The housing market continues to be characterized by low inventory and high demand, which is great for sellers but stressful for most buyers. With rising interest rates expected this spring, there’s another layer of difficulty many buyers must navigate - their purchasing power. Realtor.com has compiled a great list of new homebuying "rules" that can help buyers succeed while navigating the market frenzy.
- Lock in a mortgage before beginning your home search: Securing pre-approval for a home loan used to be an acceptable and perfectly normal afterthought, but not anymore. This should be the first thing you do now.
- Shop for homes priced below your budget: Homes are practically flying off the market and many are selling for well over list price. It’s highly likely that buyers will be competing against multiple offers, which could drive the price up. By shopping below your budget, you will have room to submit a competitive offer and increase the chances of securing your dream home.
- If you find your dream home, act fast: In the Seattle area as of January 2022, homes averaged 40 days on the market and sold for 101 percent of the asking price. Due to incredibly low inventory, multiples buyers tend to compete for the same property, so be ready to put in a strong offer once you find a home you love. Read more about current market stats and trends here.
- Go big from the start: Long gone are the days of negotiating back-and-forth with a seller until you’ve reached the perfect agreement. To help your offer stand out, go in strong and put your best and final offer in at the beginning.
- Be patient and have a backup plan: Even though the steps above can help you, there’s always a chance the seller will accept another buyer’s offer instead. Be prepared to go through this process multiple times and try to find backup options you can act on quickly.
I have been working in this industry for many years and know this process can be an emotional rollercoaster for many. If you are considering buying or selling in this market, I would love the opportunity to discuss your goals and assist you in developing a plan of action that will help you enter this market with confidence, knowledge, optimism and hope.