We’re going to wrap up today’s with strategies for buyers in this Spring Market – how to get that house – in what might be a competitive situation. Because after all, in many markets, there are more buyers – than there are homes for sale. So…how do you win?
First of all, talk to your REALTOR® about getting a good lender lined up. Or two or three. And then? Get pre-approved for the mortgage. Not pre-qualified – pre-approved. To do that, you’ll have to submit a pile of paperwork to the lender – but do that first! Why? Well, if you find a house and make an offer, no seller is going to wait for you, while you talk to a lender. Nope. Instead they’ll move on to the next buyer who IS pre-approved. So that’s your first step.
Second – shop around for a mortgage. Don’t just take the first one that comes your way. Shop interest rates, shop points, and shop terms…like, being able to pay it off without a prepayment penalty! And don’t be shy about telling one lender – that another one’s doing better. They might match it! Play them against each other – and you might save a lot of money.
Speaking of mortgages – that’s the best thing you buyers have going for you this year. Home loans are easier to get! Lenders are accepting lower down payments, lower FICO scores and lower mortgage insurance premiums. And interest rates? Incredibly, astoundingly low. So all that’s in your favor.
Third, make sure your cash is all lined up. If you’ll find a place, you’ll need to make an offer and submit an earnest money check. That goes towards your down payment on the house. But have that cash ready to go. This is not the time to begin a five-day process of withdrawing money from your IRA…you’ll need to be faster than that. So get that money in your checking account sooner…not later.
And the fourth strategy for buyers in the Spring Market, 2016? Be decisive. When you find a great house that you can afford, and you can really see yourself living there? Go for it. There are too many buyers out there in today’s market. And not enough houses for sale. If you think about it over the weekend…you might lose it.
I’m not saying be hasty…just be decisive. Talk with your REALTOR®, and look at homes you know you can afford. If you see one you don’t like. Don’t even bother going in. Move on to the next one. Don’t waste time. If you don’t like it, skip it. If you like it – look inside. If you love it – buy it.
Of course, I’m talking about a lot of really hot markets out there…but maybe this doesn’t apply to yours. Your market might be more balanced – with plenty of buyers – and – plenty of homes for sale. Plenty for everyone. In that case, the home search will be more relaxed – and you will be able to ‘think it over.’
So – how do you know? Whether your market is competitive or not? Ask your REALTOR®. They’ll know. They’ll know how fast places sell, how many offers they get and how fast you need to act. And they’ll give you the best advice…on how to win – if you’re buying a home – in the Spring Market!