't put 100% down but who qualify for a mortgage. Option 2: Work with Accept.inc to buy with the power of cashHow We Enable You to Make Cash Offers The good news for everyday individuals and families who dream of buying a home is that it's possible for regular people to make a cash offer, just like investors and the wealthy. The secret lies in partnering with Accept.inc. As a “technology-enabled lender,” we're making it easy and fast for homebuyers to submit all-cash offers, for no additional fees. The process for becoming a cash buyer with Accept.inc is similar to the mortgage process you already know and don't love ... but without the slow, cumbersome, and painful parts that cause you heartburn. Here's how it works: First, we start by letting you know how much you pre-qualify for so you can start looking for your dream house right away; simultaneously, we begin the Cash Approval process. If you qualify, you'll get Cash Approved in days, not weeks or months. Cash Approval is not the simple prequalification you'll get with traditional lenders, which can fall apart during the end of the offer process; once you're approved, you can start making cash offers with confidence that your financing won't fall through! Once you find a house you want to buy, we run a quick value check on the home. Then your agent works with our cash transaction specialist to finalize the offer letter. The seller is offered cash for their home and shown proof of funds. Why You Should Consider Making a Cash Offer In today's real estate market, a cash offer is four times more likely to win than an offer with a traditional mortgage. Even better, the power of cash is so great that you are in a better position to negotiate price and terms. How much negotiating power? Would you believe Accept.inc buyers get an average discount of $11,545 off the highest offer in a bidding war? It's true -- that means their cash offer won by offering nearly twelve thousand dollars less than the highest bid! And in a non-competitive situation of 2 or fewer offers, our cash buyers saved even more -- they paid an average of $15,979 below list price on their home purchase in Denver. That's more money back in your pocket or more equity on your net worth balance sheet from day one. And who would say no to that? Once the deal is done, you begin paying back the loan just like a regular mortgage. It's fast and convenient. And it costs you nothing extra. All the pros of making a cash offer in real estate. None of the cons. Because it turns out that having cash isn't a key requirement for being a cash buyer. Pretty cool, don't you agree? Learn more about the benefits of buying a house with cash. And when you're ready to take the next step, apply to become Cash Approved™.
Stella W | Nov 23, 2021
Homebuyer Resources
How to Find the Best Mortgage Lender in Denver
You’ve scoured the internet, bookmarked layouts in Architectural Digest, binged every Denver-based episode of House Hunters, and crafted a wish list of features for your future home. But, what about your wish list for finding the right Denver mortgage company to make that dream a reality? Buying a house is probably one of the biggest financial investments you’ll make in life. And having the right lender in your corner is an essential piece of the homebuying process. Don't settle for anything less than a great experience. Finding the best mortgage lender is more than just securing the lowest interest rate possible. Here’s a look at how the right mortgage company can help you win in the Denver housing market. What to look for in a Denver mortgage lender While the mortgage process may appear to be similar across lenders, not all mortgage companies are the same. Key differences include fees, the level of customer service you'll receive, how quickly the underwriting process can get done, and whether the lender can help you make the most competitive offer possible -- all these points make it worth your time to do your research. What you should expect from a mortgage lender: Great mortgage rates Flexible mortgage optionsNo hidden fees or "gotchas"Easy to work withFast underwriting process So how do you choose a lender? From conventional banks and credit unions to mortgage brokers and nonbank mortgage lenders, there are many options on the market today to consider. Long gone are the days when your only option was the local bank down the street. And while you shop around, remember that a competitive interest rate is a given but not your only consideration. For instance, it’s important to choose a lender that is reputable, responsive, exercises transparency, and offers top-notch customer service — a lender that drags their feet and prevents you from closing quickly can cause you to lose out on your Denver dream home. Like your real estate agent, your mortgage lender should be like a partner in the process. Buying a house in Denver should be a joyful experience; make sure your lender will set you up for success. Discover an innovative new mortgage process According to the Wall Street Journal, 68.1% of all U.S. mortgages issued in 2020 came from nonbank mortgage lenders, up from 58.9% in 2019. Homebuyers are getting wise to the fact that they don't need to rely on old-fashioned, traditional banks to help them buy their dream home. Yet, most would-be homeowners are not aware that there are alternatives to old-fashioned, traditional home loans, also. They don't realize that buying a house doesn't need to follow the same traditional (and slow) process their parents used when they bought a home -- a process