Tomorrow is officially the first day of spring! That means the housing market is getting busy. This is the time of year that most people buy and sell their homes. That fast, busy market can be daunting, especially for a buyer when competing with other buyers. But it's not impossible. Here are some tips to help make the process a bit easier.
1. Be Prepared
Before you start your search, do a bit of homework. If you'll be taking out a loan for the purchase, get that process started first. Get pre-approved. Doing this does a few things. First it lets you know what a payment will be in the price range you are looking. Second, it lets you know exactly what you can afford. And, finally, it give you a Pre-Approval Letter that you can include with any offers you write on properties. This letter shows the seller that you have done your homework and that you are ready to go.
If you are planning to pay cash for a property, be prepared to show a seller proof that you have the money needed to make your purchase. We call this Proof of Funds. This can be a letter from the financial institution holding the money or balance sheet from your account(s). Also, if you are using money from a source that may take some time to move the money, look into that. Find out how and how long that move will take so that when it comes time to write an offer you can set realistic deadlines.
2. Be Educated
If you know that you won't be ready to move until June, it's still a good idea to start looking at properties a bit early. This can be either online or in person. Starting to look a bit early will educate you to the current market. The more houses you see, the more you will understand the cost and value of what is out there for sale. That way, you'll know what you do and don't like and when you walk into a house you love, you'll know pretty quickly if it's worth what's being asked. This will enable you to make much quicker decisions. That's critical in this strong seller's market we are experiencing.
3. Be The Best
When you write your offer (especially if it's on a newly listed property) put your best foot forward. Write the very best offer you can right at the outset. I know it isn't in our nature to do that at first. We want to haggle over price. It's inherent in real estate to do that. But that really only applies in a balanced market or a buyer's market. In a seller's market with limited inventory, you don't always have the luxury of buying below asking price.
4. Be Patient
You may not get the first home you write an offer on - or even the second or third. It's hard out there for buyers right now. Be patient though. I'm a bit sappy and I truly believe that if you are doing your best and writing decent offers everytime, you will get the home you need.
And I'm happy to help you in your search. Reach out and we'll get started!