Top FIVE Considerations When Buying a Home in a Seller’s Market
Are you trying to buy a home and failing miserably? Is the housing marketed giving you a kick in the butt? Thinking of obvious things in a new way may help.
This summer I am hearing from many people who are desperately trying to buy a home, yet every new home on the market is grabbed by someone else. Buyers are tired and frustrated, feeling defeated.
It’s a tough market out there for buyers, no doubt. In home buying, as in every successful endeavor, you must have a goal, a plan and system to execute your plan. If you don’t change the way you are doing things, you won’t change the outcome. What system have you been using to secure your new home?
There are several considerations where you need to review your approach, and perhaps find a new way to go about things. Examine each of the following variables.
Buyers Agent. In a seller’s market, you need a buyers’ agent. Hire a good buyer agent you like and trust. Someone who will advocate on your behalf, who’ll help keep you sane, and who will give you sound advice.
If the best advice you’ve received so far has been to pay more money, you are getting short changed. Perhaps it’s time to switch. It is okay to move on! The best agents lose clients sometimes. We can’t all be experts on the same markets, in the same situations and the best choice for everyone. Find the person who’s best suited for you.
Price Range. Are you looking in the right price range? There are two ways to look at this question. If you are looking at properties that are priced in your range, but sell for more, then you are really looking at a higher range you can afford. Adjust the search for a bit less, and offer a bit more. Stop expecting the market to stop for you.
Alternatively, are you sure you are looking for as much as you can afford? A good mortgage broker will show you options in how to pay for your home, and you may be able to stretch further. Please note, I advocate buyers only BUY WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD. My point is to speak with a great mortgage broker to get your financial house in order first, and to know your affordability.
Clean Offers. When making an offer, remember it’s not only about the money. You can find ways to please the seller with fewer conditions or working around her schedule. Be flexible, and put your best foot forward. Knowing when you don’t have the upper hand is important, stop fighting it.
Recently my buyers made an offer on a house in Arlington with the sellers’ ideal timing. It is not convenient for my buyers, but they are making it work, while the seller is happily cooperating on every other part of the sale.
Furthermore, the seller will want to work with someone who is easy and pleasant. Keep your neurosis to yourself. Neurosis can be apparent in buyer agent behavior, the conditions in the offer, and your endless list of questions. I say this with the greatest respect to all the neurotics out there, as I am one of you!
Stop the Insanity! You don’t have to get caught up in the insanity of the market. The right place will come at the right time, and believe it will happen. As a Realtor, I witness a lot of nutty behavior: Offers which do not reflect value, and buyers getting themselves into risky situations. I don’t like my buyers in these situations, and try to steer them in the direction of good sense.
One way to avoid some of the insanity is to focus on stale inventory. Some properties which go on market do not sell, and it is mostly because they are overpriced. Go take a look at properties sitting on market – maybe you can make it work? Maybe you will have some leverage as the only buyer in the mix? You may even get a good deal!!!
Tip: Go take a look at all the stale inventory which roughly meets your criteria, plus take a look in another community if you can. Widen the horizons, you may be surprised.
Don’t Buy. Maybe it’s not your year to buy. If you are selling your home and buying, unless you must move, then you should be in no hurry. If you are renting, even thought rents are up, you could be better off staying put. Sure, rates are low, prices will likely continue to climb, yada yada yada. A real estate agent can always tell you why you should buy NOW. But maybe next year will be a better.
Critically review the way in which you have been going about your home search. Try changing some aspects of it. Remember, you must change your method if you want to change the results.