Some experts assumed that the housing market during the pandemic would suffer, but that’s not what we’ve been seeing. With the combination of limited supply and boomers attempting to downsize, the market is hotter than it’s ever been, making it extremely competitive. For only two months, we saw a dip as sellers pulled back, worried about cash flow and the virus. But with a number of cash buyers ready to jump in to scoop up attractive mortgage rates and prices, it’s been an outright battle for property. Not only are we seeing bidding wars on everything, but we’re also seeing homes go for tens of thousands of dollars over asking.
So if you’re a buyer out there struggling to get your hands on a new home in this “seller’s market” because of the current conditions, follow our survival guide for today’s competitive market.
Hire a Realtor
There are several deals available off-market right now. But you won’t be able to see those unless you work with an agent who has access to MLS. An agent is also handy when it comes to negotiating prices. They know when to push and when to hold back.
If you need a mortgage and you haven’t been pre-approved yet, you’re two steps behind everyone else. With a scorching market and only so many homes for sale right now, you need to be fully equipped to agree to terms and sign on the dotted line. Anything that will slow you down will only prevent you from being a serious contender.
Get Your Documents In Order
There’s a lot of documentation that you’ll need to get in order for financing. If you haven’t put together all of your income, employment, and down payment information, now’s the time to do so. If you’re a first-time buyer, talk to your agent about what you’ll need and they’ll help you get things in order so you can be ready when the time comes.
Get a Locked-In Rate
We are seeing some of the best mortgage rates in years because of the BOC’s move to drop their prime rate drastically. If you find a low mortgage rate, lock it in. Most lenders will allow you to lock in rates up to 120 days.
Don’t Bank On the List Price
Most homes we are seeing are well underpriced, and for a reason. There’s no better way to draw in a bunch of active and competitive buyers than to lowball your listing. Expect to pay well over asking on anything that is being listed this year.
Listen for Cues
Sellers are going to want certain conditions removed or added to sell fast, so make sure you are listening for those cues. Then have your agent include them in the offer. The more aligned your offer is with the seller’s needs, the higher the chances are that you’ll win the bid.
Be Ready to Adjust Your Expectations
Before you start house hunting, make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for, and be ready to be a little flexible. Define your budget, your requirements, and your preferred location, but be ready to make some adjustments. In a hot market like this, you have to be ready to adjust your expectations and approach quickly. So don’t get your heart set on only one house. Having a few options that you’d be happy with will ensure you won’t be left empty-handed.
Once you’ve entered a bidding war, it can be easy for things to get out of hand. The need to “win” can end up costing you big and even land you in debt. Stay focused and trust your agent. They will help steer you in the right direction and help you keep within your means.
Get the trusted support you need right now to buy a home in today’s competitive marketplace. Our expert real estate team at McElheran & Associates is ready to show you all the best off market and on market listings. We’ll do the negotiating for you that will ensure you get the home of your dreams. Contact us today to set up an appointment.