Inman News and Zillow report that, nationally, the median home values rose 8% while inventory shrunk by 9%, meaning that home hunting this spring and summer is expected to be among the most competitive seasons on record.
“Getting pre-approved for a mortgage and finding an agent you trust can go a long way in helping buyers act quickly once the right home does become available in this otherwise tight and stressful housing landscape.” – Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell
If you’re ready to jump into the housing market – taking advantage of low rates and ditching renting for good – the following are my buyer strategies to not only beat the rush, but to stay competitive in the housing frenzy.
First to Know
1. Sign up for my daily or realtime MLS search results, including exclusive previews before homes hit the market
2. Leverage my broker marketplace connections and pocket listings to learn about properties coming to market.
Ready to Jump
3. Begin this process with your lending pre-approval. This is critical so that you know you are touring homes within your lending qualifications. But even more, sellers and their agents will expect this to accompany your offer. Let me introduce you to a lender who can help navigate affordability, loan packages and discuss cash to close based on your specific credit history.
4. When a new property comes on the market (especially condos in certain price ranges), allow flexibility in your schedule to tour it quickly within a day or two. In this market, where it’s common for homes to go under contract in under 2 weeks, if you wait a few days to see it you may miss out to other offers – or feel pressured to decide too quickly. Many condos are holding first showings at a weekend Open House, so let me help plan a schedule to maximize our buyers tour.
Making a Strong Offer
5. Be ready to write an offer when you find a home you like, and let me guide you through a competitive offer – supported by data and strong but reasonable negotiating terms.
6. Understand the pro’s and con’s of implementing the escalator clause, where we can leverage a bidding mechanism that increases your offer amount up to your maximum ceiling. This can offer you a competitive edge in multiple-offer negotiations, although this strategy isn’t right for every offer scenario.
h/t Inman News, April 26, 2018, Competition will be fierce for home hunters this season.