that, frankly, doesn't work well for buyers or sellers. So what's the alternative? Accept.inc has turned the mortgage process on its head with an innovative loan product that allows buyers to make strong cash-only offers, with unmatched speed-to-closing and no delays due to financing and appraisal contingencies. Accept.inc is the first and only iLender, or a “technology-enabled lender”, which has facilitated hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate purchases between ordinary homebuyers and sellers in Denver to date. Waiting to see if your lender will give your loan the green light of approval after your offer has been accepted? Nerve racking. Having the rug pulled out from under your feet and your dream home ripped away at the last moment all because of a financing contingency? Heartbreaking and, frankly, unnecessary. Seriously, it’s the 21st century, there has to be a better way. And there is. At Accept.inc, we’ve flipped the script, performing the underwriting process upfront. This allows qualified buyers to become Cash Approved™ before they ever make an offer on a home. So, what exactly does that mean? As a buyer, you have proof of funds when you make your offer. Congrats, you're now negotiating with the power of cash. See how the right lender makes all the difference Lose. Rinse. Repeat. That doesn’t exactly sound like a formula for success to us. By working with the right Denver mortgage lender, you can hop off the merry-go-round of failed offers and improve your chances of scoring a win. Picking a proven mortgage lender who gets deals done and who comes recommended by trusted real estate agents can protect you from falling victim to bait-and-switch ads or brokers who forward your information to anyone and everyone willing to buy leads. You’re not just buying a product, you’re looking for a partner who will work alongside you to get the deal done. In today's housing market, you want to pick a lender that’s innovative, providing a creative and strategic solution that moves beyond the traditional mortgage process. Because let’s face it, the traditional mortgage process is stressful for both buyers and sellers. Historically, making an all-cash offer meant a homebuyer didn’t need to secure a mortgage. This was once reserved solely for investors, developers, and the rare one-percenters who had the capital needed to purchase a home outright. Today, however, we’ve leveled the playing field, providing everyday homebuyers with the proof of funds needed to make a cash offer. Accept.inc's Cash Approval process can be incredibly powerful, increasing your chances of making a winner offer by 4X. Why? Because the sale no longer depends upon your ability to successfully procure financing after a seller has already accepted your bid. The financing process is straightforward, with no strings attached and no hidden fees. In fact, there are no additional fees for an Accept.inc cash offer beyond the customary fees of any traditional mortgage. Let's recap. Great mortgage rates? Check. Accept.inc’s mortgage rates are very competitive. Flexible mortgage options? Absolutely. We offer a variety of financing options. No hidden fees? Guaranteed. Our cash offer service costs the same as a traditional mortgage. We don't add any additional fees or points when compared to a traditional mortgage offer. Easy to work with? You bet. We pair our approved buyers with an Approval Specialist, so that they have someone to personally walk them through the process. We also have a Cash Transaction Specialist who works closely with the buyer's agent to submit the offer. Check out some of our buyer reviews and agent testimonials for more proof. Helps you make the best offer? Here's another area where Accept.inc really shines! Because we give you the ability to make a cash offer, you're more likely to win in a bidding war, as well as negotiate the best deal. Sellers know that cash offers close faster, with no risk of offers falling through due to financing contingencies. Making a strong offer in the competitive Denver housing market Year over year, the Mile-High City is named one of the U.S. News & World Report's best places to live. From the area’s thriving economy to its vibrant culture, great school districts and a slew of outdoor activities, it’s no surprise the population has seen an estimated 21.2% increase in the last 10 years. It’s no secret either that the Denver housing market is competitive. Even as the hot market begins to cool, like any other metro area, it still comes with a higher-than-average cost of living. And while the median household income in Colorado is above the national average, any type of cost savings a homebuyer can secure is incredibly valuable. Especially when having to contend with multi-offer scenarios. When you're making a cash offer on a house with an Accept.inc mortgage, you have more negotiating power. Just like the lowest mortgage rate isn't the only consideration for buyers when choosing a loan (though of course Accept.inc has highly competitive rates with no additional fees), neither do house sellers only care about the highest offer. Because all-cash offers are attractive to sellers due to their certainty and speed, buyers with cash in hand have morhe negotiating power over those with traditional financing. Whether that means you can make a lower offer or you ask for extra concessions, the power of cash is undeniable in both a seller's and a buyer's market. Are you ready for your next Denver house offer to win? Get started by becoming Cash Approved™ today.
Kelly K. | Nov 22, 2021