by Holly Gray
on Thursday, May 18th, 2017 at 4:46pm.
Summer is right around the corner and the U.S. housing market is experiencing record-low inventories. In this hot housing market, buyers must act quickly and decisively during the home buying process. Knowing what to do to be competitive in a hot market can help make the home buying process a success.
Be Prepared to Make An Offer
Home buyers who get ready to make an offer before ever beginning their search will be in a good position to move quickly when they find the right house for their needs.
Know what you want. Make a list of “must haves” for the property that you’d like to buy. Do you want a fireplace? A pool? How many floors? How many bedrooms? Knowing your priorities will help you hit the ground running when it’s time to find a home.
Get pre-approved. Pre-approval is the process of filling out a formal application for a mortgage and supplying the lender with documentation about financial status. The pre-approval process is more complex than the pre-qualification process. In a hot real estate market, mortgage pre-approval can make an offer seem more legitimate and may sway a seller to accept a bid.
Work out a budget. Know in advance how much money you can put toward a down payment, how much money this will leave for closing costs, the home inspection and other related expenses. Communicate this information to your real estate agent, who will need to know your budget when it’s time to make an offer.
Research the Market Before Beginning Your Search
While you’re gathering your paperwork, finding a lender and getting pre-approved for a mortgage, start looking at listings and researching neighborhoods in the area where you would like to buy. Looking at listings will give you an idea of the kind of homes that are currently available in your preferred location, which will help guide your search when the time comes to find a house. Whenever possible, go to open houses to explore the properties that are available.
Make A Strong Offer
In a hot housing market, serious home buyers will put their best foot forward when making an offer on a property. Bargaining with home sellers or bidding below the asking price is a sure way to lose to another buyer with a better offer. Home buyers who find homes that they feel serious about purchasing should do their best to make their offer as close to the asking price as possible. For a property that is priced competitively, bidding above the asking price may be a smart way to avoid a bidding war with other buyers.
Buyers must be fast to beat out other home buyers. Look at new listings every day and schedule viewings of newly available properties throughout the week. Make an offer as soon as the right house becomes available. Making snap decisions can be hard, especially for home buyers who are new to the market, but this can be offset by viewing listings and attending open houses before beginning the home search. Looking at homes early can give home buyers perspective, which can then help them to decide what properties are right for them.