Buying a Home in a Sellers Market
It’s no secret that todays housing market is a “sellers market”, and a strong one at that. What’s a home buyer to do when the scale is tilted out of their favor? While it’s certainly a great time to sell a home, it’s also a great time to buy a home – but there are some specific challenges that come with it. How does a buyer get an advantage these days? How can a buyer secure the perfect home? How can a home buyer locate homes that are not publicly available? Let’s find out!
Let’s assume you’ve made the decision to buy a home – and that’s important, because to thrive in this real estate market, you need to be confident in your decisions as challenges arise. Right now, the primary challenge most home buyers are facing is a shortage of homes for sale. As of writing there are 6,709 homes available for sale, where as a typical balanced market would be around 25,000 homes.
Here are a few tips to help you navigate the current markets.
Tip #1 – Be prepared. When a home first hits the market, you and a LOT of other home buyers will be looking at it (assuming it’s at least average quality home, and not grossly overpriced). Homes are selling at a record pace. In the time it takes for you to figure out if you can afford it, get qualified by a lender and decide to move forward, there is likely already several other offers on the property, and you’ll probably miss out. Be prepared by getting qualified before looking and knowing your true and correct budget. An offer without a pre-qualification has a very special place…the bottom of the pile.
Tip #2 – Be quick. “The home you saw today and want to think about tonight, is the same home someone saw yesterday and will buy today”. This doesn’t mean rush into a home purchase if you are not ready, that’s not good either. Assuming you are prepared, you should have a good idea of what you want before seriously looking, and be ready to pull the trigger when the right one comes along, or you might just miss it.
Just recently I went to go look at an aggressively priced home within less than 2 hours of hitting the market and there was already a line of 5 groups waiting outside to view.
Tip#3 – Have a sales plan. This one is only for those who currently own a home. Buying and selling in this market can be especially tricky. For hot, new properties on the market, making an offer with a contingency typically goes the same special place as offers without pre-qualifications. (correct – the bottom of the pile!). I get it – you don’t want to sell your house until you find something to buy, but you can’t buy anything without selling your house first. You can read about some ways to overcome that in a previous post “How to Buy and Sell a Home at the Same Time”.
Additionally, some alternative finance products have come to market recently that can allow you to more easily bridge this gap by buying a home first (without that pesky contingency), and then sell your current home (ask me for details!).
Tip#4 – Work with the right agent/Realtor. A good agent had access to properties that are not available anywhere else. There are currently 457 homes that will be coming on the market over the next 30 days. These homes are not listed on public sites, or in any publications – You haven’t seen them anywhere else, could one of them be your next home? They are available exclusively to agents who know where to look. Partner with a good agent – and give yourself a better shot and locating the perfect home.
Additionally – In my biased opinion, a good agent is one who is responsive, and can move quickly – an agent who answers the phone and emails promptly. In this market, it’s a necessity.
In addition, a buyer can get a little more creative in offer writing to help secure a property. There are numerous ways to substantially enhance an offer, most of the time without actually increasing the price for the buyer. Some of these terms and conditions can bring on some more risk to a buyer, so it’s crucial that you work with an agent who fully understands the intricacies of these different options to keep you protected, and your investment safe.
If you are thinking of buying or selling a property in the Phoenix area I have availability to help you with your transaction. Please get in touch with me.