The first thing you’ll learn if you start to research buying a home this summer is that it’s a seller’s market. NerdWallet says that during the summer months, inventory tends to be low and competition can fierce. That’s especially true this year, with home sales hotter than they’ve been in years. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to find and close on a deal for your dream home.
Staying cool in a hot seller’s market is all about patience and perseverance, but it all starts with getting the latest information. The first thing to do is research the market in your target neighborhood. Keep in mind that your desired town or area may have a shortage of sellers, while the next town over has a bounty of availability inventory. Sales can be more fluid than you might think, and if you find in your research that there are better options in a nearby area, you may want to consider looking at that inventory. You may be able to find more house for your dollar.
Research can also show you home sale trends. While the market is hot overall, there are still some down markets. If you find that the area where you’re searching has inventory that has gone unsold for more than six months, the market is favoring you as the buyer. On the other hand, if inventory sells with an average time on market of four months or less, it’s a sure sign of a seller’s market.
Shopping in a seller’s market can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. If you are ready to push forward and buy, have all your paperwork ready so that you can place an offer as quickly as possible. By being preapproved before you shop, you won’t need time between seeing a place you love and finalizing your mortgage applications. Eliminating this time for paperwork and processing means you can move more readily and could make the difference between making a successful offer and losing out on the house of your dreams.
NerdWallet says there’s one thing you can do to prevent other offers from squeezing you out: use an escalation clause on your bid. An escalation clause is a contract addendum that states that you’d be willing to increase your offer – up to a certain, predefined threshold – if other offers come in on the home. This allows you to show the buyer that you have a serious interest, but also acknowledges that you won’t be caught in a bidding war where you end up offering more than you can afford.
The more flexible you are about contingencies and closing dates, the more likely the sellers will choose to sell their home to you. If you want the water heater replaced before you move in, but the inspector determined it’s not necessary, be flexible and offer to give up that contingency. Don’t make deals that will leave you with a big disaster when you move in, though. Be flexible but fair, and make concessions that will help move along the process without leaving you with expensive updating or repair bills.
If you can also be flexible about your closing date, that may also be a boon to your offer with the sellers. If the home is unoccupied, offer to close sooner to help alleviate their payments for an empty house. On the other hand, if the sellers are living there and need time to clean and move, being able to give them a few extra weeks or months to pack up and move out can be a game changer.
Hire an Agent
Finally, working with a buyer’s agent can help you navigate a particularly hot market and help you ultimately close the deal. Consider hiring Phillips Real Estate to be your expert on the greater suburban Oklahoma City market. We have access to MLS listings from throughout the region and can help you find your dream home. Get started by calling us today at 405-368-9409.