Today’s market is still competitive in many areas because the supply of homes for sale is still low. If you’re looking to buy a home this season, know that the peak frenzy of bidding wars is in the rearview mirror, but you may still come up against some multiple-offer scenarios.
Here are a few things to consider to help you put your best foot forward when making an offer on a home.
1. Lean on a Real Estate Professional Like Me
As a Realtor, I can support your goals and help you understand what’s happening in today’s housing market. Agents are experts in the local market and on the national trends too. We use both of those areas of expertise to make sure you have all the information you need to move with confidence.
Plus, we know what’s worked for other buyers in your area and what sellers may be looking for in an offer. It may seem simple, but catering to what a seller needs can help your offer stand out.
As an article from Forbes says:
"Getting to know a local realtor where you’re hoping to buy can also potentially give you a crucial edge in a tight housing market."
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan
Having a clear budget in mind is especially important right now given the current affordability challenges. The best way to get a clear picture of what you can borrow is to work with a lender so you can get pre-approved for a home loan.
That will help you be more financially confident because you’ll have a better understanding of your numbers. It shows sellers you’re serious, too. And that can give you a competitive edge if you do get into a multiple-offer scenario.
3. Make a Fair Offer
It’s only natural to want the best deal you can get on a home. However, submitting an offer that’s too low does have some risks. You don’t want to make an offer that will be tossed out as soon as it’s received just to see if it sticks.
As Realtor.com explains:
“. . . an offer price that’s significantly lower than the listing price, is often rejected by sellers who feel insulted . . . Most listing agents try to get their sellers to at least enter negotiations with buyers, to counteroffer with a number a little closer to the list price. However, if a seller is offended by a buyer or isn’t taking the buyer seriously, there’s not much you, or the real estate agent, can do.”The expertise your agent brings to this part of the process will help you stay competitive and find a price that’s fair to you and the seller.
4. Trust Your Agent’s Expertise Throughout Negotiations
During the rush of recent years of the housing market, some buyers skipped home inspections or didn’t ask for concessions from the seller in order to submit the winning bid on a home.
An article from Bankrate explains this isn’t happening as often today, and that’s good news:
“While the market has largely calmed down since then, sellers are still very much in the driver’s seat in this era of scarce housing inventory. It’s not as common for buyers to waive inspections anymore, but it does still happen. . . . It’s in the buyer’s best interest to have a home inspected . . . Inspections alert you to existing or potential problems with the home, giving you not just an early heads up but also a useful negotiating tactic.”
Fortunately, today’s market is different, and you may have more negotiating power than before. When putting together an offer, your trusted real estate advisor will help you think through what levers to pull and which ones you may not want to compromise on.
When you buy a home this summer, let’s connect so you have an expert on your side who can help you make your best offer. I would love to hear from you.
If you’re getting ready to buy your first home, you’re likely focused on saving up for everything that purchase involves. One cost that’s likely top of mind is your down payment. But don't let a common misconception about how much you need to save make the process harder than it could be.
I hope the following information will be helpful for you, but let me encourage you to contact me. I have a terrific network of financial experts who can help you figure out exactly what you need to know and do.
Understand 20% Isn’t Always the Typical Down Payment
Freddie Mac explains:
“. . . nearly a third of prospective homebuyers think they need a down payment of 20% or more to buy a home. This myth remains one of the largest perceived barriers to achieving homeownership.”
Unless specified by your loan type or lender, it’s typically not required to put 20% down. This means you could be closer to your homebuying dream than you realize. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median down payment hasn’t been over 20% since 2005. In fact, the median down payment today is only 14%. And it’s even lower for first-time homebuyers at just 6% (see graph below):
Learn About Options That Can Help You Toward Your Goal
If saving for a down payment still feels like a challenge, know that there’s help available. A real estate professional and trusted lender can show you options that could help you get closer to your down payment goal. According to latest Homeownership Program Index from Down Payment Resource, there are over 2,000 homebuyer assistance programs in the U.S., and the majority are intended to help with down payments.
Plus there are even loan types, like FHA loans, with down payments as low as 3.5%, as well as options like VA loans and USDA loans with no down payment requirements for qualified applicants.
To understand your options, be sure to do your homework. If you’re interested in learning more about down payment assistance programs, information is available through sites like Down Payment Resource. Then, partner with a trusted lender to learn what you qualify for on your homebuying journey.
Remember, a 20% down payment isn’t always required. If you want to purchase a home this year, let’s connect. You’ll also want to make sure you have a trusted lender so you can explore your down payment options.
When buying or selling a home, it's important to understand the market and gain helpful insights to help you achieve the best results.