Spring time is busy season in the wonderful world of real estate.
But as the famous saying goes, “Mo’ houses, mo’ problems.” (Maybe not directly, but we all know that he was really talking about real estate, right?)
We are currently in one of the hottest seller’s markets we’ve ever seen – inventory is non-existent, home prices are rising, and it seems like every home that goes on the market is sold in a matter of days!
Now we’re hearing this question from a variety of sources: “How do we (home buyers) win in this market?”
As we pondered this quandary, it began to dawn on us that most home buyers are all doing the right things – so we asked the question, “What can home buyers do in this market to not lose?” The fact of the matter is that all home buyers have essentially the same starting criteria: they have the means and the desire to buy a home – problem is, there are so many buyers at this time, being ‘good enough’ is no longer good enough!
Here is our list that might help you get over the hump of losing homes to other buyers:
Don’t Get Pre-Approved
Pre-qualification does not mean you are pre-approved!
Pre-qualification means the lender simply pulled your credit score and whatever else information they got from you and said that you can afford XX amount based on the low qualifying standards.
Guess what? It’s not worth your time, our time, or the tree’s that produce the precious oxygen that we breathe’s time.
Pre-approval means you have gone through the loan application process and have been locked into a specific loan program, up to a specific amount, based on specific, higher level criteria needed to get a loan.
It helps on multiple fronts: you know exactly how much you can afford so you feel comfortable making an offer and the seller knows that you are actually able to buy the property you’re looking at – which can be a significant advantage if you’re in a multiple offer situation.
Wait Until the Perfect Time
Ever heard the expression, “There will never be a perfect time”? Guess what folks, it’s true.
We are in a seller’s market – meaning inventory is low while demand is high! Chances are, if you wait on a home you really like, you’re not going to get it, especially in the Raleigh area. Our average days on market in January of 2016 was 37 days, but in certain areas homes sold BEFORE they even went on the market.
On top of homes selling quickly, most sellers saw multiple offer situations where they were bombarded with higher than asking price offers within days of going on the market. If you love a home and wait on it, chances are you’re going to be the second, third, or fourth offer and not really have a shot at that particular house.
Moral of the story: if you like a home, and you’re comfortable with making an offer, do it and do it fast! (Go here to find homes that are for sale now!)
Expect to Get Your Home at a Significant Discount
Money is on sale, but homes aren’t.
But wait, you say, aren’t homes “for sale”?
Yes, but you’re going to have to pay the going rate, which is usually asking price. Most buyers have the conception that they can go out and “negotiate” – a.k.a. get the home at a really good price.
Let me be the one to drop the truth bomb – not going to happen.
Homes in this market are selling fast and oftentimes for more than asking price, so having the mentality that you’re going to be able to negotiate tens of thousands off the price of a home is ludicrous.
Don’t Have an Agent
I can hear your groaning from here. “It’s happening” you say, “I knew it would, you real estate people are always trying to get me to buy a home through you!”
Although we would love to help you find your home, we think that there are enormous benefits to having an experienced, professional real estate agent on your side when you decide to buy a home.
Remember earlier how we said that homes are selling so quickly that some aren’t even making onto the market? Well, they still sold, right? How do you think that happened?
Real estate agents!
It’s our job to know what is coming on the market, so we often have better knowledge on what might be for sale that you’re looking for at that time!
A professional real estate agent will also prove invaluable if you have to engage in any type of negotiations during your transaction (you almost always do), whether it is price of the house or inspection repairs, it is useful to have a skilled negotiator involved. Besides, the seller pays the commission of the buyer’s agent and they’re going to have a listing agent looking out for their best interest, so it just makes sense to have an experienced agent in your corner as well!
Thinking about buying a home? Schedule a professional home buying consultation to help address your needs and concerns today!