We have noticed that there are 2 trends among some buyers. They either are waiting until spring or even next year or they are making offers and not getting the home.
Here are our 5 mistakes and then success tips for Winter Buying
1. Presenting an offer without getting finances squared away.
Tip: Get proof of funds or a letter of pre-approval now.
You Realtor can help you with a good lender and details for a proof of funds letter if you are paying cash. Have it ready. If it is more than a week old or so, your Realtor will call the lender to make sure it is still current.
We had a buyer lose out on a house because he told us he was pre-approved and had the letter but kept forgetting it. Then, the lending rules changed and his debt to income ratio no longer worked.
2. Wait to Buy until conditions are better.
Tip: Believe your Realtor when they say this market is the perfect storm.
The best prices and best rates coming together like never before in the history of real estate. In our area, it is even better because it is still slow - unlike 90% of the rest of the country. So, prices are deflated even more and there is more inventory.
3. Waiting to buy until Spring/Summer.
Tip: Buy in the Winter if you can.
Our off season is November to March 1. Things slow down which makes sellers more eager to sell. There is not as much competition since most buyers are waiting until spring or summer.
4. Start with a Low Ball offer.
Tip: Do not low ball
The day of the low ball offer is gone. Even though our area is behind 90% of the country, prices are still increasing. We increased about 6% last year. Sellers have adjusted their prices almost across the board to be in line with the market. Your Realtor will tell you if a home is wildly overpriced but most are not. Right now, homes are selling for about 95% of list price. I predict we will be back to 97% within a year.
5. Spontaeneously call any Agent.
Tip: Get a GOOD Realtor.
Find someone who can use e-contracts. We beat out another agent and buyer only because of the speed we presented the offer. The house reduced, the buyer e-signed the contract and the agent had it within an hour. Full price. it was his.
Find someone who will advocate for YOU, not just the transaction.
Find someone who knows the area and knows they type of property you are buying. Some agents are great in town but don't have experience in country properties, for example. Others may not know much about vacant land.
This is an exciting time to buy, whether it is your first home or one of many. We would love to help you or, if you are not looking here, we can help you find a good Realtor in your area.