Are you planning to buy a home this spring? Though things are more balanced than they were at the height of the pandemic, it’s still a sellers’ market. So, when you find the home you want to buy, remember these four tips to make your best offer.
1.Lean on a Real Estate Professional
Rely on an agent who can support your goals. As Bankrate notes:
“. . . select the best real estate agent for your needs. They will be a critical part of your home buying process.”
Agents are local market experts. They 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.
2.Know Your Budget
Understanding your budget is especially important right now. As Sandy Higgins, Senior Wealth Advisor at Capstone Financial Advisors, puts it:
“Understand your current budget … what are your expenses, how’s your spending, would you need to make changes?”
The best way to understand your numbers is to work with a lender so you can get pre-approved for a loan. It helps you be more financially confident, and it shows sellers you’re serious. That can give you a competitive edge.
3.Think Through Everything Before Making an Offer
Today’s market isn’t moving at the record pace it did during the pandemic. That means you may have a bit more time to think before you need to make an offer. According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com:
“In general, you likely have more time to make an offer, although that’s certainly not a guarantee. If you’re on the fence about a home or its asking price doesn’t quite fit your budget, you might want to keep an eye on it, and if it doesn’t sell right away, you may have some room to negotiate with the seller.”
While it’s still important to stay on top of the market and be prepared to move quickly, there can be more flexibility today. Lean on the advice of your agent as you explore the options in your market.
4. Work with Your Advisor To Negotiate
During the pandemic, some buyers skipped home inspections or didn’t ask for concessions from the seller in order to submit the winning bid on a home. 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.
When you buy a home this spring, let’s connect so you have the guidance to make your best offer.
Did the frequency and intensity of bidding wars over the past two years make you put your home search on hold? If so, you should know the hyper competitive market has cooled this year as buyer demand has moderated and housing supply has grown. Those two factors combined mean you may see less competition from other buyers.
And with less competition comes more opportunity. Here are two trends that may be the news you need to reenter the market.
1. The Return of Contingencies
Over the last two years, more buyers were willing to skip important steps in the homebuying process, like the appraisal or the inspection, in hopes of gaining an advantage in a bidding war. But now, things are different.
The latest data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the percentage of buyers waiving their home inspection or appraisal is down. And a recent article from realtor.com points out more sellers are accepting contingencies:
“A year ago, sellers were calling all the shots and buyers were launching legendary bidding wars, waiving contingencies, and paying for homes in cash. But now, the shoe is on the other foot, and 92% of home sellers are accepting some buyer-friendly terms (frequently related to home inspections, financing, or appraisals), . . .”
This doesn’t mean we’re in a buyers’ market now, but it does mean you have a bit more leverage when it comes time to negotiate with a seller. The days of feeling like you may need to waive contingencies or pay drastically over asking price to get your offer considered may be coming to a close.
2. Sellers Are More Willing To Help with Closing Costs
Before the pandemic, it was a common negotiation tactic for sellers to cover some of the buyer’s closing costs to sweeten the deal. This didn’t happen as much during the peak buyer frenzy over the past two years.
Today, data suggests this is making a comeback. A realtor.com survey shows 32% of sellers paid some or all of their buyer’s closing costs. This may be a negotiation tool you’ll see as you go to purchase a home. Just keep in mind, limits on closing cost credits are set by your lender and can vary by state and loan type. Work closely with your loan advisor to understand how much a seller can contribute to closing costs in your area.
Despite the extremely competitive housing market of the past several years, today’s data suggests negotiations are starting to come back to the table. To find out how the market is shifting in our area, let’s connect today.