Tips for Buying a Home in a Seller’s Market

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Housing industry pros predicted it and so far, Spring of 2015 is proving to be a positive one for home sales! Typically, this time of year has always been a very busy time for residential real estate. For now, continuing low mortgage rates, rising home values and limited inventories in many parts of the U.S. are all contributing to brisk sales. That’s why many markets have been dubbed “seller’s markets”.

So what’s a hopeful home buyer to do when the competition for desirable, affordable properties is so fierce? Dealing with multiple offers and bidding wars is unsettling to say the least! It definitely pays to be prepared and have a strategy in place. Here are a few tips for how to be a savvy home buyer when you’re faced with a seller’s market:

  • Choose your realtor with extreme care. That means getting referrals from people you trust and honing in on an agent who is very familiar with the climate of the local market. When demand for homes is high, you will want a realtor by your side who knows when to hold ’em, when to fold ’em and when to walk away. When determining your offer price, listen to your agent. Refusing to accept their advice and submitting a low ball offer can really backfire, so that is why being able to trust your real estate pro is a critical part of getting the home you really want.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage and if you can swing it, offer to put down 20 percent or more. Taking care of this detail ahead of time can mean the difference in having your offer taken seriously or not. For this endeavor to be effective, you will need to have a good idea of how much the home you are after will likely sell for.
  • Make a larger than required earnest money deposit. Discuss this move with your realtor and then see if it will be possible to put down twice or three times as much as the usual amount. All of the funds will be directed towards the purchase at closing anyway, so it is not like you stand to lose any money as long as you are 100 percent sure that this is the house you really want to buy.
  • Keep requests to a minimum. Rather than confusing the issue with random questions about what will be conveyed with the sale or where that great sectional that’s so perfect for the space came from, keep the extra chatter to a minimum. You want to be perceived as a no-nonsense buyer who knows what you want and has the financial ability to get it.
  • Be accommodating and delay buyer possession. It is standard practice that the sellers vacate the premises by the closing date. Why not offer to make things easier for them, and mention that if it helps, they may stay a few extra days? That way, you will demonstrate that you are courteous and easy to work with-another feather in your cap!
  • Timing is everything. The early bird definitely catches the worm in seller’s market scenarios. Most listings get the most traffic on the weekends, especially when there are open houses and real estate showcases. Be aggressive and discuss scheduling a visit to properties you are interested in as soon as they are on your radar. Get in early and be the first to submit an offer.
  • Evaluate what you want and need realistically. Many prospective buyers have unwittingly been cast aside because of their own indecisiveness. Before you begin shopping for a property, identify the key factors, such as size, price, neighborhood, and home features. If you’re sure you’re ready to buy get ready to be flexible. Don’t wring your hands over easy to change matters like paint colors and floor coverings. If you do, those who know what they want will get ahead of you and before you know what hit you, the house you were after will be under contract!

Please note that Mid America Mortgage Inc is not a real estate company. We recommend speaking with a licensed real estate professional for assistance with buying or selling a home.

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