Although it certainly doesn’t feel like spring in the Midwest, the busy spring housing market is well underway.
With more buyers in the market than any other time of year (generally speaking), preparation is key to having a successful outcome and beating out the competition. Here are a few things you can do to have the smoothest possible buying experience:
Reach out to an agent
A real estate agent is an indispensable partner whether you’re a home buyer or seller. If you aren’t working with an agent, start conducting interviews to learn how your candidates plan to guide you through the buying process and ultimately help you achieve your goals. Be sure to ask all of the important questions to ensure you find the best fit for you.
Get your finances in order
Whether you’re taking out a mortgage or paying cash, sellers want to know that your financing is secure. That’s why it’s important to get your finances in order ahead of time, especially if you’re planning to buy in the competitive spring market.
If you need to obtain financing, meet with a lender as soon as possible to get pre-approved. This not only shows sellers you’re a qualified buyer, but also gives you a better sense of the price point in which you should be searching for homes. Sometimes it’s not just about what you can afford, but rather what you are comfortable spending each month based on your lifestyle.
On the other hand, if you plan to pay with cash, make sure that you have proof of funds from your financial institution for when it’s time to present an offer.
Determine your wants and needs
Almost every home purchase involves some degree of compromise, so it’s essential to prioritize your wants and needs in terms of location, the type of home, features and amenities, and more. Using your guidelines, your agent will present you listings that meet your search criteria.
If you are also conducting your own research, keep in mind that some real estate search portals are more accurate than others. Your agent has access to up-to-the-minute accurate data, so be sure to stay in constant communication so he or she can work most effectively on your behalf.
Be prepared for multiple offers
Considering spring tends to be the busiest season for real estate, it’s not uncommon for buyers to find themselves in multiple-offer scenarios. That means at least one other buyer has submitted an offer for the same property, in which case your agent will advise you on how to make your offer stand out. One of the best ways to do this is by submitting a clean offer that is clear regarding the terms and completed fully. Here are more tips on how to make your offer compelling.
Try to be as flexible as possible when it comes to seeing properties. If a new listing looks like it may just be the perfect home for you, you should see it as soon as possible as there’s a chance someone else might think it’s their perfect home, too.
In terms of the offer itself, sometimes a seller’s first priority isn’t actually price. Instead, he or she may be focused on another term such as the timing of their next move. Work with your agent to identify the terms with which you can be flexible. For instance, if you can be flexible with your closing date, it may be effective to communicate that to the seller and may give you the edge necessary to beat out the competition.
Have more questions? Connect with a broker who can help you achieve your real estate goals this spring!
If you are a seller preparing for the spring market, check up on the five things you should be doing.