It’s 2017, and the real estate business is in a unique place, a very different place than it was in even just five years ago. Currently, the market is one of low housing inventory and high buyer demand (lots of buyers fighting it out for fewer ‘for sale’ homes). Long story short, it's a hot seller’s market. So what does this mean for buyers? Here are some rules to live by if you’re looking to buy.
1. Get pre-approved
|This is a big one – it shows how the market has changed over time. The days when you could just waltz into an open house and make an offer are fleeting. In today’s seller’s market, to be taken seriously, you must have a pre-approval. Your offer without one, while entirely sincere, simply won’t work in this competitive market. Our preferred lender, Cross Country Mortgage, has an abundance of loan programs to fit your financing needs.
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2. Work with a Realtor®
Online home searches are great for getting ideas of what you like and the areas you find most appealing. But trying to find a home in this market without committing to a real estate agent is a recipe for disaster! By the time you find a home online, it will probably already have multiple offers on it. As your Realtor®, a Century 21 AAA North agent will stay on top of the market and make sure you have access to any house that fits your criteria as soon as it hits the market.
3. No Lowballing!
Bargain hunters – if you’re making an offer on a home that’s priced to sell, meaning it’s listed at or just slightly above fair market value, present your best offer. Get on board with the idea that you’re going to be paying full list price. Some markets may operate with a little more leeway, but presenting your best offer is going to be the rule of thumb. Always talk to your Century 21 AAA North Realtor® about how he or she thinks you should proceed with your offer, but the majority of markets have no place for lowballing anymore.
4. Sell Your Existing Home First
|In this hot market, sellers are going to be very reluctant to accept an offer contingent on selling your existing home. Why should they wait for you when there are plenty of buyers out there that can purchase their home immediately? If you must sell your current home to buy your new home, you will want to do so before looking for a new place.|
5. Don’t request favors & delay buyer possession
If you want the seller to really consider your offer in this hot seller’s market, it is recommended that you don’t necessarily ask for the refrigerator or washer and dryer. Don’t ask for minor repairs that you can easily do yourself. You want to make moving as easy as possible for the seller, which is why you should also consider allowing the seller to move out on his own timeline and terms, or in three simple words, delay buyer possession.
6. Move quickly!
Don’t waste time. Many homes get listed on a Friday, have an open house or two over the weekend, and review offers on Monday. This market means it’s a serious business, and you have to move swiftly if you want to get into your dream home. Here’s the question: If your agent shows you the perfect house today, will you be ready to make a full-price offer? Answer that question with a resounding “yes,” follow our guidelines, and you’ll be on your way!