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Real Estate Tips & Resources

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Homebuyer Resources
Should You Use an Escalation Clause in Your Denver House Offer?
Imagine it: you find your dream house in Denver. It’s absolutely perfect for your family...and about a dozen other families, too. Let the bidding war begin! Buyers looking to get an edge in the Denver real estate market often add an escalation clause to their offers, stating how much higher they will go in response to competing bids. Should you? Learn how an escalation clause in real estate works and if it’s right for your situation. What is an escalation clause in real estate? An escalation clause in a real estate contract spells out that you’re willing to raise the offer price in response to a higher, competing offer the seller might receive. The clause sets a specific amount above the competing offer that you would be willing to pay, up to a maximum limit. Here’s an example of how it works: you find the perfect home and submit an offer of $300,000. With your offer, you submit an escalation clause, setting the maximum limit of $325,000 for your final offer. The terms of the clause state you will escalate your bid $1,000 over the next highest offer (meaning someone who bids higher than your $300,000 offer), until the maximum escalation limit of $325,000 is reached. So if someone else bids $310,000, your escalation kicks in and transforms your offer into a $311,000 bid, and so on, until you hit $325,000, at which point your escalation stops. The idea is that by using an escalation clause, you might prevent another buyer from outbidding you in a situation where you'd be willing to pay a little more than your initial offer. The escalation clause lets you "escalate" automatically. But, don’t jump the gun on submitting one. According to realtor.com, escalation clauses “should only be used when the buyer is fairly confident that there will be multiple offers, or when the buyer expects to pay an increased price.” Is an escalation clause a good or bad idea? Whether an escalation clause is a good idea or bad idea depends on the market. In Denver, with the combination of low inventory and low interest rates, competition in the real estate market has been more intense than ever. Using an escalation clause might give you an edge; or, it might just be table stakes. On the other hand, an escalation clause would be a bad idea if you can’t cover the difference between your pre-qualified loan amount and the escalation price. Going back to your perfect home scenario: if you qualify for a loan of $300,000 — based on your financials and the assessment of the property’s value — and you choose to bid higher than that, you will be responsible for coming up with the escalation difference out-of-pocket. Also, some sellers choose not to accept offers with an escalation clause because they want you to submit your highest offer up front. How do you write an escalation clause? The best thing to do is talk to your real estate agent about whether escalating would help your offer; and if so, under what terms. According to realtor.com, an escalation clause should focus on the following: What is the original offer of purchase price?How much will that price escalate above any other competitive bid?What is the maximum amount that the purchase price can reach in case of multiple offers? It’s also a good idea to make sure your escalation clause includes language requiring documentation from the seller proving there was a higher offer. Without it, you might end up paying more for no reason. Have you considered making a cash offer? An escalation clause may or may not be the most effective tool for securing your new Denver home, depending on your goals and situation — however, making a cash offer might give you the big advantage you need. Cash sales are on the rise, according to the National Association of Realtors, whose August 2021 survey showed that cash sales accounted for 23% of existing-home sales. In a multi-offer situation, it's not necessarily the highest bid that wins. A real estate cash offer can be more attractive to the seller, giving you more leverage to make a competitive offer, winning at a lower price or getting more concessions. With Accept.inc, you can get Cash Approved™, and gain the power to make real cash offers at no additional cost. Accept.inc offers beat an average of nine offers in multi-offer situations, and data shows that Accept.inc. buyers save on average $13,000 in multi-offer situations, when compared to the highest offer. Learn how to gain the competitive advantage of an all-cash offer with Accept.inc. today!
