Tips for Victory in a Competitive Market
Since the housing crisis, many markets have bounced back in a big way, with some homes having even eclipsed their pre-bubble prices. If you’re shopping for a home in a particularly sought-after metro, then you’ve already got your work cut out for you.
But if you’re searching for the perfect home in a hot market during the springtime, then you can expect the competition to be even fiercer. Springtime is prime selling season, and eager buyers are likely to be out in droves. So what can you do to improve your odds of landing your dream home in a seller’s market during a busy buying season?
Shop Around for the Best Rate
In this climate, don’t be surprised if you end up getting caught in a bidding war for that perfect home. That will likely mean higher monthly payments than you had in mind. Then again, if you’re able to get a great deal on your mortgage, you might be able to afford a higher asking price than you’d initially thought.
Interest rates are going to rise. But for the moment, they’re still at historic lows. Before you jump into the home buying market, take some time to shop around for the best mortgage rate. Just a few points could end up saving you thousands, and help you afford a higher sale price.
Once you’ve found the best mortgage offering available, don’t stop there. It’s not enough to get prequalified; you actually want to be preapproved. In particularly brisk seasons, some agents won’t even give you the time of day unless you have the backing of a mortgage lender, and when you find the ideal home, you’ll want to be able to strike while the iron is hot.
Forget About Low-Balling
If you were in a market where housing options were plentiful and nobody was buying, then you might be able to get away with throwing out a low-ball offer and hoping the seller was particularly motivated. But this is no time for that sort of thing. In markets where multiple offers are commonplace and bidding wars are a fact of life, you’ll need to put your best foot forward.
Don’t Get Discouraged
In a seller’s market, you’re probably going to have your heart broken a couple of times. Don’t let it get you down. Get up, dust yourself off, and get back in the saddle. There are plenty of homes out there, and buyers are closing every day. If they can do it, you can too. You’ll just have to be tenacious.
Pick a Great Buyer’s Agent
When venturing into the jungle, it’s a good idea to enlist the services of a trustworthy guide. Having Krantz & Associates RE/MAX Lake of the Ozarks in your corner can help you get to the best listings ahead of the crowd. Not only that, but buyer’s agents are often shrewd negotiators who can help you improve your chances of getting your offer accepted without spending more than you have to.
Know Your Seller
If you’re on a tight time-frame, then you may not have much wiggle room in your schedule. But if you can afford to be more flexible, then you may be able to bump your offer to the front of the line.
It’s a good idea to get to know your seller’s preferences and plans. They might be waiting to close on a new home of their own. Or, they might be particularly attached to that commercial range in the kitchen. Work with them, and they’ll likely work with you.
Choose Your Contingencies Wisely
Contingencies are common in real estate transactions, but in a market like this, sellers may frown on your offer if you have too many. For example: it’s a perfectly sensible thing to want to have a home inspection before purchasing, but in a market where some buyers will waive that requirement to sweeten the deal, you’ll need to weigh your contingencies pretty carefully.
Go Get ‘Em!
This is a challenging time of year to be buying a home. Competition’s fierce, and the best listings go fast. Then again, it’s also exciting, and winning in a market like this makes the taste of victory that much sweeter. We wish you the best of luck out there!
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