The housing market has its ups and downs, but 92% real estate agents who took part in HomeLight’s 2020 Q3 survey say it’s a strong seller’s market in their area. This means that as a buyer, you’re going to want to do everything you can to put yourself in a situation where your offer is accepted by the seller.
Here are 5 tips that’ll get you ready to blow the competition (other buyers) out of the water and score the keys to your new abode.
1. Know as much as you can about the new neighborhood
Part of the homebuying process is researching the neighborhood that you’re hoping to move to. It’s not enough just to look at the houses in the area and what kind of house falls within your budget. You need to know what kind of amenities are nearby.
According to surveyed agents, 3% have clients who want access to nature (hiking trails, parks and so on), 3% have clients who want to live in a suburban area but still have the option to drive to the city if they wanted to.
2. Choose a lender who will work with you
There are countless lenders out there you could go to who could help you get pre-approved for a mortgage, but you don’t want to go with just anyone. You need a shopping strategy when looking for a lender. To do this, find a lender who offers the type of loan you’re interested in.
You will also want to compare interest rates, the repayment terms of your mortgage, the APR (not the interest rate), and more. Oh! Don’t forget to ask them to give you an itemized breakdown of costs and fees associated with the loan, too.
3. Find a real estate agent who knows their stuff
Like any other professional, the real estate agent you’re working with needs to be on the top of their game. They need to be able to work with your budget to find a house that meets your needs. They need to have a good reputation among their previous clients (you can look for testimonials online or even ask the agent for references). And, last but not least, you need to feel like they’ll have your back when it comes time to negotiate the contract.
If you meet with an agent and you don’t feel like they’ll work with your best interest at heart, you can always look for a new agent – just don’t sign any contracts right away!
4. Don’t insult the seller with a low-ball offer
Understandably, you’ll want to get the best deal as you can, but you need to be considerate and strategic. However, since this is a seller’s market, you do not want to submit a low-ball offer! In fact, 87% of agents say they’re clients are bidding above asking! Why? It’s simple – there are more buyers than there are houses and sellers.
Seller’s hold all the power and they can wait it out for an offer they can’t refuse. So if you want that cute little cottage, you need to come in with a strong offer that the seller is likely to accept.
5. Show that you’re a person and not just a buyer
To the seller, you’re just someone who wants to live in their house – they don’t necessarily think of you as a person. That’s why 61% of agents are seeing clients write a touching letter to the seller. This letter should be to the point, flattering, and heartfelt. The letter should let them know how much this house means to your family and what you like about the property.
Buying a house in a strong seller’s market means you’ll need to be prepared for anything. You could enter a bidding war or your offer could be rejected outright. As a buyer, you’ll want to lean on an agent to guide you through the process. With them on your side, the house hunting process will be a little less overwhelming.