How do you get the home you want in a competitive market like the one we’re experiencing now? There are five things you can do to help you compete in this market and snag the home you’re looking for:
- Get pre-approved. Without pre-approval, you won’t have peace of mind about your monthly mortgage payment or what your interest rate might be, and you’re not putting yourself at the top of the list of offers on the home in the first place. It’s also a good idea to ask your lender about a good-faith estimate of your closing costs just to get an idea of the breakdown between them and your down payments.
- Be informed about what you’re looking for. I’d advise making two lists. One is a list of your needs – things like financial boundaries, location, and the number of bedrooms – and the other is a list of wants – whether you want a 2-car garage or a 3-car garage, or how much square footage you’d like. Having these two lists will allow you to narrow down your options from all of the inventory out there.
- Interview a Realtor before working with them. Keep in mind that there are more than 1,800 real estate agents in our market alone. It’s critical that you sit down and talk to a Realtor, or maybe a few Realtors, before deciding on one to work with. Have a 15 or 20-minute conversation with the Realtor and ask them questions about their credentials, how long they’ve been selling homes, their fee structure, and what they do to service their clients. If a Realtor’s personality does not fit well for you, or their credentials don’t match your needs, interview another Realtor.
- Create your own search on a real estate website that you’re comfortable with. This may seem like it contradicts the point above, but while your Realtor is out setting up searches for you, keep an eye out on your own for homes that your Realtor may have missed. All things considered, the value of a Realtor lies in the counsel they provide throughout the home buying process, as well as their ability to represent your best interests when making an offer on the home you want.
- Make sure you are prepared to make a quick offer. If a home that you like is listed on the market, it’s probably priced well and in relatively good condition for its price. Chances are, a lot of other potential buyers are going to like that home for the same reasons. So when you see a home you like, be sure to let your Realtor know that you’re going to be prepared to write a contract on the spot, or shortly after you see the property. You don’t want to do this if you feel pressured or aren’t comfortable with the property, but waiting a few days could potentially allow another buyer to snatch it out from under you.
If you’ve got any other questions for us, or you want a free consultation, we’d love to be one of the real estate offices that you interview to see if we can add value to your home buying experience. We’ll get you set up and sent off in the right direction.