Now that you know that your credit report is clean, you qualify for a loan, and you have your lender letter in hand, it’s time to shop for that house.
Granite Counters: “Must Have” or “Nice to Have”?
In a sellers market, buyers need to have a clear idea of what they want in a home. This means really examining what are must haves and what things would be “nice to have”. This make take a little planning up front, but will save you a lot of time and frustration in your search. Because most homes have detailed descriptions and photos and virtual tours online, you can fairly easily narrow down your “go see” list. It is unlikely that you will find a home with absolutely everything that you want, so knowing what your must haves are is essential.
Once you’ve determined these, here are a few things you’ll want to remember:
1. Be First in Line. Remember that the same house that looks great online to you is going to look great online to other buyers. Sign up for alerts to be sent to you as soon as a home that meets your criteria becomes available. If you don’t know how to do this, your Realtor can help you.Be sure to tell your Realtor which homes you’d like to see as soon as possible. In many areas, a newly listed home will have multiple showings in the first few days because there is currently a shortage of available homes, but no shortage of ready buyers!
2. Pull the Trigger. When you see the home that looked so good online in person, you’ll know pretty quickly whether you could see yourself living there. If you can, MAKE AN OFFER. Buying a home in a Sellers Market means that you’ve got competition. If you aren’t sure and you think you’d like to “sleep on it”, ask yourself this: If I wait to make this offer, will I be crushed when I find out it is already under contract? If the answer is yes, then you’d better do your thinking quickly.
3. Come in Strong From the Beginning. In a Buyers market, it is generally almost expected that buyers will make an offer that is less than asking price. They may even ask for extras, like for the washer and dryer, the patio furniture, or help with closing costs.
These days, it’s not unusual for a property to have multiple offers in the first couple of days. This doesn’t mean as a buyer that you can’t ask for some of the little extras, just make sure that your overall offer is as strong as it can possibly be. Remember that if a seller is willing to accept an offer that has concessions, it will come off their bottom line. You may need to increase your offer amount to off-set the reduction in proceeds. Work closely with your Realtor to determine how to make your offer the strongest it can be.
Happy house hunting!