In this fast market, what can buyers do to that might help them be more competitive?
So you want to buy a house? You call your agent and together you start sorting through your wish list. On Tuesday, the perfect house comes on the market and you call your agent to schedule an appointment. You are so excited… and then, the next morning, you get a call from your agent telling you the house just went under contract. What?!?! How could this happen??!!
After the third missed house you wonder what is going on in the market! You schedule showings as quickly as you can and yet they are selling before you can get there.
And then, you actually get in to see what could very well be THE ONE. You love it! You offer full asking price and ask for no closing costs but you would like to keep their refrigerator. And then another call from your agent… there are multiple offers and they want highest and best. HIGHEST AND BEST?!?! That’s exactly what you thought you offered! So you offer a bit more, give up the Frigidaire and wait to see…
Current Market Trends
Does this sound familiar? The frustration that buyers are feeling right now is very real. Housing inventory is down 6.4 percent from last year and this shortage has resulted in median sales prices increasing 7.7 percent. (Realtor Mag) People are staying in their homes longer and investors are scooping up houses wherever they can. Between these market statistics, the continued rise of the stock market and steady hiring in most markets, high buyer demand and their subsequent frustrations can only continue.
So what can buyers do?
There are a few things you can do that might help in this competitive market.
- Make sure you are actually ready and able to buy. Are you approved for a loan? Are all of your documents in order? Get that pre-approval letter from your lender so you’re ready to go.
- Plan for a faster due diligence period. You want to have the necessary time to get things inspected but be aggressive on scheduling. Have your agent speak to inspectors and check with your lender on the turnaround times on their end and the timing for the appraisal.
- Your agent should do their research and know what is happening in the area. What are houses listed for? Are they selling for that amount? Or more? Have your agent talk to the listing agent to glean the temperament of the sellers. And this is not the market for the lowball offer. You might not get an opportunity to counter. If it’s a house you truly want and you know your bottom line, be aggressive!
- Show the seller how much you want to buy their house. Have your agent send them your photo and a “Dear Seller” letter. Do you know people in common? What can set your offer apart from the possible others that might come in?
As we head into the spring season we hope to see an increase in listings. Educating yourself and working with a knowledgeable buyer’s agent can help alleviate some of the stress in this tough market. Hopefully these tips will help you in finding and purchasing the home of your dreams with little frustration.
This article was written by Jenny Dabbs.
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