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How Homebuyers Can Overcome Tough Competition

Tips for homebuyers

Source: Kiplinger

Redfin Chief Economist says to win in a hot market, home buyers should take advantage of technology to find homes as soon as they are listed.

Making sense of the story:

  • Arm yourself with tech tools to find available homes quickly. With the variety of apps available today, you can receive listing alerts so that you’re notified as soon as a home in your price range or search area hits the market.
  • Buyers will gain an advantage from whatever concessions they can offer. Instead of a small earnest-money deposit, we’ve seen buyers put into escrow their entire down payment or even half of the purchase price.
    You needn’t waive a contingency for inspection in the purchase contract.
  • Rather, you can agree to pay the seller, say, $2,500, or next month’s mortgage payment, if you walk away.
    Work with a local or reputable lender to get a pre¬approval for your mortgage that includes full documentation of your means to obtain a certain amount of financing in advance of a signed purchase contract.
  • That may give you the confidence to waive a contingency for financing, and it’s almost as good as cash for closing a deal quickly.
  • Because sellers can sell their homes in days but may take months to buy, you can gain leverage by offering to “rent back” their home to them for a certain number of months.
  • Fall can be a good time to buy a home because prices generally peak in the summer and ease up in the fall.
  • There’s a bit less inventory, but many fewer buyers. Plus, sellers who list in the fall are serious because they must leave because of job relocation, divorce or something else that made them miss the top of the season.

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Tips for buying in a tight market

It’s always hard to predict how long it will take to find a home to buy. Given the current low-inventory environment, it may take you longer than it would in a balanced market that has enough homes for sale to satisfy the current buyer demand.

Patience needs to be a key component of your home search mentality. Even if a home you like a lot comes along quickly in your search, other buyers may have the same idea. You could end up in competition. If you aren’t the winning bidder, don’t let disappointment immobilize you.

To prepare yourself to buy in this market, plan to look at every new listing that comes close to satisfying your wish list. Accept that you won’t find everything on your wish list. Successful buyers make sacrifices. Just make sure to make intelligent compromises.

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