While the housing market is going through a shift, it’s still competitive for buyers because the overall inventory of homes for sale is low. Enjoy having more options as supply continues to grow this year but keep these tips in mind to help you put in a strong offer once you find the one.
1. Know Your Budget
Knowing your budget and what you can afford is critical to your success as a homebuyer. The best first step is working with a lender and getting pre- approved for a loan. Your pre-approval indicates how much you’re able to borrow for your mortgage and shows sellers you’re serious. As the Mortgage Reports explains:
“. . . most sellers won’t even consider an offer unless the buyer is pre- approved at the right price point. Sellers and their agents want to know you’re ready and able to finance your offer amount.”
2. Lean on a Real Estate Professional
As conditions in the housing market moderate today, it’s especially important to rely on a trusted real estate advisor. As Freddie Mac says:
“The success of your homebuying journey largely depends on the company you keep. . . . be sure to select experienced, trusted professionals who will help you make informed decisions and avoid any pitfalls.”
Agents are experts in what’s happening in the housing market and in your area. They’ll have insight into the latest trends, what they mean for you, and what’s worked for other buyers.
3. Make a Strong, but Fair Offer
As the peak intensity of demand is cooling this year, the number of homes sold over asking price is decreasing and so is the typical number of offers on a recently sold home. But you still need to be prepared to come in with your best offer up front because inventory is still low overall and that makes it a sellers' market.
Lean on your agent to help you understand the current market value of the home you're interested in and recent sales trends in the area so you can craft your best offer.
4. Be a Flexible Negotiator
When putting together an offer, your trusted real estate advisor will help you consider which levers you can pull, including contract contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized). Of course, there are certain contingencies you don’t want to give up, like the home inspection. Freddie Mac explains:
“A home inspection contingency gives you the opportunity to have the entire home you'd like to purchase examined by a professional before you close on your contract. Without this contingency, you could be contracted on a house you can't afford to fix.”
Bottom Line It’s still a sellers’ market today, just a more moderate one. Let’s connect so you have expert advice on how to make your strongest offer when you find your dream home.