The housing inventory continues to ride lean and low in Macon County. For home buyers, that means increased competition, and in some cases, even bidding wars.
“These days if you sleep on it, you’re not likely to sleep IN it,” laughs Brinkoetter Realtor, Louis Kappler.
So if you’re thinking about buying a home today, when properties are selling almost as quickly as they’re listed, here are a few tips to consider that will help you hold your own in a seller’s market.
Tip #1: Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan
One of the smartest things you can do to ensure your chances of buying the home you want is to apply for a pre-approval on a mortgage. Applying for a mortgage after making an offer on a home may signal to home sellers you’re not as motivated to buy as others. You can expect to receive a pre-approval letter from your lender indicating how much of a mortgage you’ve been approved for. Sharing this letter with home sellers shows them you won’t be wasting their time and that you’re motivated to buy their home.
Tip #2: Get a Great Real Estate Agent
The home buying process can be stressful and sometimes overwhelming. Having a great real estate agent by your side throughout this process can help make everything go smoothly and aid you in making an offer quickly when the time comes. This is particularly true if you are moving to a new area. Your Brinkoetter agent can provide you with expert insights into specific communities, schools, even the history and culture of various neighborhoods. And since they know better than anyone what’s trending in the real estate market, they will use that knowledge to negotiate effectively on your behalf.
Tip #3: Be ready to make decisions quickly
These are not the days to let doubt or insecurity ring loud in your ears. With inventory levels at all-time lows, there’s a strong possibility that someone else is interested in the home you’ve just fallen in love with. You’re ready! You’ve planned and prepared, you’ve budgeted and gotten pre-approved, and you’ve enlisted the help of your real estate agent. Now is the time to act! Be decisive and confident when making an offer or negotiating. (Your Brinkoetter agent will help you strategize about this.)
Tip #4: Start with your best offer
If you know you’re going in to a situation where there are multiple offers on the table, it’s always a good idea to come in with your strongest offer as you may not have a second chance. Discuss this strategy with your agent at the outset to make sure you’re comfortable with it.
Tip #5: Write a cover letter to accompany your offer
When you feel you’ve found the perfect home, you might consider writing a letter to the seller. Make a case for why you want to buy their home and why you are the strongest/best buyer for the property. Home sellers are people, too, and will be appreciative to hear what you love about their home. Additionally, if you notice that you share something in common with the home sellers, mention it in your offer letter. If you both have kids or dogs, referencing this in your letter is a great way to make yourself more relatable, and will also show you wrote it specifically for them.
A seller’s market does not necessarily mean buyers are at a disadvantage. Knowing what you want, being prepared, and maintaining your confidence will better equip you to get exactly what you want in a new home.