Buying a home is a huge decision. Whether for personal use or as an investment, it is totally understandable that you would want to weigh your options before making up your mind on which home to purchase. Here’s the problem: in many parts of our area, homes just aren’t on the market long enough for you to make up your mind. The result, obviously, is disappointment that you missed out on the home you want.
So, what can you do about it?
Here are three steps to help you avoid disappointment and, instead, get excited about your new home:
1) Know Your Market
By knowing certain criteria like what the average days on market are, what the average prices in the area are, and a sales history for the area you are looking, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort trying to figure it out. The best way to get that information before you go out looking is to contact your trusted, local Realtor.
2) Know Your Criteria
Very rarely does the “perfect home” show up in your search. It may seem like it on paper or in pictures, but just like those profile pictures on dating sites, the reality is usually different. Know what you want before you go looking. Know the things that you are willing to compromise on like bedroom sizes or outside living. Know what you are willing to do after you move in like add a patio or put in wood floors. As important, know what you are not willing to compromise on. By being able to weigh the pros and cons while you are in the home, you will save time making that decision afterwards.
3) Have Financing Lined Up
Most sellers today are requiring a pre-approval prior to purchase or, if you are paying cash, will require proof of readily-accessible funds. Before you go look for a home, get with a lender and get a pre-approval letter. Doing so will save you valuable time waiting on that before you submit an offer on a home you love but someone else already bought because they were prepared.
The bottom line is that in areas of the market where demand is high, inventory is low, and homes that are priced right are selling, you will likely have a brief window to get your offer in before the home is sold. The “read between the lines” part of that statement is that the good homes, the ones you are probably going to want to make an offer on, will be the ones that go quickly. What we are seeing today is a sever tightening of available, quality inventory. As that trend likely continues through the rest of this year, there is going to be a shift to a “seller’s market”, driving up prices.
When I started in the industry, selling new homes, I used to keep a sign in my office that simply said, “The home you are going to thing about tonight is the same home that someone else went home to think about yesterday.” It was true then and is true now. Don’t miss out on your home because you needed to go home and think about it.