The real estate market across the country is so hot right now, prospective homebuyers are discovering it’s especially difficult to find a home.
Many realtors currently have more buyers than homes for sale. Ken Rosen of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics said, “It’s red-hot housing market, but remember it’s bouncing off of a 30-year low in home-ownership rates that we had in 2016 — so a lot of people have delayed buying.”
In fact, prices of homes are where they were at before the 2008 financial crisis.
Things have come full circle once again. Here’s how eager homebuyers should be prepared:
1. Don’t become attached to prices
In a hot market, multiple offers can surpass the original listing price. It’s best not to get caught up on the price tag, but rather look at recent sales in the area to help guide your decision-making. Some homes might be listed low to start a bidding war, while others might be listed higher to entice negotiation. Stay disciplined on your budget, but don’t be surprised if the average price in your ideal neighborhood has changed substantially even since last year.
2. Work with an experienced agent
A professional, experienced real estate agent to work with is key. He or she will have insight into the market, will know first about upcoming listings and can have tips for how you can win a bidding war. But this all relies on one’s experience and track record. Before choosing who will help you find your dream home, consider the number of homes this person has sold. Often, results are a better indication of what you can expect, as opposed to years in the business.
3. Move quickly, or risk losing it
In a hot market, you must be ready to move quickly. You can’t lowball in a buyer’s market, so make a fair offer that you are comfortable with and push forward. Remember that things can get competitive, especially in the most desirable markets and neighborhoods. Also, keep in mind that moving quickly after intelligent preparation is different than coming down with a case of house fever.
4. Lead with your head, not your heart
Falling in love with your ideal house shouldn’t cause you to overspend, wreck your finances and become house-poor. Remember that buying a home usually means you’re in it for the long haul. Bidding outside what you’re willing to spend just because it’s a hot market and you want that particular house might become a regret later. Be thorough with the logistics of buying a home.
5. No home is perfect (and few homes are forever)
Everyone has his or her wish list. More times than not though, you won’t find one home that fits all your desires. You must determine what the “must-have’s” are and what you can survive without. Being clearly aware of what you’re looking for and understanding that no home is perfect will help you when it comes to making quick decisions this hot market requires…along with an understanding that in all likelihood this will not be the last house you buy.
Happy house hunting! (Hopefully you can find one).