Timing is everything, and that’s no exception when starting your home search. While you’ll want to find the perfect deal, you may not have that option in a competitive market. Check out these tips which could save you money and unneeded stress when the market is hot.
1. Acting before thinking
While you may be upset that homes you’re interested in are taken off the market quickly, be sure to think before you act. Allow yourself some time to do research and visit multiples properties to really decide what you’re looking for in a future home. Once you have a better idea of what amenities you can and can’t live without, let your agent and listing agents at open houses know, so they can send you similar listings.
2. Make sure you’re preapproved
One of the worst things that can happen when you take a home tour is falling in love with the home and then realizing you may not be able to afford the property. Make sure to work with a mortgage professional prior to your home search to obtain a preapproval, which will tell you exactly how much money you are approved to borrow. A preapproval may even give you the upper hand if there are multiple offers, as the sellers can be confident that you can afford their home, and it also helps speed up the underwriting and loan approval process if the seller is looking to close quickly.
3. Not paying attention to the current market
Build a financial plan by knowing exactly what you have going on in your life currently and then take a look at the current market. Keep in constant contact with your real estate agent and ask them to make sure you know about home trends in the areas you’re interested in purchasing a property. Some questions you may want to ask are: How many days do these stay on the market? Do you think we could potentially face multiple offers? What do you think is a fair asking price for homes like this? Do these properties tend to move more quickly than others? The more you know, the better prepared you will be to make a smart decision.
4. Paying more than you should
Make sure to look at comparable properties before making an offer, or even before looking at the house. This will help you make a strategy for how much you’re willing to spend. While it may be tempting to pay more than you budgeted for when you’re in a bidding war, remind yourself of the comparables and your budget.