Buying A Home – In Today’s Market
@photo by Mart Production
By Lynn Bissell, Sibcy Cline RealtorsYou may be hearing about how difficult the housing market is for buyers today – not enough homes for sale and too many buyers vying for them—but don’t let that daunt you from moving forward if your desire right now is to find a new place to call home.
Finding the right home for yourself can provide you with a feeling of safety and security and it can build financial wealth for your future. Whether it’s your first home or you are at a point where you need to find a new situation that better fits your needs, the process of buying a home is an essential step in your pursuit of wellbeing, to creating the life you want for yourself. The question is: what should you do to make the process less stressful? We have seven tips to help you move forward toward your homeownership goals.
1. Work with a real estate agent.
One rule for making any challenge less stressful for yourself is to find the right support to reach your goal. Good real estate agents function as your best ally—they can advise you through all the tricky twists and turns that are a natural part of the home buying process.
From advising you about current prices in your desired area, finding homes that are coming up for sale, and having the right connections in place to make each step of the process flow smoothly, your agent is key to ensuring your success. They shoulder the responsibility of handling the transaction, so you can focus on listening to your own inner guide and making the best decision for you.
Picking an agent and brokerage to help you with buying a home can make a big difference in making the process easier. Agents from Sibcy Cline will be able to set you up with a one-stop shop of services from mortgage, title, home services, and more. Don’t neglect your research when looking for an agent; you want to be sure your transaction is handled professionally to ensure the smoothest, most stress-free experience for you.
2. Get your mortgage pre-approved.
This is a key step in keeping your home search focused and avoiding wasting time looking at houses that are not in your price range. You’ll save yourself the energy-draining experience of getting your heart set on a home and then finding out you can’t afford it.
Just like finding an agent, your loan provider can be key in making your sale happen, so shop around and pay attention to how responsive they are to your communication. A loan officer from Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services can close your loan quickly while remaining in close communication with you and your agent every step of the way.
Once you are pre-approved, you’ll be able to make an offer quickly and rest assured that the home you’ve fallen in love with is one you can afford. In this fast-paced market, this is a step you can’t skip!
3. Figure out your list of needs and wants.
Getting what you want in a home starts with first figuring out what it is exactly that you want. And that means exactly. If you know going in that a home office is a a non-negotiable, but a pool would be nice, you’ll be that much closer to finding a home. Especially in the current market where inventory is low, it can be hard to find a home with everything on your list.
If there are other members in your household, you’ll need to sit down and talk together to define a list of needs and wants that considers everyone who will be living there. While this work takes time, it will be well worth it when the time comes to decide on whether to make an offer on a home or not. The market is moving so fast that once you get started finding homes, you will have to act quickly and with certainty. You’ll feel much better about your choice if you know whether a home really fits your needs or not.
4. Be prepared to make a fast offer.
This is the point where tips 1-3 prepare you for the best success. Having gotten pre-approved and selected a good agent who can write a competitive offer, while also armed with your list of needs and wants, you’ll be ready to act fast.
Not only will you need to decide quickly about whether you want to make an offer, but you will need to be prepared to offer full price or over the asking price. Recent market changes have made it a much different playing field than in the past, and you can no longer expect to offer lower than the asking price and have your offer accepted. Your agent will be your best advocate in this situation and will know how desirable the home is and can advise on the best strategy to win the offer.
5. If possible, make a cash offer.
Cash offers and strong earnest money deposits show your seriousness to the seller. If you do not have the ability to offer all cash, talk to a Sibcy Cline real estate agent or loan originator about their Sibcy Solutions program. This innovative program allows you to become a cash buyer and take out a mortgage after closing. It’s a huge help to buyers whose ability to pay for their next home is tied to the equity in their current home. It can also allow you to stay in your home and rent it back while you are looking for a home—talk about a huge stress reliever!
6. Avoid contingencies.
Contingencies can sound like deal-breakers to sellers. They don’t want to be concerned that the sale is going to fall through—which equals more stress for them. Making a clean offer with fewer contingencies will make your contract more attractive to the seller. Your agent will be able to advise on other things that will balance out any necessary contingences you have, like offering sellers the ability to stay longer in the home.
7. Sell your current home first.
Selling your home when you have no place to go may seem counter-intuitive—but necessary in this market. In order to have the financial resources you need to act fact on the home you want to buy, you may need to sell your home first. But you might be wondering: where will you live?
Don’t worry, this is another situation where having a strong real estate team behind you will make all the difference. If your home sells before finding another, you will have several options: (1) Temporary housing may be a solution. This will result in two moves but will buy you time for your home search. (2) Negotiate with the buyer of your old home for the ability to stay after the closing. (3) Utilize Sibcy Solutions to remain in your current home until you find a new one. Ask your Sibcy Cline real estate agent or Loan Originator about these programs.
While shopping for a new home in the current market can be a stressful process, having the right mindset and partnering with an experienced team can truly make all the difference in the world. Reach out to the Sibcy Cline for more help in guiding you smoothly to the home that helps you live your best life.