It’s an incredibly strong seller’s market right now, and competition among buyers is fierce. If you’re thinking about starting the home search, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. Here are five tips for buying a home while in a seller’s market:
1. Qualify for the lowest mortgage rate you can. Home prices have been high, and they still may rise by another 5.7% by the end of the year. Thankfully, record-low interest rates can help offset some of the cost. There are also ways you can make the rate even better: Before you go to the lender, work on boosting your credit score, paying down debt, settling overdue accounts, and alerting credit bureaus of any errors. Putting forth a higher down payment can also help your rate.
2. Get pre-approved before starting your search. It may seem a good idea to search online and try to schedule an appointment when you find your dream house. Unfortunately, most sellers won’t even let you in the door unless you can prove you have the financial ability to purchase their home. So, meet with a lender and get your pre-approval established before you try to go to showings.
3. Work with an experienced agent. There are a lot of agents out there, but many only commit to real estate as a hobby or part-time gig. Not all of them will have the skills needed to help you navigate the market successfully. Find a Realtor who has the experience, tools, and information that buyers and sellers need in order to win. For example, The Holt Real Estate team can tour properties on your behalf, find little-known homes that are hitting the market soon, and represent you through every part of the process.
4. Consider buying when the market isn’t so hot. Most experts predict the market will cool off a bit later in the year. As more people get vaccinated, it’s likely that many sellers will feel comfortable enough to finally put their homes on the market. In fact, an economist from Realtor.com says that the 2021 market will be more hospitable toward buyers as new construction ramps up and more listings arrive. If you can wait a few more months to buy, it may be a good idea.
5. Make your offer stand out. In this market, you’ll want to pull out all the stops to make an attractive offer. However, a good offer isn’t all about price. You should also be flexible with your closing day, and you can perhaps give the seller extra time to move out after the deal is complete. You can remove contingencies and add more to your earnest money deposit.
Though we may be a seller’s market, that doesn’t mean finding and winning a home is impossible. If you have any questions or would like more information about our market, feel free to reach out to us. We look forward to hearing from you soon.