As you prepare to buy a home this season, be ready for some serious competition. Realtor.com is predicting the 2019 spring buying season to be one of the most competitive in years. There are so many people looking into buying a new home, but not as many houses on the market available for purchase, making it a race to the finish line for buyers.
There are buyers who are shopping this year who were unsuccessful when they were shopping last year - they are looking for greener pastures this spring, but unfortunately the market doesn’t seem to be providing that. There are continually very few listings on the market, record low inventory, and a lot of competition.
However, buyers are willing to stay the course and are optimistic about closing on their dream home. We’ve provided four strategies to get a leg up on competition if you are in the market this spring:
1. Put more than 20% down
Buyers who are serious about getting into the homes they want this season will bring cash to the closing table or will put 20% or more down. The extra funding will not only reduce a buyer’s reliance on as much financing, but it also shows the sellers you have your finances in order. Shoppers who are also pre-approved for a mortgage will stand out more to sellers and will seem more credible as candidates. Older individuals are seemingly beating out younger competitors because they are able to put forth more cash when buying a house and can usually put down more than 20% for a down payment.
2. Set price alerts
Once you have narrowed down the type and the price range of the home you are looking for, make sure to set up email alerts. This will allow you to be notified as soon as a property with your specifications hits the market. You can act quickly and decide whether to visit the home or put an offer down. Sellers pay attention to the bids they receive first, especially in a situation where they are likely to get multiple offers.
3. Check listing websites every day
Gathering and research techniques are popular among home buyers this season as well. In addition to setting up price alerts, buyers are going online every day to look at available properties. More than 2 out of 5 people are using this strategy to their advantage in the home buying process. As soon as a new listing comes up, shoppers go to see the home or decide whether to make an offer right away.
4. Offer above listing price
Buyers under 54 years old are more likely to offer above asking price, an approach that is not for everyone. If you are searching at the outer edge of your price range, it’s often difficult to offer up more money. Some shoppers are searching a little below their price range so they can put in an offer above the listing price to keep up with the competition.
It’s a tough market out there for home buyers - the best thing you can do is prepare and know that you are probably going to be up against some competition from other buyers. If you are persistent, employ some smart strategies and let sellers know you are serious, you will be successful!