Tips for Buying a Home in a Seller’s Market
Trying to buy a home in today’s housing market seems like a hassle. You may have your eye on the perfect home, but just a few days later it’s off the market. With an abundance of buyers but a scarce amount of properties available, the sellers of the market definitely have the upper hand. In addition to higher listing prices, you have to keep an eye out for other competitive house hunters. Buying a home in this ever-changing market doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help you navigate through the seller’s market:
90% of homebuyers will need lending in order to buy a home. We recommend getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan before searching for your dream home. Getting pre-approved can help you understand what properties you can afford. This gives you an advantage, but also protects you from disappointment. The last thing you want is to fall in love with a home you may not be able to afford, so get approved first, and then you can move on to the searching process.
Find a Good Agent
Finding a good real estate agent can be very helpful in searching for your next home especially in a market with such fierce competition. This gives you the opportunity to sit down with someone and list exactly what you are looking for in a home. Make sure you express to them whether you are searching for a home in a certain location, one with a two-car garage, or even one with a basement. It’s also important to categorize these things based on whether you must have them, want them but can obtain them later, or you can live without them. This will help your agent and show that you are willing to work with them and compromise on certain things within the home.
Be Ready to Make an Offer
In this market, buyers will often look at homes the first day they are listed on the market in order to try and beat out the competition. This can be a smart move because listings can close so quickly. If you are able to find a home that fits your wants and needs, don’t hesitate. You need to be ready to make up your mind quickly and write an offer. Deciding quickly can be stressful, but if you know the type of home that you like and you’ve already seen a number of homes, you should gain a sense of confidence and be able to trust your gut.
Be Open Minded
Often times, you will find homes that are considered to be “fixer-uppers” listed on the market. These homes are great if you don’t mind putting in a little more work. These properties are also normally listed at a lower price because of the work and money required to fix them up. This can be beneficial to you because you will get to make repairs and renovations to your liking. You may also go into the housing market with the intention to buy an existing home, but you may find that new developments have better pricing and more availability. Keep an open mind when searching, and decide if you’re willing to compromise.
“Sweeten” the Deal
In today’s market, buyers are willing to pay well over the asking price in order to close the deal on the house that they want. In order to sweeten your offer, sometimes it’s good to make an offer to outbid any offer given up to a certain amount. Some buyers go as far as to write “love letters” to the seller. These letters tell the seller a little bit about the buyer, why they love the home, and how they plan to live in it. Whether you decide to write a letter or not, making an offer higher than asking price could land you the home you’ve had your eye on.
We know that buying a home can seem like a strenuous process, especially trying to buy a home in this seller’s market. You may make several offers on a few different homes and get turned down for each one. Don’t be discouraged. This can cause you to feel tempted to make a desperation bid or give up. Out of desperation, you may bid too much or make an offer on a home you don’t really like which can leave you resentful. Waiting for your perfect opportunity sounds easier said than done, but it can benefit you in the long run. Remember that buying a home has a long-term impact on your financial future, so waiting can give you more time to save towards a down payment, work on building up your credit score, and make some tweaks to your home buying wish list. The housing market is constantly changing and is uncontrollable, so focus on the things that you can control.
If you’re ready to apply for a mortgage loan, let our team help you get the loan you need. Visit our Mortgage Loan Center to learn more about the mortgage process, use our Home Buying Calculators to get a picture of what your home loan will look like, and check out our Buying a Home video series on YouTube for more information about home buying. Apply for a mortgage loan online or set up an appointment to speak with one of our Mortgage Loan Officers.
At Robins Financial Credit Union, our mission is to enhance the financial well-being of our members and community. We honor this commitment by providing educational content to help you make the most of your finances. Read our other blog articles to help you gain the financial knowledge you need to succeed.