Insider tips and tactics for buying a home in a seller's market
Whether you're a millennial looking to buy your first home or a boomer thinking about downsizing your empty nest, you're probably aware that it's a seller's market out there.
Homes are selling at lightning speed, bidding wars are commonplace, buyers often have little to no room for negotiation and the price of those homes keeps rising.
But don't worry! Just because it's a seller's market doesn't mean you can't get a good deal on the home of your dreams. Here are some insider tips and tactics from the pros at RE/MAX, LLC to help you get your slice of the American dream at a price you can afford.
Work with a full-time, experienced agent. This is critical, vital and non-negotiable. Things move so fast and offers are made within minutes of seeing a home. If you don't have a real estate agent, you can easily be overwhelmed by this thrill ride. Your agent can help you with negotiation, serve as your champion, and can guide you through this process as a pro.
Get pre-approved with a lender. When you're pre-approved, you've done all the paperwork upfront. The bank has decided what you can afford to spend. This tells the seller you mean business and are ready to roll.
Use technology. If you aren’t using technology, you are missing out. Hop on remax.com and view homes within your price range or in your desired school zone or neighborhood. You can also get a sense of what's selling at your budget, and even calculate your estimated mortgage payment.
Don't wait to request a showing. If you're checking out houses online, ask your agent to request a showing as soon as you see one you like. Don't wait until the weekend. You know what they say about he who hesitates ...
Don't wait to make an offer. If you like it, jump on it. Make your offer clean (no contingencies such as the sale of another property), if possible, and consider offering favorable concessions to the seller such as a flexible closing date.
Think outside the box. You might have come into your home search wanting to live in a specific neighborhood. What if you expanded your horizons a bit? Cast your net wider into areas you hadn't considered. A lovely gem might be waiting out there for you.
Don't make a major purchase between offer and closing. If you do, it could upset your debt-to-income ratio. Your lender could run the numbers again, and you'd be sunk. Hold off buying furniture or ordering new appliances until after closing documents have been signed and the place is yours.
Following the advice of your agent is always critical, but it's even more important in a seller's market. He or she will guide you through the process, and you'll be unpacking boxes in your dream home in no time!