Buyer Beware – It’s a different market! Buying real estate in 2014 is going to be quite a bit different than what we’ve experienced the last few years. Let’s explore why.
Post Boom Buyers Market
Not long ago, sellers were struggling to sell their homes. Prices were deflated, and the amount of ready, willing, and able buyers were few and far between. It was by and large a buyers market, and those that were able to could get more house than ever for their money.
Fast forward to 2013
There are actually more buyers than sellers out there, and it is especially true for homes in top condition and the most desirable locations. A variety of factors have contributed, including rising mortgage rates, improving economic conditions, and the return of the “move-up” market (sellers now able to sell homes that were once “underwater” to purchase something larger). Despite these factors, it still is a great time to buy with affordability levels still nearing all-time highs, and interest levels still very low. As a potential buyer, you need to prepare yourself for this vastly different market. Here are several tips to keep in mind:
- Be prepared for “multiple offer” scenarios – Different markets have their “sweet spots” where the ideal size, location, condition, and price all meet. These properties will receive multiple offers, typically in a very short time period.
- Get ready to act quickly. It’s a big decision, and a lot of money, so many buyers will struggle with this. But the most desirable properties are going under contract in 1-2 days.
- Make a strong offer – Asking prices for these uber properties are usually dead-on, or even a little low. List price or higher often is what it takes to get it done. Sellers also look carefully at your down payment, and whether or not you need to sell something else to finance your purchase.
- Do as much leg work as possible. Research your ideal neighborhoods first so that you don’t have to get to know an area the day you make an offer. And while you’re waiting for that “perfect storm” property, make sure you have your agent show you properties representative of a style or age even if they are not in the ideal location.
- Leverage resources – DAILY – Your agent should have searches that are updating you daily, or multiple times per day, giving you new listings. When you see something you like, be sure to be the first one there. Call your agent often to check-in on both new properties, and other listings you might have seen.
- Secure financing BEFORE you begin your search – Nobody will review an offer unless a buyer has been pre-approved.
Don’t let this stop you from getting what you want. Be prepared for your purchase, but also be prepared to WAIT. Sometimes, it takes time to not only find that perfect property, but to actually be the one who’s purchasing it. And be sure you’re happy with your agent and the services they are providing you. Make sure they are thinking of YOU and YOUR NEEDS.