The October issue of Realtor Magazine (our industry magazine) had an interesting article about dispelling myths while educating first time home buyers. The second point was about excessive caution, and buyer, especially new buyers, wanting to see "everything on the market".
I have to admit... the writer at Realtor Magazine got another solid base hit. I have worked with buyers that wanted to see a LOT of houses... even houses that really didn't suit their purposes... even houses that they KNEW didn't suit their purposes prior to wanting to see them. And there are a LOT of houses on the market.
While inventories are down around 25% from last year, there are still about 80,000 homes on the market in the Atlanta Metro area. Generally, in ANY given price range and area there are scores of homes. Even Lilburn, GA has several dozen homes priced under $150,000. And by the time a buyer makes his or her way through all of them, there are new ones to see. It just isn't practical. Tighten the search criteria...
It isn't just a matter of spending a lot of time looking at houses... it is losing out on houses because of spending time looking at other houses... It goes like this... A buyer goes out and looks at 5-10 properties. They find a couple that they like and one that they REALLY like. Instead of deciding to write an offer, they feel that there is time to look (after all, the market is weak, right?). So, they schedule more time to look at homes. In the mean time, the home that they REALLY liked goes under contract to another buyer. When they have looked at more homes and decide that the home that they REALLY liked is the one that they want to buy... that home is no longer available.
We call it analysis paralysis. Another type of analysis paralysis comes after the buyer decides to write an offer. They spend days and days trying to figure out what to offer. While they are doing that, another buyer puts the house under contract.
Don't get me wrong... these are important decisions. Buying a home is a BIG deal... ESPECIALLY for first time home buyers. You want the right home and you want it at the right price. I understand. But, I also don't want you to regret a lack of action. Right now, if you see the right home, be ready to make the offer. We'll check the comps and craft the offer... but YOU need to be ready.
Being ready means getting prequalified with a lender. Getting ready means knowing how much money you'll have available to close. Being ready means knowing that you have the down payment. Being ready means being prepared to break a lease or being out of the lease in an appropriate time frame.
But, being ready may mean getting the right house at a great price.