Searching for the perfect home can be challenging, regardless of the market, and even more so when it’s a seller’s market. It can feel like you’re constantly hitting roadblocks and meeting dead ends, as the sellers are in full control. However, all you need is a bit of momentum, encouragement, and these five tips from our Ask a Pro expert Karlton Utter to survive a seller’s market and find your perfect home:
1. Come to the Table Prepared with a Prequalified Loan
Be fully prepared with a prequalified loan as soon as possible. Obtaining a prequalified mortgage shows sellers that you are a serious buyer who is able to meet your end of the sale to close the deal. This puts you on an entirely new playing field, with a little more control than what you would have had without a prequalified mortgage.
2. Be Taken Seriously by Bringing all the Paperwork
Show the sellers that you’re not kidding around. In a seller’s market, it’s important to show them that you mean business and that you and your offer should be taken seriously. Show up to the table with not only a prequalified loan but with all the paperwork that supports the proof of funds, such as an approval letter from the lender. Actions speak louder than words, and this will definitely entice the seller to work with you!
3. Be Flexible and Discuss Compromising
In a dry market, it’s important to remain flexible. Placing too many limitations on the real estate market will make it even more challenging to find a home. Widen your horizon within the real estate market, as this could introduce you to new homes that you would have never seen otherwise. Being more flexible can also make the process of buying a home easier. If you are hesitant to look outside of your pre-determined boundaries, it’s important to consider compromising. You may be required to give something up – such as a desired feature in a home – just to stay within the area you’re set on. Sometimes by compromising a little, you could have it all and possibly for less.
4. Be Readily Available to Sellers as Much as Possible
With so many buyers looking for homes, timing is essential. It’s important to remain readily available and open for communication with your sellers, and be prepared to make a move on an offer at a moment’s notice. Make it a goal to respond quickly and follow up on requests – or just follow up to get updates if you have not heard back. Communication is not only important for timing, but it also builds rapport with your seller. This can make the difference in getting the offer and property that you want.
5. Don’t Play Hard to Get
Now is not the time to play hardball. A seller’s market leaves very little control to you as a homebuyer. As such, you need to be willing to follow the seller’s lead, as opposed to challenging it with bullheaded negotiation tactics that work in other situations. Limit the contingencies, make a bold offer and if the sellers make a counter offer, proceed carefully by negotiating from there.
With the proper approach, you can find your ideal home – at your ideal price – even in a seller’s market.