Housing inventory is low, but demand for quality housing remains high. It’s a very competitive real estate market for home buyers right now and you may be wondering how to keep up. Continue reading to find out how home buyers can win in a competitive real estate market.
Prepare and Plan to Win
The very first step to win in a competitive real estate market is to hire the professionals who do this every day – because they know how to put you in the best position to succeed. How do you know you are hiring the right professional? A good clue is if they start the conversation by asking what’s most important to you in buying a home. Real estate professionals work for you, and they have a fiduciary duty to use their knowledge and expertise to look out for your best interest in any real estate transaction. They say if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So be sure to prepared and have your strategy and buying timeline planned out sooner than later.
Now that you have prepared and planned for the home buying process and have a real estate team to work with, it’s time to manage your expectations. One aspect of managing expectations is your budget. As a buyer, you need to be realistic about how much you can afford – and that goes beyond just the down payment. You may even want to shop below your price range to guarantee a little wiggle room. Speak with your real estate professional about extra costs you should be expecting. Extra costs of buying a home besides the down payment could be:
- Attorney Fee
- Escrow Fee
- Home Inspection
- Homeowner’s Association and Insurance
- Title Insurance
Create a “Must Have” List
Once you have managed your expectations within your budget, narrow down your search by creating a “must have” list. To start, begin writing down everything and anything you could think of that could or would sway your buying decision in one direction or the other. This initial list should be as long and as detailed as you can make it. Your list can be anything from how far of a commute you will tolerate, to hardwood floors. Don’t try to rush this list, either. Spend as much time as you need to create your list as it will become important later. Once your full list is complete, break down each item on the list into three categories:
- Must Haves – Non-negotiable items and features of the home you are not willing to buy without having
Example: 3 bedrooms. If there is not 3 bedrooms, eliminate the home from consideration.
- Need – Almost a must have, but could be compromised on if necessary
Example: Large yard for kids/pets. Maybe the yard isn’t as big as you had hoped, but there is a park nearby and a safe neighborhood to walk in.
- Want – Could easily be made up for compromises elsewhere
Example: A modern kitchen. The kitchen may not be super modern and brand new, but it’s spacious, bright, and has a lot of potential that you can renovate down the line.
Closing the Deal
When trying to close the deal on the home you really want, a personal connection can go a long way. If you feel like it will increase your chances of getting the home, include a thoughtful note to the seller to help win them over. After all, selling a home that you have lived in for a while or even raised a family in, can be a hard and emotional process. Most sellers will appreciate to know that the home will be in good hands with its next owners. Writing a heartfelt letter about why you love their home can help you stand out among competing offers. You could share your story and what it would mean to you to live in their home, or even compliment and point out features of the home that you really loved. It may just be the push you need for the sellers to choose you.