TheNational Association of REALTORS® has announced that there’s a housing supply shortage. Homes are selling quickly and home prices are starting to inch up again. It’s becoming a seller’s market in many areas.
Any time the market changes, it’s time to change strategies. During a buyer’s market, buyers have the upper hand and can make more demands to sellers over their homes’ price and condition. During a sellers’ market, buyers concede the upper hand to sellers and are more willing to accept higher prices and terms.
When homes are in short supply, buyers don’t have the luxury of taking their time, teasing sellers with lowball offers, demanding that every little thing be fixed, and shopping for homes with multiple real estate agents. Do these five steps instead.
Make a good first impression. Not only do you need to impress sellers, you need to impress real estate agents. Hire one agent and let him or her profile your needs to the marketplace. Be specific about your must-haves so you don’t waste your agent’s and your time viewing homes that lack what you want most. When you find the home you want, send the seller a letter along with your offer outlining why you love the home.
Get preapproved by a lender. Not only will you know how much home you can buy, you’ll be ready to make an offer quickly. Your real estate agent can include the fact that you’re financially preapproved by your lender in with the offer, which will carry weight with the seller.
Shop within your price range. In a seller’s market, it’s wise to shop for homes within or slightly below your price range. This will give you more room to make full-price offers or above in case the home you want is in a bidding war with other buyers. You’ll be able to pay your own closing costs. Trying to buy a home out of your reach during a seller’s market will only cause you and your agent frustration.
Be flexible. No home is perfect. To get more home for your money, you might shop for an older home that needs renovation. Try to look past ugly wallpaper and stained carpet and visualize the home with more attractive finishes. You may be able to get more living space in an established neighborhood than with a newer home that is priced higher for similar square footage.
Be ready. Be ready to see a new listing at a moment’s notice. Be ready to make an offer when you believe this is the right home for your household. Once a seller has accepted your offer, proceed as if you’re in a normal market. Set a reasonable closing date that accommodates the seller as much as possible. Confirm the offer with your lender. Schedule the inspections you’ll need and don’t nitpick the seller over small things.
Whether you’re in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, you should feel good about the home you choose, the deal you make, and the courteous way you treated all parties to the transaction.
Written by Blanche Evans
Older homes were once routinely constructed with hardwood floors, but that practice was abandoned in the 1950s, when new technologies made wall-to-wall carpeting available. Builders were able to build more homes faster, for the post-war baby boom, and save money on labor. Continue reading
MLSs use it. Insurers use it. Appraisers use it. Tax Assessors use it. When it comes to real estate, there’s no avoiding square footage as a measure of any home’s value. But how much is square footage worth to you as a homebuyer? Knowing the square footage can be helpful, but it shouldn’t be the main tool to determine your offer price.
Square footage measurements aren’t exact, nor are they taken the same way by every person. For example, your local tax assessor or appraiser may determine square footage by measuring the outside of the house. A real estate professional, on the other hand, typically counts only indoor living space to determine square footage. Continue reading
Home Renovations To Invest In And Avoid In 2015 Conventional wisdom tells us that any home renovation is a positive thing: money in is money out. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Some remodeling projects are a better investment than others, and the projects that yield the best return on investment can change from year to year. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, these five replacement projects will make the greatest percentage impact on the value of your home this year — accounting for cost-to-value ratio, the key to making smart home improvements with resale in mind: Continue reading
Three Foolproof Ways To Choose Your Neighborhood And Up Your Value
Deciding where to buy a home can be one of the most difficult decisions to make. If you have a built-in reason to choose one area over another (it’s close to work; it’s where you grew up and you’re emotionally tied to it; there’s a rumor about a professional football team coming soon), it can be easier. But for the rest of us, a multitude of factors can make the choice challenging.
So how do you know where to buy if you’ve got value in mind? Here are a couple schools of thought. Continue reading
The only thing worse than cold drafts coming into your home and warm air escaping during the blustery winter season is seeing the proof on your heating bill. Whether your home is heated via gas or electric, those tiny cracks that seem so insignificant can actually have a huge impact on your wallet.
During the daytime, look for any light coming through the space between your exterior doors and their thresholds, jambs and casings. You can pretty much guarantee that where there’s light coming through, there’s air as well. If you don’t see light but can feel the cold, you can double check for drafts by holding a lit candle or lighter near the cracks and watching to see if the flame flickers. Continue reading
The following article explains and enlightens about how lenders and the IRS are dealing with debts after short sales or foreclosures:
Did you ever wonder for how much homes in your neighborhood have actually sold for? You were probably asking your neighbors, but heard a different amount from each person you were talking to….
Here is your chance to check your knowledge about your neighborhood: I would like to know if you could guess how much this home has been sold for recently:
Listing price: $260,000, Short Sale
4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2 story house with a 3 car garage,
built in 1999, features an inground, fenced-in swimming pool.
Sold date: January 20, 2010
Give it your best shot and send me your guess for this home’s SOLD price!…
For 12 years now my husband and I live in Tracy, 26 miles east of the Dublin – Pleasanton area. Moving to Tracy from Sunnyvale was quite a lifestyle change for us; our lives were all of the sudden more relaxed and better. Tracy still has that small town feeling, where Tracy Press, the local newspaper, still lists the reason daily why the police and fire department was called out. Schools are excellent and neighbors are nice to each other.
Tracy is a sleeper town, which means a big portion of its population, my husband included, is commuting to work to the San Francisco bay area day after day. With affordable home prices and close proximity to the Silicon Valley many are attracted to move to Tracy and Mountain House area. Continue reading