With inventory the lowest ever recorded, there are still plenty of steps you can take to get the house you want. Inventory trends shift with the seasons, and being prepared will give you the competitive edge over other buyers in this highly competitive market.
Working with Buyer’s Agent is More Important Than Ever
While hiring a buyer’s agent is always important, it is almost crucial to work with one with fewer homes available. You need an agent to do the hard work of finding the right homes that fit your criteria, as well as providing you with all the data you need to compare properties and decide how much to offer. Experienced real estate agents can also have an inside look at homes that aren’t even listed yet. This is extremely important at times like these when there is significantly low inventory.
Get Pre-Approved Before You Start Shopping for a Home
Most home buyers have a rough idea of what they plan to spend on a mortgage each month, but the fact is they may not be qualified to borrow as much as they think. You don’t want to waste your time looking and falling in love with a home just to realize that you can’t afford it. Obtain your pre-approval before viewing homes so that you can have it in hand. You should always have your pre-approval in hand when viewing homes or attending open houses because without it, you could miss out on a chance to make an offer.
Getting pre-approved will make the entire mortgage application process smoother since you’ve already worked with a mortgage broker and have gathered all necessary documentation for the loan. A good broker will update your preapproval every 30 days, especially when rates change dramatically. With inventory being what it is, this will give you a leg up on other buyers if they don’t have an up-to-date pre-approval letter.
Be Ready To Pounce:
With demand so high you have to be ready for a bidding war. At this time of year, there are more buyers than sellers so as soon as a correctly priced home comes on the market buyers dive all over it and it sells. In this situation, you know the home will likely be selling over asking price. It is important that you work with your buyer agent to find how much over you are willing to pay and how much the home you want is actually worth. We have already mentioned that the first step in being successful in this low inventory market is having a buyer’s agent. Next step is to obtain a pre-approval and the third step would be adding a personal touch to your offer. What do we mean? Writing a letter to the seller (s) about why you love their home and want to make it yours, helps to humanize the whole transaction. A personal letter can give you an advantage over other buyers.
Don’t Worry Homebuyers, This Won’t Last Forever
The simple concept of supply and demand is why inventory is so low. The fact of the matter is that each and every single year during the winter and early spring months there are more home buyers out looking to buy than there are sellers listing their home.
Will it be like this forever? No, the bidding wars will slow down, but until then you need to be prepared and ready to strike! With every passing week edging towards the end of winter, the inventory of homes available to purchase will rise. It is important that you follow these tips and stay active.