5 Tips to Successfully Securing a Home in the Current Real Estate Market
There has been nothing ‘normal’ about the past 12 months, except for the now old adage, ‘the new normal’. We have seen changes to the things that have been our most structured and reliable daily routines; our jobs, kids schooling, and even grocery shopping, now a whole new experience. At the end of the day, our most sacred place is our home, and it’s become common knowledge that purchasing a home in this market has been anything but normal.
If you have been one of the many looking for a new home in the last 12 months, you’ve heard over and again, ‘it’s a Seller’s market’. What exactly does this mean? And more importantly, what does it mean for YOU, the Buyer? The numbers are literally astounding, home values rose by double digits in 2020 and the sales of single-family homes increased 22.8% in Dec 2020, compared to Dec 2019, nationwide. It’s tough out there.
The good news is: more homes are coming on the market, and while they may be selling fast, there is still a home out there for you. The biggest question remains: How do you gain an edge as a buyer in a market that has so many buyers? We’ve put together a short list of ways to use this Seller’s market to your advantage so you can include yourself in the record-breaking number of home transactions since the dawn of home buying.
- Get In Early with a Strong Offer
While cash is still king, you may not be in a position to make a cash offer -- if you are, that’s a great advantage! Either way, the most straightforward way to get your offer noticed is to be the first to submit it. If you can, make it as strong as possible without compromising your financial abilities.
The best way to be in a position to make a quick offer is to make sure that you have a letter of Pre-Approval on hand. This way, when the perfect-for-you home comes around, you already have the ability to put in that early, strong offer.
- Be Flexible with Closing Dates
If the end goal is to spend the next chapter of your life in your new home, can you slow the rush for the closing date? Offering flexibility to the sellers for closing will lend greatly to their choice of which offer to accept. Consider that they may need more time to move out or perhaps they’re in the same situation as buyers themselves. If you’re not in a position where you have to be in a new home immediately, flexibility goes a long way.
If there is a gap between moving out of your current home and into your new home, consider a short-term rental or even a long-term hotel rental. These options exist and cater to this purpose - and you wouldn’t be the first!
- Forgo Inspection
Gasp! This may sound risky, and it is, but with proper consideration, forgoing an inspection will save you both time and money and be surprisingly beneficial to the sellers. One less date on their calendar, one less to-do list, and one less hassle as they compare offers side-by-side. Remember, this is only recommended for newer houses which were built to the most recent code inspections and condos that are required to adhere to legal upkeep by code.
If you choose to go this route, don’t forget that we have our own inspections expert on our team who we will gladly bring along for the hour tour so he can give his personal and professional visual inspection. He knows what to look out for - and we are always looking out for you!
- Write a Heartfelt Letter
This might sound cheesy, but more often than not, this seals the deal. When sellers are getting offer after offer (and this is a reality) the most straightforward way to stand out is to introduce yourself! Oftentimes, sellers have sentimental attachment to the home they are selling and it holds years of memories, they want to know that you plan on continuing the legacy of their home, building your own memories, and are genuinely interested in the property.
Consider adding family pictures (or dog-family pictures), share where you are coming from, and why you feel a connection to this home in particular. You may feel exhausted from house hunting, but there is a reason this home stands out to you - let them know what that is!
- Consider a New Build
While houses are selling faster and values are increasing, land has stayed relatively consistent. Have you considered building your dream home? While this may sound intimidating at first, with proper preparation, it often can cost the same amount and result in an increased property value. Not only will you have the advantage of building your home, you will have the final say in each detail, think: walk-in closet, hand-selected tiles, and must-have Maine mudroom all your own!
If this is an option, we have lots of resources for construction loan financing and resources for General Contractors who are familiar with the area, building codes, and reliable subcontractors. We can help you check all the scaries off your list so that it can be all about the home of your dreams.
2021 is certainly going to be unlike any other year before - we are all finding ways to lean into these ‘new normals’. Pivot after pivot has resulted in efficiencies and creative solutions that we were previously never challenged to find. This is clearly evident in the real estate market, and we are here and looking forward to helping you find your dream home!