Tips for Home Buyers in a Seller's Market
Finding your dream home can be stressful. During a seller’s market where there is a lot of competition for homes it can be even more stressful. Here are some tips to help you prepare yourself for buying a home in a seller’s market.
Get Your Finances In Order
Before you start looking at homes speak to your mortgage specialist to get pre-approved so you know what you can afford. During the pre-approval the lender will check your credit and employment information to make sure that you qualify for a mortgage and also give you a specific loan amount so you know what price range of homes you can look at.
Enlist the Help of A Real Estate Agent
Being a buyer in a seller’s market can be challenging which makes it important to find a real estate agent that is going to work hard for you. They will be able to keep you up to date on what is happening in the market as well as send you properties as soon as they hit the market. Ask friends and family for recommendations, research online and interview agents that you think would be a good fit for you. Real estate agents vary in experience, their focus (full time vs part time) as well a specialty (residential, commercial, agricultural, etc). Whoever you decide on, the real estate agent you work with should be someone who has your best interests at heart, someone who can guide and educate you about the market and throughout the buying process.
Once you find the right real estate agent for you, start asking questions about the buying process. A seller’s market can be very competitive leading to multiple offers and homes being sold firm and for over the original asking price. Discuss with your agent their strategy going into multiple offer situations, the implications of putting in a ‘firm’ offer and what it means to waive conditions without fulfilling them.
Make Yourself Available
In a seller’s market the seller has the advantage because inventory of homes is lower than the demand for homes. This means that homes are selling quickly. So if you see a home that peaks your interest make yourself available to go see it sooner rather than later. Don’t wait 2 or 3 days until the weekend because there is a good chance that it will be sold by then!
Keep an Open Mind
You may have a picture in your mind of what your perfect home looks like but don’t narrow down your home search too much. Decide what items on your list that are deal breakers (# of bedrooms, square footage, location, etc) and what items would be nice but that you could survive without (hardwood floors, granite countertops, fireplace). Keeping an open mind may lead you to finding ‘the one’ even though it doesn’t tick off all the boxes on your list.