When you are in the market to buy a home, you will face multiple battles along the way. We are facing a housing shortage that most agents and consumers have never seen.
As always, when looking to buy a home, your first call should be to your favorite agent who will take the time to see what you are looking for in a new home and when you will be available. Make no mistake: in today’s market, you need to be available to view a property in the short term and preferably on the day it comes on the market. Otherwise, there is a high chance that you will not be able to see it at all.
Given the shortage of stock, be prepared to make an offer right after viewing the property. If you need to sleep on it, you probably won’t sleep in it. Gone are the days when you could take the time to think about if this is it “right” Home for you and your family. Today you need to make that decision immediately when you view the property.
Sellers have a choice of different offers, with most properties ending up in multiple offers within hours to days of being listed. Things to Consider When Submitting Your Offer:
• Loan Type – Are you pre-approved for a traditional loan? FHA loan? VA loan? USDA loan? Most home sellers are looking for the cleanest listing terms, not just the best price. Different loan types may require inspections or look for certain security elements during the evaluation.
• Price – List price most likely won’t get you the house. Homes sell above asking price and sometimes well above asking price. When looking at homes with a list price at the high end of your budget, it can be disappointing to learn that you are likely to be outbid by buyers whose budget can exceed the list price.
• Buyer’s Closing Costs – Are you asking the seller to help pay your closing costs? If you answered “yes”, you should take this into account when submitting your offer. Increasing the sales price to cover your closing costs may be the only way to keep your offering competitive. Being able to pay your own closing costs can make it more attractive to a seller.
• Inspections – It is always a good idea to have a property inspected. However, many buyers forego all inspections in order to make their listing as competitive as possible. Other buyers continue to choose to have inspections but say they will continue to accept the property with any defects and not ask the seller for repairs.
• Closing – How soon can your lender close the loan? 30 days? 45 days? 60 days? If a seller is looking for a quick deal, their offer may be more attractive. The seller may need a late close or possession time after the close. Are you in a position where you can give the seller more time to move?
Your agent can walk you through all of these articles and together decide how to make your listing the most competitive so that the seller has the best chance of selecting your listing. With so many homebuyers and so limited inventory, don’t be surprised if your offer is not accepted and you find that multiple homes do. The fight is real; Don’t give up, however. The right home will come and if it does, your offer will be accepted.
Rich Cosgrove is the President of the Stark Trumbull Area Realtors (STAR), which serve Counties of Trumbull, Stark, and Carroll.