Holly McNeely

NMLS# 1235847

Loan Officer

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How to beat the competition this homebuying season
By Academy Mortgage Corp.

The housing market is a competitive one, requiring prospective buyers to be on top of their finances and paperwork. Indecision or a failure to present certain documentation can mean the difference between getting the house of their dreams or having to continue their search elsewhere. Here are five ways people can beat the competition this season:

1. Get pre-approved

Unless you're a member of the small population of Americans who own their homes outright, you'll need a conventional mortgage. Once you find the home you want, things will move fairly fast. To lean into this process and improve your chances of closing on your desired property, potential homeowners should get pre-approved for a loan, Time magazine recommended. This, along with other necessary paperwork, will demonstrate that you are able to repay the money you're borrowing and will make sellers feel more comfortable choosing your bid.

2. Be present

It's common for prospective homebuyers to send in their offers via email or over the phone. While these are sometimes the only routes possible for certain people, presenting your bid in person could be beneficial to your success, according to Inman. The ability to see the buyer in the flesh and learn a little more about him or her could convince seller or agents that you're the right fit.

3. Introduce an escalation clause

Nervous other prospective buyers will outbid you? Others could be just as hungry for the same property, but you may not be able to meet their price - or they may not be able to match yours. An escalation clause enables you to play this cat-and-mouse game while also ensuring you don't push past your final limit. This effort will increase your bid incrementally above others on the table to a certain, pre-established ceiling. Just don't forget to set your budget and stick to it, Realtor.com warned.

An escalation clause will raise your bid incrementally.An escalation clause will raise your bid incrementally.

4. Find the right team

No matter whether you're a first-time homebuyer or have completed the process in the past, you're going to need all the help you can get. It's important to complete your own research and determine which housing factors are must-haves, but working with savvy professionals in the housing market can help answer all of your most particular questions along the way. An agent or a mortgage broker can make the bidding and homebuying process that much easier and can work their magic with the seller's team as well, according to Business Insider.

5. Don't let pending contracts scare you

It happens more often than you would think. A prospective buyer's bid on a home is accepted and a contract is being drawn up, only to have the person back out before he or she signs on the dotted line. If your dream home is already in the near-final stages for someone else, don't let that deter you. Place a backup offer anyway, according to U.S. News and World Report. It could work out in your favor and place you in the top spot if the initial bidder makes a different choice. 

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2015 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit www.academymortgage.com to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.

NMLS# 1235847

State Lic: TX: 1235847;

Corp Lic: TX: 3113;

Figure: 7 TAC §81.200(c) CONSUMERS WISHING TO FILE A COMPLAINT AGAINST A MORTGAGE BANKER OR A LICENSED MORTGAGE BANKER RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOAN ORIGINATOR SHOULD COMPLETE AND SEND A COMPLAINT FORM TO THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE LENDING, 2601 NORTH LAMAR, SUITE 201, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78705. COMPLAINT FORMS AND INSTRUCTIONS MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DEPARTMENT'S WEBSITE AT WWW.SML.TEXAS.GOV. A TOLL-FREE CONSUMER HOTLINE IS AVAILABLE AT 1-877-276-5550. THE DEPARTMENT MAINTAINS A RECOVERY FUND TO MAKE PAYMENTS OF CERTAIN ACTUAL OUT OF POCKET DAMAGES SUSTAINED BY BORROWERS CAUSED BY ACTS OF LICENSED MORTGAGE BANKER RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOAN ORIGINATORS. A WRITTEN APPLICATION FOR REIMBURSEMENT FROM THE RECOVERY FUND MUST BE FILED WITH AND INVESTIGATED BY THE DEPARTMENT PRIOR TO THE PAYMENT OF A CLAIM. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE RECOVERY FUND, PLEASE CONSULT THE DEPARTMENT'S WEBSITE AT WWW.SML.TEXAS.GOV.;