2021 is shaping up to be a seller's market. As the pandemic lingers on, homebuyers are fighting for the limited supply of homes for sale like never before. In fact, in December 2020, there was only a 1.9 month supply of homes (a record low) and 64 percent of all homes sold in March 2021 ended in a bidding war. With a hyper-competitive market, you need a few tricks up your sleeve.
1. Get pre-approved, not pre-qualified.
Yes, there is a difference. Pre-qualified means that a bank or mortgage lender chats with you and determines that, based on what you told them, you seem like a good candidate for a new mortgage. Pre-approved, on the other hand, means that the lender has actually pulled your credit report and examined your financials. They will tell you how much house you can afford and give you a pre-approval letter to use when making offers.
2. Look every single day.
House hunting is portrayed as a fun activity on television, but it can wear you down. Even if you are frustrated with the process, look every day. Have your real estate agent set you up on an email campaign so that you can get instant notifications when new listings hit the market.
3. Be decisive.
A seller's market is not the time to mull over your decision. With so many people interested in the same houses you have to make snap decisions. Trust your agent and bring a friend if this is not your strong suit.
4. Make your highest and best offer.
"Highest and best offer" is a real estate phrase that you often hear during a seller's market. Simply put, it means that you only get one chance to make an offer and it should be the most you are willing to pay for the particular house. When there are multiple offers, the seller will generally negotiate with the top offer.
5. Understand the consequences of countering.
Under normal circumstances, when you make an offer of 200K, the seller would insist on 210K and you would counter, offering to meet in the middle at 205K. During this strong seller's market, however, you should understand the consequences of making a counteroffer.
When a seller responds to your offer, they are locked into negotiations with you and cannot entertain offers from other interested buyers. If you counter them, however, they can simply walk away. You have to decide to take the deal or risk losing the house entirely.
While a seller's market can be stressful, understanding the tips above, having a positive attitude, and using an experienced buyer's agent can help the process run smoothly. Contact local real estate services to learn more about homes for sale.
Once you sign the sale contract with your listing agent, there's a good chance that things will start moving quickly. Your agent will want you to stage your home for the listing photos, open houses, and showings. If you've never experienced the staging process, you may not know exactly what to do or where to start. The information on this site will help you to not only understand what's expected of staging but also offer tips for you to maximize your efforts without investing a lot of time. I hope the information here makes your home sale process a little bit less confusing and a little easier to manage.