There is nothing more frustrating than wanting to buy a home but being unable to through no fault of your own. In many markets across the country, there simply are more buyers than sellers and homes are moving quickly — sometimes for more than the asking price due to high demand and low inventory.
Home buying is not as easy as seeing a new listing online, going to view it in person and making an offer. In a seller’s market the gloves come off and would-be buyers need to act fast, think outside the box and be prepared to work at the home-buying process.
Don’t use conventional search methods
With limited inventory and many buyers looking for the same thing, next-generation buyers need to think outside the box. You must assume that every home out there, even those that lack “For Sale” signs, are for sale in this day and age. Work with your agent to look at pocket listings, Make Me Move listings, and expired or withdrawn listings from years past. Look at pre-market homes or “For Sale By Owner” homes that may not be listed by conventional methods like the MLS. If you like a home in your neighborhood, don’t be afraid to reach out to the owner with a personalized letter. It’s worked before.
Get pre-approved for a mortgage
The buyers who get the house in a competitive market are the buyers who are organized, well prepared and ready to move when the right home comes along. What does this mean? Know about any issues with your credit report and make sure your financial house is in order. Start by getting a pre-approval letter from a reputable lender, that you can show to agents and sellers. A pre-approval letter is typically good for 90 days and shows sellers that you are a motivated, credit-worthy buyer who is able to act fast. Faced with multiple offers, the seller won’t just consider the highest offer but, rather, the person who can close quickly and is a sure thing financially.