4 Ways Homebuyers Can Come Out on Top this Spring/Summer Season
Homebuyers have been feeling frustrated with how this real estate market run-up has made it very difficult to feel like they’re not getting the best deals. We get that. This article is NOT about seeing if buying a home is a good idea for you this year, but rather, it’s a helpful article for those who have definitely decided to purchase a home this year. You might be in a stronger financial position than you have been in the past years or you might just be tired of paying another mortgage (your landlords’).
Whatever the reason, if you are serious about purchasing a home this year and you’re feeling overwhelmed or worried about how the market isn’t favoring you as a buyer right now – this article is for YOU.
Here are 4 helpful ways to increase the likelihood of you making a great buy for the perfect home:
Get Pre-approved by a Local Lender.
We have seen this mistake repeat itself over-and-over again with homebuyers and it has dire consequences. Homebuyers are favoring an array of online companies and larger bank institutions to pull a mortgage with because of their enticing lower rates, or an easier approval process or faster loan process. No matter the reason, these types of lenders are either killing deals or causing extreme distress to the parties involved in the transaction because of funding delays and/or poor communications with agents to comply with contractual terms, which ultimately put their customer (the homebuyer) in legal liability.
It has gotten so bad that Listing Agents (representing sellers) are now advising their clients to seriously consider the potential ramifications of these types of loans, which is ultimately hurting the chances of homebuyers getting their offers accepted. In this market, homebuyers don’t have the luxury to go with the wrong lender. Don’t start off on the wrong foot and work with a LOCAL lender.
Focus on the Home, not the Owner.
We see homebuyers try so hard to find a “bargain” in the market and waste so much time in searching for a seller that might be in a position to sell at a really low price – don’t count on it. It’s not that they don’t exist, but it’s not worth focusing your time and energy in finding them because you will miss out on better opportunities. We have worked with homebuyers who have wasted a whole year trying to look for a “good deal”, found none and are now looking at a market that has gone up double-digits in home prices that’s no bueno. The best thing you can do this Spring/Summer is focus on the home that will meet (most) of your needs, location of up-and-coming neighborhoods, and what special features of the home can be equitable to you in the future if you sold it. A good agent should be able to help you navigate through all of these considerations, so that you’re staying on top when you sell again.
Narrow It Down to the Top 3 Neighborhoods.
Use top real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia or Realtor.com to hone-in on the top 3 neighborhoods that you want (and can) live-in. This might be counterintuitive for some homebuyers because they feel that they don’t have the luxury to buy in a neighborhood of their choice in this market, but that is not true. By narrowing down your focus to 3 neighborhoods, you are doing two important things. Number one: You are staying in-control of what neighborhoods are acceptable to you, instead of letting the market dictate that to you. Rank your top 3 neighborhoods from most desirable to less desirable, but make sure that ALL 3 of them are a neighborhood that you would enjoy living in. The second benefit that comes from narrowing down your neighborhoods is that your real estate agent will have the ability to really focus on finding you a deal within these neighborhoods, better than if they had to be looking for the perfect home out of numerous neighborhoods. They can setup property alerts that notify them and their homebuyers in an instant of when they hit the MLS (faster than any other real estate website out there), they can search for any For Sale By Owner properties and/or they can prospect to homeowners that haven’t listed the property yet (off-market deals).
Narrowing down the search to the top 3 neighborhoods will allow for homebuyers and their real estate agents to broaden the likelihood of a good deal.
Be Prepared to Pay Pretty Close to Asking Price.
Your agent should be able to validate the asking price of a prospective property quickly and advise you of how much you can expect to pay for the home. There might be times when the seller and/or listing agent is a little too ambitious on pricing, but homebuyers this Spring/Summer need to get over the mental roadblock of thinking that they’re going to barter a seller down tens of thousands of dollars – those days are past us. Spend less time trying to beat down pricing on a property that is actually worth the price, whether you want to accept it or not, and focus on other aspects of the purchase that can help you just as well. Things like contractual terms, seller concessions, home warranties, home repairs or credits, etc. Your agent should be able to explain all the other ways that you can leverage to make the purchase a good one for you, other than price.
Remember this: negotiating the right terms in an offer can be worth more money in savings than beating down the price for a few thousand dollars. Not to mention, they can also save you some years of your life because of less stress!
If you haven’t noticed yet, 3 out of the 4 ways in this article are more of a mindset switch than they are practical steps. There’s a reason for that. So many of the homebuyers we encounter today are still stuck in a mindset that places them in a position of buying power that simply doesn’t exist right now. However, with the right mindset and real estate agent, homebuyers today can still make wise decisions purchasing their next home with tact and precision. Spring/Summer is the busiest time of the year for real estate. Inventory tends to shoot up with sellers ready to move on and more homebuyers infuse the market to find the next best place to live in. There is lots of competition during this season, but if you adhere to these 4 tips of advice, we are confident that you can make the best purchase possible for you.
4 Ways Homebuyers Can Come Out on Top this Spring/Summer Season
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