The Real Estate market has been pretty intense right now and it does not look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. Houses are selling very fast and it is super competitive. We have compiled a few tips to help keep you competitive as a buyer in the housing market of 2021.
Get your Pre-Approval Ducks In a Row!
Before you get your hopes up and start looking at homes, go to a lender and get your pre approval letter. You will want to discuss what you can afford with your lender so you can ensure you know what price range of houses you will be looking at. You will also want to be sure to take this time to ask about different financial options you qualify and best understand your financing type. This is a great time to break down and discuss the low end and high end of your budget because if you have to put your best offer on a house you want to ensure it is something you can afford.
We also recommend talking with your lender about what items are required when you start the financing process. For example, do they require your tax returns, W-2, Pay stubs etc.? It is good to discuss this now because when the time comes that your offer is accepted, you want to have the financing process go as smoothly as possible and can have the paperwork ready to go right away.
Make Sure you Have an Amazing Real Estate Agent
Buying a house right now is very stressful for everyone, even real estate agents. When you are looking for a house with the market as saturated as it is right now you will want to have the best real estate agent that works the best with your personality. In a high stress situation you will want to ensure that you and your agent are the perfect fit. It is a good idea to research real estate agents and interview them to determine if they are a good fit for you. Be sure to read reviews online and ask friends and family for any recommendations. You will also want to make sure the agent you select specializes in the area you are buying in. This will help you stay competitive when putting in offers because your real estate agent may have more knowledge about the area than an agent who is not as familiar and it could pay off in the end.
Know Exactly What You Want
Everyone has a wish list when they are looking at houses but with the market the way it is you will need to narrow down your list to exactly what you are looking for. Houses are going quick so there most likely will not be time to schedule a second showing for your parents to check it out before putting in the offer. You want to narrow down your house wish list to the items you have to have and only look at houses that fit that criteria. You do not want to settle on a house so be sure to list all the items that are a deal breaker if it is not included in the house you end up buying.
Think about Your Offer and If You Can Drop Any Contingencies
Usually when you buy a house you submit the offer and many times there may be some type of contingency if the offer is accepted.This is the time when you want to try to think of ways to make your offer stand out above the rest. Avoid asking for any personal property when submitting your offer and make it as clean as possible. To keep your offer competitive you will want to think about if you can afford the top end of your budget and possibly offer more than the listing price or see if you can afford to put down more earnest money to show you are serious. In today’s market buyers are doing anything they can to make their offer stand out and make the purchasing process as easy on the seller as possible. As a result, in many cases offers are having fewer contingencies. We do not recommend dropping any contingency unless you feel 100% comfortable.
Consider a Walk and Talk Inspection
We do not recommend dropping a home inspection contingency from your offer but if you think this is the best way to stand out when putting in an offer on a house it is ultimately the buyer’s decision. If you choose to drop a home inspection contingency when buying a house you may want to consider a walk and talk inspection. The walk and talk inspection is an informal quick inspection in which our certified home inspector will walk through the house with you and point out any major red flags they can see right away. This is not a formal inspection and does not include any written report but it may help you feel a little better putting in an offer on a house knowing you are planning on forgoing a home inspection. There is always a risk if you choose to only do a walk and talk inspection and skip a home inspection including major repairs so be sure to do all your research and discuss all your options prior to dropping a home inspection.
Remember to be Patient and Be a Nice Buyer
It is the norm right now that the majority of houses have a long list of offers. It can be frustrating, exhausting and very discouraging. Try to do your best and understand that it may take several offers on several houses before your offer is accepted.The sooner you accept that it may take a bit longer to find a house than you planned, the happier you will be. It is also important to remember that your real estate agent is trying to find you a house in your price range and they are also getting upset when your offers are not accepted. Be sure to remember to be nice. Make sure you are nice to your family and loved ones as you are going through the stress of purchasing a home. Also, try to be nice to your real estate agent when they are working with you. Be a nice buyer and do everything you can to help the purchasing process go as smoothly as possible. Once your offer is accepted, be sure to be proactive and get in touch with your lender as quickly as possible and begin any other paperwork or contingencies you have in your offer.
The real estate market is very competitive so at times it may be very overwhelming. Try to compile a list of exactly what you want in a home and stick with your budget as best you can. Following some of the tips above may help you stand out and keep your offers competitive but be sure to be true to yourself and only submit an offer you are truly comfortable with.