Thinking about buying a home soon? Here are a few things you can do to make the process more enjoyable while saving time & money.
1. Do Your research. Where do you want to live, and why? Once you've clearly & thoroughly answered these questions, determine what other neighborhoods could be a great fit for you. (Check out our “Neighborhood Guide” here.)
You may discover areas that will make you just as happy or happier that the ones you initially honed in on. In a hot seller's market where inventory is low, it's smart to start with a "wider net". It's quite common for buyers to start shopping with certain neighborhoods in mind, only to wind up falling in love with one that they never even considered.
2. Plan ahead. Get a pre-approval letter, delineate your wishes from your requirements & find a Realtor to represent you well in advance. This will give you a leg up on your competition, because you'll be ready to buy once you find The One. You'll also save yourself the heartache of losing out on a great house due to lack of preparation.
3. Take the pressure off of yourself. Remember that there is no such thing as the perfect house. Chances are low that you'll find the home that meets all of your requirements & wishes, so be realistic.
4. Know that it's okay to lose a home or two before you seal the deal. Buyer competition is fierce right now so it's not uncommon to write on multiple homes before you get an accepted offer. The silver lining is that somehow, a better, more suitable home always always falls into the right hands. We've never had a buyer settle for a home while kicking themselves for missing out on a previous opportunity, so try not to let the market stress you out.
5. Be ready to act quickly, but know when time is on your side. Some homes may be sold on a "first come, first serve" basis while others will have a period for showings with a set date for the seller to review offers. If a date isn't posted for seller review of offers, you'll need to see the home ASAP.
If a date is posted for seller review of offers, you shouldn't have to scramble to see the house & write an offer immediately. In those instances, use the timeline to your advantage. If, for instance, a home is made available for showings beginning on Saturday with an open house on Sunday & seller review of offers on Monday, view the home at the open house & schedule a private showing afterwards if you're interested.
By attending the open house, you may get a pulse on how "hot" the house is by observing how many other buyers are looking at it. You're also likely cross paths with curious neighbors that can give you the inside scoop on the neighborhood, etc. Let your Realtor know in advance that you're going to the open house & ask them to pencil you in for a private showing afterwards, in case it ends up being a good fit.
With the proper preparations & mindset, you'll find your home buying experience to be an exciting one, even in this crazy seller's market.
Looking for more buyer tips? Have questions? Give us a shout.