Unless you’ve been sleeping for the past few months straight, you probably know that the housing market is wild right now. For those of you who are planning to purchase a home soon (and I know there are a lot of you house shopping right now!), this can be scary because you probably know how tough it is to buy a home in a competitive market. Don’t worry – today, I’m going to guide you through the process and give you tips for competing in this housing market. This will help you have the best chance possible at getting a home that you love! Here are some of my best tips:
I know that you want to jump into things as fast as possible because you are excited, but put on the brakes for just a minute, and get pre-approved before you even start looking at homes. All this requires is you reaching out to a lender (or multiple lenders!), fill out their paperwork and questions, and getting a pre-approval letter. Sure, it’s not fun doing this, and it does take at least 30 minutes to an hour of your time, BUT it will save you so much time, stress, and effort later.
Wondering what the difference is between pre-qualification and pre-approval? Pre-qualified is a super quick process based on the information you provide, whereas pre-approval is actually verified by the lender. If you need an insanely quick turnaround time, a qualification might serve you well, as you work on getting pre-approved, but in the long-run, pre-approval is going to work much better for you since pre-approval letters hold more weight with sellers. Getting a certified pre-approval can also allow you to make an offer on a home without a financing contingency. This means that you will essentially be placed at the “front of the line” compared to all other financed offers because it will be a full review and verification of your application by the underwriting department.
Know what you are looking for
You are going to have to make big decisions very quickly (more on this in a minute), so if you see a house that you want, you have to jump in quickly. This means that you have to know what you are looking for, and what you want in a future home. You need to narrow down what you need and what you want BEFORE you are ready to make offers. This will help you make quick decisions when you come across a home that might (or might not) be a good fit for you and your family. A real estate agent can help you with this, for sure.
Be faster than others
With that being said, you have to be faster than everyone else if you REALLY want a home. Zillow and Realtor.com won’t cut it in this market. You have to get the “coming soon” listings and an agent that has access to FMLS to really get in the game. When your agent finds a listing, check it out the second she sends it your way, and then get ready to see it and/or put an offer on it first, immediately. Figure out what you are willing to do, and know how high you are willing to go, in case there is a multiple offer situation.
Be considerate of the seller
As a buyer, you really need to be kind and considerate of the seller, especially in this market. Find out what is important to the seller, and make it happen in your offer. Maybe they need a lease-back situation. If it works for you, make it happen! Maybe they need a fast closing date. If it is possible, try your best to go faster in the process. Be timely with your inspection, appraisal, and any asks, and if they say “no” to anything, be ready to accept that, without a fight, or you might lose the home to another offer, if you are not out of your due diligence period.
Hire a great team to walk you through the process
Last but not least, have a great team to help speed walk you through the process. This starts with a great real estate agent and a fantastic lender, but it also includes a carpet cleaner (if needed), a cleaning company, any potential vendors (for repairs), and a moving team. If you need a moving team in the area, Consider it Moving is a great potential option that I’ve heard about recently. They do residential moving and also Commercial Moving in Long Island. They offer customer-focused service, fast and efficient moving services, and competitive pricing!