It’s always hard to predict the future, especially with the housing market. But one thing is for sure – real estate remains a sound investment. If you’re looking for your dream home, here are some tips to help set you up for success and guide you through this buying season.
Assess Your Financial Health
Before you fall in love with your dream home, make sure you’re prepared to purchase it. Take a look at your bank accounts along with your monthly spending, so you have a clear and realistic picture of your finances. This will also help you figure out how much you can afford to put toward a down payment. It’s also a good time to check your credit score. Most importantly, you’ll want to meet with a loan officer to get pre-approved, so sellers take you seriously and you’re in a better position to make a strong offer.
Tip: A pre-approval gives you more negotiating power because it tells the seller and real estate agent that your funding is in place and ready to go.
Whether it’s time or money, be prepared to give a little more. Say for instance, there’s competition on a house and you’ve been outbid, but you have the flexibility to give the seller the extra time they need to close and move out. That can make a huge difference and could even put you ahead of the competition. Showing the seller that you’re willing to go the extra mile to purchase their home could earn your offer a second glance, especially if it helps make their life easier.
Tip: Try to refrain from asking for favors. This is not the time to ask the seller to give you the refrigerator or washer and dryer, part with playset or paint the front door.
You Found the One
You found a home that meets all or most of your wish list, it’s within your price range and you’ve stalked the neighborhood to make sure it’s right for you. Now’s the time to make an offer. Keep in mind that your opening offer should be based on two things: what you can afford and what you really believe the property is worth. Sure, there’s always a possibility that there will be other offers, regardless of the time of year and the market, but try not to let that influence you to pay more than you should.
Tip: Offer more earnest money. While it’s not always required, it could help you stand out in this competitive housing market. Sellers like buyers that make these good faith deposits because they want assurance that the sale won’t fall through.
Buying a new home is an exciting time and can also be a stressful time, but if you’re prepared and keep these tips in mind, you should find it a much smoother process. And finally getting the keys to your new home makes it all worth it!