Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions that most people will make in their lives. The process can be intimidating, particularly when inventory levels are at record lows and with home selling much faster than usual. According to Redfin estimates, the nation is at 1.3 months worth of supply across all housing types and 2 percent in many areas. NAR reported:
“In December 2020, inventory was at 1,070,000 active properties listed on the market. This is down 16.4% from November 2020. Compared with December of 2019 when that number was at 1,390,000, inventory levels were down a marked 23.0%. This is a record-setting low since 1999, when NAR started tracking the data.”
With so few properties on the market, how do you compete when there are more buyers than homes available? Here are some tips for how to navigate this unique time and find your dream new home!
1. Do your research to find a home that meets your needs
Many buyers rely on online search platforms to find suitable homes. Sites like Redfin, Zillow, and Trulia offer the opportunity to filter and customize your home search. Potential buyers can view more home options in a shorter amount of time. Buyers can also search for available homes in other states. Research the housing market in the prospective area, including average prices and trends to get a better idea of what you can and cannot afford.
Talk to a realtor for suggestions and guidance about what type of home will best suit your needs. Agents are experts for a reason and know the best neighborhoods and markets. Look for homes in areas with less demand, such as suburbs or rural communities. You can also consider homes that are under construction. Stay patient as it may take some time to find the home you love. Be flexible and have an open mind when it comes to location, size of home, and amenities.
2. Get organized
Staying organized during the home buying process will help you avoid added stress and keep it moving efficiently. Find out your budget and stick with it. Be ready for moving expenses, closing costs, fees, and more. Figure out the maximum down payment and monthly mortgage payments you can afford. Take a look at your credit score and make sure you are in a healthy range. Have all your paper documents organized and completed. Get pre-approved with your mortgage lender. This will save lots of time and show that you are a serious buyer when you’re ready to make an offer.
3. Be prepared to make an offer
Because available homes are so limited, buyers will most likely experience a bidding war. Buyers are getting creative in how their offer stands out to sellers to make sure they get the home they love. Communicate with your real estate agent regularly to move efficiently. You can also work with your agent to contact the seller of any home you’re interested in, including their agent if they have one, to get more information about the property. See if the seller is willing to negotiate or make any concessions on the home’s price. Try writing a personal letter to give to the seller. This can build rapport and a personal connection to why you want to buy their home. It can be a good tactic to help you stand out and win best offer.
Continue to do your research and gain as much knowledge as possible to feel confident and prepared to enter the market. Remember to work with Real Estate experts to guide you to the best decisions when buying or selling a home. Agents and lenders want to see you succeed and help find the home of your dreams. Reach out any time to get more information on the current market or if you have specific questions.
This article is intended to be accurate, but the information is not guaranteed. Please reach out to us directly if you have any specific real estate or mortgage questions or would like help from a local professional. The article was written by Sparkling Marketing, Inc. with information from resources like Redfin, NAR, and Realtor.com