Entering the housing market is one of the biggest decisions a person can make. Although it can make you feel a little uneasy because you don’t know what to expect, you’re not alone. To make matters a little more unnerving is trying to buy a house in a hot housing market!
Instead of feeling like you’re getting in over your head, here are a few tips that’ll help you feel more prepared to buy the home of your dreams.
1. Research, research, research
Long before you even start making appointments to see houses, you need to research the area you’d like to move to. Even if you’re moving to a new neighborhood in the same county, you’ll want to do your research. You want to make sure your new neighborhood has access to amenities that are important to you.
For example, HomeLight’s 2020 Q3 survey revealed 27.7% of surveyed real estate agents said their clients want access to affordable housing and 32% need to live in an area where there’s strong broadband for those who are doing at-home learning or working from home.
2. Find a lender who will work with you
One of the best ways you can speed up the homebuying process is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. By getting pre-approved, you’ll have proof that you will have the money to move forward with the transaction. Just keep in mind that you’ll want to shop around to find a lender that is willing to work with you in terms of what you will need to be approved. This includes a solid employment history, a good credit score, and a debt-to-income ratio that isn’t too high.
3. Don’t hire just any real estate agent
The real estate agent is a key player in any real estate transaction. Your agent is going to find houses that meet your needs and are within your budget. Plus, they’ll be able to negotiate on your behalf to make sure you aren’t getting taken advantage of. So, again, do your research and make sure the agent you hire has a good reputation, a proven history of completing transactions, and also knows the neighborhood inside and out.
4. Understand what a strong offer is
When you do find a house that you’re ready to make an offer on, your agent will offer advice regarding your offer. They’ll be able to guide you into creating an offer that is fair and reasonable. Since this is a strong seller’s market, you’ll need to make an offer the seller can’t refuse. This could be offering to pay the asking price (or even a little above asking), have no contingencies, and not asking the seller to pitch in with closing costs.
5. Pen a touching, personal letter to the seller
A trick that sometimes works in a buyer’s favor is to write the seller a heartfelt letter detailing what they love about the house, how special the house is and how it will change your family’s life. You can also share anecdotes about hobbies you may have in common (simply look around the house to get an idea of what the owner’s like).
Buying a house can put you through the ringer, but when you have all of your ducks in a row, the process will go much smoother. Your real estate agent is going to be your support system and will guide you throughout the entire transaction. Remember, finding your dream home is in their best interest as much as it is in yours!