In the last blog I discussed the spring market from a seller’s perspective. This week, let me reach out to you, dear buyer. This spring the market is HOT! On top of that, we continue to have a very low inventory in the Nashville area. This means you are not the only buyer considering that house you love. As I tell my buyers, “If you love it, someone else will too!”
So, here are a few things that buyers need to hear…
1. Be aggressive when looking for your home. If a house hits the market that you like, make plans to see it immediately. This may mean getting off work early or going during lunch. My clients will receive a daily email with every new listing that matches their criteria. I’ve seen homes sell within hours of hitting the market, so be aggressive and try to be the first in. Being aggressive also means you have to position yourself to purchase by having your price range and lender pre-qualification letter before you begin your home search.
2. Be aggressive with your offer. There’s a common saying in a hot market, “If you sleep on it, you lose it.” I know it’s hard to make a quick decision on this large of a purchase, but if it fits your finances and you love the house, DON’T WAIT! I prepare my buyers by telling them that they may find their new home the first time we go out together. The house you love may not be there tomorrow. When you write your offer, keep in mind that you may be competing against other buyers, so make your first offer count. It doesn’t have to be your best offer, but it does need to be strong enough to get the attention of the sellers. They should want to work with you.
3. Be prepared for an emotional roller coaster. You may write a good offer, only to discover four other buyers have too. The seller counters all the offers, asking for your “highest and best.” Don’t let your emotions lead you to write an offer that is out of your financial comfort zone or is not well supported by comps. The house of your dreams will become a nightmare if it straps you financially or is a bad investment.
4. See failure as a course correction. You may not get the house you love on your first try. In fact, sometimes it takes buyers losing a house or two to really understand this crazy market. Remember, it’s just one house and there will be others. You will eventually find another one you love just as much. In the meantime, consider your strategy and what you need to do differently. Was your bid too low? Did your request for closing costs condemn your offer to failure? Maybe you need to slide into a lower price range or just pick up your game a bit.
5. Home buying couples: Get it together! Occasionally I’m asked if I do marriage counseling! In a hot market, you have to compromise. You may not be able to have the huge yard with the master bedroom down and a workshop in your prime location. Here’s an idea…both of you make a list of what you want in this next home and rank them in order of priority. Then compare your lists. Circle the items that are on both lists. Finally, together, rank those in order of priority. And, please, remember that your relationship is so much more important than 4 walls and a roof!
Most importantly, work with an agent you trust to have your best interest through out this entire process!
*Credit for some of the ideas in this blog go to Trulia Pro-blog.