Pretty much all statistics, research and real estate professionals will admit that it is currently a very strong seller’s market. That being said, this doesn’t mean that you can’t buy.
If you’re smart about beginning your home purchasing journey, it can always be a good time to buy. We’ve come up with our opinion of the most helpful tips for home buyers in a seller’s market.
1. Get mortgage prequalification/preapproved before you start shopping.
There are a few good reasons for this. One being that it informs you on what you can afford.
Getting prequalified will eliminate wasting time on looking at homes that aren’t in your price range and keep your search more focused. No one wants to drive around town visiting homes that are not within their price range, and trust us, your realtor won’t want to either. Use your time wisely and get prequalified.
Prequalification also shows the seller that your offer is strong. Pre-approval shows the seller that you have been vetted financially. A pre-approval letter will help you act quickly when you see a home you’re highly interested in.
2. Do your research.
Know what’s out there. Do some research on the areas you’re interested in and collect information on what you can get for your money. This will save you time and disappointment when you begin shopping. Don’t leave room for negative surprises to arise. Inform yourself on neighborhoods that will most likely work for you.
3. Find a good agent.
Finding an agent will not only save you time, but save you a lot of hassle. A good agent will be able to guide your search and keep it moving in the right direction by smoothing out bumps in the road and offering their expertise on the market. A real estate agent costs buyers nothing, because the seller pays the agent commission. Look for referrals from friends, family and coworkers who’ve had pleasant experiences with the agent. Look for a full-time agent who works often in the neighborhoods where you have interest in. Everyone is different, but try and find the agent who is perfect for you. For example, if you can only look for homes on weekends, you don’t want an agent who doesn’t work on the weekends.
4. Be ready to move fast. Don’t wait around
In real estate, the early bird really does win the race. If you see a good listing hits the market, you should seek to see it instantly. If it comes on the market, don’t feel the need wait for the open house. With today’s bidding wars, it isn’t uncommon for a more aggressive buyer to make an offer within hours.
If you’re interested in a home, move fast with a strong offer. Find out what is important to the seller, so you have a good chance against other buyers. Then, structure your offer to meet their needs.
5. Pay more cash up front.
Not all home buyers need to put 20 percent down when they make an offer on a home. Still, you’ll make your offer stand out by providing more money up front. The cash help insure home sellers in case the buyer backs out of the deal. If everything works out, the money will go toward the down payment and closing costs. It also shows the sellers how committed the buyer is to the sale.
If you have any questions or are seeking guidance in beginning your home search, give us a call! We’re glad to help.