As a homebuyer, how do you find a home in a seller’s market? I have six tips to help you today.
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Right now, the market conditions are somewhat difficult for buyers, as Bucks County is in a seller’s market. Our market is not as crazy as the market in other counties, but inventory levels are down and some homes are selling with multiple offers.
If you are out there actively looking for a home, here are a few tips to help you navigate the market:
1. Make your initial offer your best offer. This may seem counter-intuitive since buyers had more control in the past few years. It used to be that you could initially offer a lower number with the understanding that you would negotiate with the seller. However, making your first offer your best and highest offer can mean the difference between getting the house you want or not.
2. Don’t overanalyze the purchase price. We are seeing some appreciation in the market, which we haven’t really seen in past years. Prices aren’t wildly escalating, but they are on the rise. So, if a home sells for a certain price in a given neighborhood and you’re looking at a similar home, that seller will probably ask for a little more money than the previous sale. If you are serious about buying, that is something you should expect given current market conditions.
3. Work with an experienced agent. Every agent has to start somewhere, but it can be risky for homebuyers to work with an inexperienced agent in today’s market. Work with an agent who has a good working relationship with other agents in the market. Virtually every other agent in Bucks County knows who I am because I’ve been in real estate for a long time. In a lot of transactions, that really does help. Even in multiple offer situations, my buyer may get picked over the others because I have an established connection with the listing agent.
4. Get pre-approved before you start looking for homes. Talk to a mortgage lender early on in the process and get pre-approved so that you’re prepared to buy when you find the house you want. It will save you a lot of stress and frustration down the road.
5. Be prepared for a multiple offer situation. Multiple offer situations are not uncommon right now. It doesn’t happen with every house and there are many factors that lead to a multiple offer situation, but know that it’s a possibility. Don’t be shocked if someone else makes an offer on the home you want.
6. Learn from the process. I take a lot of pride in my ability to educate buyers so that they understand exactly what’s happening at every step of the process. Even if you make an offer and don’t get the home, step back and learn from it. Don’t frantically chase after a house that you didn’t get and end up overpaying for it; just learn from the process.
If you are looking to buy in the current market or if you have any other real estate questions, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!