Buying a home in this market and through a pandemic
Buying a home can be a rollercoaster of emotions, let's be honest. Even in the best possible scenario there are some built in stressors that just come with buying a house. As an agent, my job is to help take some of that stress off of you but ultimately it's to help you actually get into a position to purchase a home and get the deed signed over into your name while keeping you protected and not leaving a single cent on the table!
What we are seeing right now is unique to summer 2020 and COVID. So here we go!
Don’t expect a bargain- yep you heard it here. Whatever Auntie S. has been telling you the past year and a half just doesn’t happen right now. Depending on the price point and location* buyers are seeing bidding wars, homes selling in less than 24 hours and selling for over list price. BUT- on the bright side, with interest rates being historically low it still ends up being “a good deal” in the long run.
Prepare for virtual house-hunting- It’s just what is happening right now. If you find yourself in a bidding war, there’s a good chance that one of the competing buyers isn’t even local. You have to get comfortable with seeing homes through pictures and videos. Don’t be shy about asking more specific questions as you're getting a virtual tour from an agent. Homes can be deceiving through pictures too so make sure you're working with someone you trust who knows what you're looking for and whats important in a home.
You must work with a real estate agent you trust- especially with COVID, this ingredient is absolutely non-negotiable for the home buying experience. We are here in the “field” listening for new homes coming about, new tid-bits of info that could affect your loan etc. We are your boots on the ground when you can't be here and even when you're stuck at work we can preview a home for you to get your foot in the door first so you can be best prepared for any obstacle.
Don’t start house-hunting without a pre-approval- Every offer presented must be accompanied by a pre-approval letter. With lenders and banks working OVERTIME, they may not get to your loan application in the same day. Therefore, if you're ready to put an offer in on a fresh new listing and someone else comes in with a similar offer and a pre-approval letter.. chances are they will be the winning bidder.
Don’t expect to negotiate for extras- in a buyers market a buyer has more leverage to ask for non-imperative items such as additional appliances, cosmetic fixes etc. Right now, the difference between asking for the fridge to stay or not could be the deciding factor to getting the home or not. Now of course as your agent I can figure out what the sellers may be willing to part with while still getting your offer accepted but just keep in mind.. is the home really worth losing out over a couple thousand dollars?
In Summary, as a good real estate agent, I would never advise you to put an offer in on something that doesn’t ultimately serve your best interest. But I am here to help you understand the realization of what is happening in today's market so that we can get you in the best possible position to buy a house without running yourself ragged and feeling totally overwhelmed. I've got your back, always.