Ultimately, what all this advice boils down to is making sure you don’t get caught unprepared when that perfect property is finally up for grabs.
Tip #1: Close That Laptop—and Talk with your Real Estate Consultant-Now
These days, using real estate sites to explore your options is par for the course: 90% of people search for listings online during their home-buying process. Kicking off your search online is a good move, but don’t dawdle too long behind the computer screen—inventory is expected to be tight in many Central Ohio markets, so you literally want to hit the ground running. This means starting the process as soon as possible, a task your real estate consultant can help guide you through.
Tip #2: Educate Yourself on Market Values and Trends
I believe buyers need to get up to speed quickly on home values and the corresponding amenities for their target neighborhoods, so they know the right decision when it presents itself. The more quickly buyers can educate themselves, the more successful the home search will be. Otherwise, buyers may feel homes are overpriced or lack the “updates” they expect and by the time they align their expectations with the market, its often too late and buyers miss out on a potential home.
Tip #3: Nab Low Mortgage Rates—Now
Mortgage rates are still historically low, allowing buyers to acquire the most house their money will afford them. In fact, interest rates are so low that, in many markets, monthly mortgage payments are less than rent. The prediction is that rates will remain low through spring but rates will only be going higher in the medium and long term.
Tip #4: Build Your Home-Buying Dream Team Before You Bid
If the start of spring has you in a desire to get out and get things done, channel some of that spirit into your house hunting—in order to be a serious frontrunner in a bidding war (or hopefully avoid a bidding war), you’ll need to have all of your ducks in a row. So not only will you need a savvy real estate agent, but you’ll also want your lender, inspector at the ready so you can act fast. Your real estate consultant can help you line up your winning team.
And I cannot forget to stress the importance of completing your mortgage application and having your loan amount determined in advance. All of my clients must absolutely be 100% pre-approved before submitting an offer. There are many reasons for this requirement. It ensures you’re financial prepared to buy and establishes your purchase range. It saves you time and stress when you are ready to make an offer on a home, because you’ve already completed the task. Lastly, in a seller’s market, a pre-approval will often times be required by the seller at the time an offer is made.
Tip #5: Keep Sweeten-the-Deal Moves in Mind
It cannot only be about “getting a deal.” Unfortunately for buyers, homes that are truly a deal are hard to come by. What we can do is ensure you get a fair deal that makes sense to everyone. In a hot market or in the event of a multiple offer situation you should prepare yourself for actions you may be comfortable taking to win out and get your offer accepted. Knowing how much you’re willing to pay, the level of risk you are willing to accept, and if you can adjust your timing are important considerations.
I’d love to sit down with you to discuss your situation. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a meeting.