Stella W | Dec 21, 2021
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
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
Homebuyer Resources
How to Make a Cash Offer with a Mortgage in Denver
Did you know all-cash offers in real estate accounted for 36% of home sales in 2020? You might be thinking: How do so many homebuyers have enough cash laying around to buy an entire house in an expensive city like Denver? Or, how will I ever compete against all those institutional investors scooping up all the available houses on the market? There's good news. There's a way for you to buy a house with cash, even if you don't have the full amount of cash ready and waiting in your checking account. The secret lies in partnering with Accept.inc. We’re here to level the playing field for everyday buyers like you, by making it possible to buy a house with cash but pay for it over time with a mortgage. If paying for a house with cash, while also being able to pay it back with a mortgage, sounds complicated or risky, we're here to assure you it's not. The process for becoming a cash buyer is straightforward -- we promise. Step 1. Get Cash Approved™ It begins with you completing our Cash Approval™ form letting us know you're interested in buying a house with cash in Denver. We'll work with you to start your loan application and discuss your loan options with you. Then we begin the full underwriting process. This is entirely different from other lenders' so-called "preapproval", which just kicks the actual underwriting process down the road for you to deal with later. The Accept.inc Cash Offer approval may take slightly longer than a traditional lender’s 30-minute pre-qualification, but once you are Cash Approved, you can immediately go out and compete with other cash offers! What this step entails You complete our online Cash Approval application. You learn about the loan options and our competitive rates.We guide you in gathering the necessary documents for our underwriting process -- the same documents you'd need for traditional underwriting. What takes traditional mortgage lenders an average of 58 days to process, can be performed in as little as 72 hours with Accept.inc. During this step, we work with you to determine the earnest money and down payment amount you will use in your cash offer. Step 2. Find the home you want to buy Next, you and your real estate agent will begin the fun part of buying your dream house in Denver or the surrounding areas -- looking at houses you want to buy! Your agent can guide you through all the tough decisions about what's on your must-have and nice-to-have lists, whether it's neighborhoods, features, or total house budget. You are not restricted in which real estate agent you work with or which properties you can look at. Hit the open houses with the confidence that your Accept.inc Cash Offer lets you negotiate and craft a bid as compelling as any other cash offer. When you find the house you want, your agent will send the property details to Accept.inc to conduct a value check process. We do the value check at this stage, so you can skip the appraisal contingency in your offer. Another benefit to a cash offer! What this step entails You and your agent find the home you want to purchaseYour agent works with Accept.inc to get approval on the offer amountWe work together to determine the earnest money deposit and down payment amountsYour all-cash offer is submitted to the seller with Accept.inc's proof of funds. Don't forget: because you're making a cash offer, there's no financing contingency either! Your underwriting was already completed during Step 1. Step 3. Win the home An all-cash offer can improve your chances of making the winning offer by 4X. Once a seller approves your bid, we will work with you and your agent to finalize the purchase. What this step entails Once a seller accepts your all-cash offer, the house is purchased using Accept.inc’s cash. This allows us to reserve the home for you until your mortgage is ready to close. From here, you can schedule an inspection on the home. The seller’s contract with Accept.inc is contingent on your satisfaction with the inspection report. As with a regular real estate transaction, you and your agent have complete control over negotiations during the inspection period. We will only purchase the home if you’re satisfied with its condition or you’ve negotiated with the seller and reached a resolution.After Accept.inc purchases the home, it will be sold back to you with a mortgage for the exact same purchase price without any hidden fees or markups. Step 4. Close and take possession As soon as the mortgage is ready to close, you take title and move into the home! Once your real estate agent hands over the keys, it’s time to celebrate! Ready to make a cash offer? Take the first step. It's a myth that the only people having success in the Denver real estate market in the past year were either on the selling side of the transaction, a deep-pocketed investor getting creative with financing options that a normal person doesn't have access to, or someone who happened to have a lot of cash sitting around from their own recent home sale. You, too, can make your next home offer an all-cash offer … and pay it back like a traditional home loan. All the advantages of paying with cash, without needing all that cash on hand! To recap, here is how to make an all-cash offer with a mortgage: Start the Accept.inc Cash Approval processFind the home you want to buyMake your Accept.inc-backed cash offerAccept.inc buys the home on your behalf with cash and then sells it back to you at no additional costClose and move in! Ready to get started and become Colorado's latest proud homeowner? Get Cash Approved today.
Kelly K. | Sep 17, 2021