Buying a new home is a big step. Whether you’re moving into a bigger house, moving to a new city or buying your very first home, there’s a myriad of things to take into consideration and being a buyer can almost be as time consuming as a part-time job. This is why it’s important to have a great real estate agent on your side. They will manage the bidding wars and sort through available homes based on your preferences.
What neighborhood do you want to live in, how many bedrooms do you need and do you want a yard? These are just some of the questions to consider as part of your criteria. It’s important to be specific about what you want with your real estate agent so they can show you houses that best match what you want. Remember that you will likely have to make sacrifices, especially in a seller’s market. Make a short list of non-negotiables and a longer list of preferences.
Before you begin the house hunting journey talk to your real estate agent and ask for their preferred lender. Go through the process of getting pre-approved by a reputable lender so you can include a lender letter with your offer. This helps to shorten the timeline after going under contract and strengthen your offer.
In a hot market homes can be under contract in less than 24 hours. As a buyer you need to be flexible with your time and willing to go see a home ASAP, if you wait for the weekend it could be gone! You may let your employer know you you are looking for a home and ask for some flexibility should you need to jet out to a showing. Bring the kids along if you need to, they’ll have fun picking out their rooms!
Seller’s often want to get out of their homes quickly and will look highly on an offer allowing for a quick closing. Talk with your lender and discuss the shortest possible closing time. Start packing now so you can be ready to move quickly if needed! A quick close could be the difference between getting your dream house and settling. Discuss time frames with your real estate agent. It may even be worth asking your agent to call the listing agent to see what would be best for the seller. Preparedness will get you far in a seller’s market!
Do what you can to be an easy customer for the sellers. This may speak more loudly than being the highest or all cash offer. Don’t request knit-picky items or large concessions unless there are safety concerns. If you have the ability, offer to cover seller’s closing fees (title fees, HOA transfer fees, etc). Offering an inspection date within a week of the contract also shows the seller you are a serious buyer. These little accomodations could mean a big win in the end by getting you your dream home!
If you are able to, make your offer shine by offering double, or even triple, the earnest money payment. This won’t affect your bottom line but may be appealing to sellers. Ask your agent for other ideas on how to get in the door first, have your offer at the top of the stack and other creative ways to appeal to sellers. In a hot market, the aggressive buyers often win the game.
Congrats! You’ve successfully navigated the seller’s market and have moved in to your dream home! Before moving everything in get the walls painted, update flooring and complete other big projects you planned on doing immediately. Now that you’re home, pour yourself a drink, relax and enjoy!
Hopefully this few tips help you win your dream home! It’s worth the work to get the best possible fit for you and your family. Talk with your real estate agent to get the most current tips and tricks and most important, have fun during the process!