Bundle Up! The winter’s Home-Buying Game Has Changed this year and I’m here to share with you How To Win!
Hi there, it’s Jenevieve Croall with JLUX Homes Realty Group. In the past, savvy home buyers knew that winter has typically been a good time to embark on a house hunt, since much of their buying competition wouldn’t start until spring. But this winter, buyers might notice that despite the cold and the holidays, they’ve got company. Since the coronavirus kept buyers on lockdown for much of spring, many buyers are now making up for lost time by home shopping hard right now.
This year’s unusual seasonal pattern means that buyers aren’t getting the usual break from the market frenzy that they typically do in the cooler weather .As a result, this winter is shaping up to be a seller’s market, with low real estate inventory, high prices, and bidding wars that could give buyers a major run for their money. This doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel—just that you’ll have to hone your house hunt in new ways to suit the times.
Here are some tactics that will keep you ahead of the pack so you’ll be sitting in a new home this coming new year.
#1: Secure your financing as soon as possible.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage and securing financing are an essential first step when buying a home. It gives you a clear picture of how much house you can afford, and lets you make an offer as soon as you find your dream home. Too often, buyers don’t line up their financing until they find a home they want to buy. In the current competitive market, waiting to get pre-approval means you could lose out on purchasing a home you love.
#2 Know what you want before you house hunt.
COVID-19 has changed how we live and work. We’re spending much more time at home, and people are looking for different features in their living spaces. Make a list of your must-haves before you start house shopping—and share your needs with your real estate agent. In such a competitive landscape, knowing exactly what you want enables you to act fast when you want to make an offer.
#3 Tour homes virtually first.
More real estate agents are embracing virtual tours and remote showings to ease coronavirus safety concerns. In some cases, they’re even limiting in-person showings to the most serious buyers—those with financing already secured, for example.Virtual home tours, using Zoom or FaceTime, let you view the home from anywhere, and depending on the setup, you might be able to ask questions in real time. So you can narrow down the homes you’re most interested in and physically visit only the ones that best meet your needs.
#4 Don’t dawdle if you want to make an offer.
In September, there were nearly 40% fewer homes on the market than during the same month last year, according to a realtor.com report. At the same time, buyer demand has increased, creating an incredibly competitive marketplace. The challenge is potential buyers have little time to mull things over, and they are pitted against one another. In the current market, if you wait too long to submit an offer, another buyer is likely to swoop in with an offer of their own.
#5 Make your offer stand out.
Since inventory is so low, sellers are getting multiple offers on their homes these days. To make sure yours gets accepted, you’ll need to make it stand out. Here are some of the ways I advise my clients to make their offers stand above the rest: Write a personal letter, work with your agent in putting in strong favorable seller terms, like offering a complimentary lease back or shortening or waiving your option period.
There are countless ways to strengthen your offer and I personally am proud to say my track record in helping my clients win multiple offers is stellar. If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell in the DFW Market this winter, it would be an honor to work with you or them in finding AND securing your next home.